Mangosteen is a small purple fruit that grows in Southeast Asia. In recent years, news reports and internet influencers have said the fruit has a range of health benefits. It now has a reputation as a “superfood.”
This article will outline what a mangosteen is, look at the science behind the health benefit claims, and explain how to eat mangosteen.
Mangosteen is a small, purple fruit from Southeast Asia. It has a hard outer skin and sweet, white, juicy flesh. People have described its taste as a mix of lychee, peach, strawberry, and pineapple.
Farmers tend to grow mangosteen in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand. In these countries, people consume it as:
- traditional medicine
Fresh mangosteen is hard to find in the United States for two reasons.
First, mangosteen trees need a fully tropical climate and lots of time to grow. Small farms in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, started in the 1990s, are only now starting to bear fruit.
Second, fresh mangosteen can harbor quarantine pests or non-U.S. native bugs that could threaten the ecosystem. It means mangosteen importers must sterilize the fruit before it enters the country. This sometimes affects the quality, taste, or shelf life.
Mangosteen has many benefits. It contains a range of compounds and substances that are good for human health.
The benefits of mangosteen include:
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all fruits provide nutrients that are vital for good health.
One cup of drained, canned mangosteen contains:
Most fruits, including mangosteen, are low in fat, sodium, and calories, helping people maintain a moderate weight. They are also free from cholesterol, which can contribute to chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Fruit is also a good source of nutrients that people in the U.S. often lack, such as:
- potassium, a mineral needed to help maintain healthy blood pressure
- dietary fiber, which helps people maintain a healthy gut
- vitamin C, which helps the body to heal cuts and wounds and to keep teeth and gums healthy
Antioxidants fight free radicals or harmful substances that can build up inside the body. Free radicals can contribute to health problems including:
Studies have suggested that mangosteen contains antioxidants. One study from 2015 asked 30 people to drink a mangosteen-based beverage every day for 30 days. Researchers compared their blood to that of 30 people who had consumed a non-mangosteen-based drink or placebo.
At the end of the 30 days, the mangosteen group had 15% more antioxidants in …….