The thick purple hide of the mangosteen has the reputation of staining if it comes into contact with your clothes. This tropical fruit is also known in Asian cultures to be “cooling” in effect, neutralising the “heatiness” of the durian. As such, thge mangosteen and durian are often consumed together in Asia and are known to complement each other in their respective properties.
For those unaware, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), heaty foods warm and improve circulation, dispel cold and stimulate the body. Conversely, if one consumes too much “heaty” food, symptoms such as fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, acne, excessive thirst, redness of the skin and irritability can abound. “Cooling” foods, on the other hand, eradicate heat and toxins and have a nourishing effect on the body. Too much, however, can trigger conditions associated with “cold”, including intolerance to cold, a pale complexion, sore muscles and joints as well as fatigue. To ensure optimal health, TCM stresses the need for balance based on the needs and body type of the individual.
Coming back to the mangosteen, what are its other health benefits besides balancing out the “heatiness” of the durian?
- Rich in Antioxidants
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 their bloodstream than the placebo group.
Antioxidants fight free radicals or harmful substances that can build up inside the body. Free radicals can contribute to health problems.
In the 2015 study outlined above, scientists found that mangosteen may also act as an anti-inflammatory. They concluded this by measuring the C-reactive protein, a substance that signals inflammation levels. Over the 30 days of the study, levels of this protein in the mangosteen group reduced by an average of 46%.
3. Medicinal Properties
Some medicines include mangosteen as an ingredient:
- metratrim, a medicine that also contains Sphaeranthus indicus and may help people who have obesity or overweight lose weight
- a gel with 4% mangosteen can help with loose teeth and bleeding in people with serious gum disease, or periodontitis
- some moisturizers for oily skin
One cup of drained, canned mangosteen contains:
- 143 kcal
- 35.1g of carbohydrate
- 3.53g of dietary fiber
- 23.5mg of calcium
- 94.1mg of potassium
- 5.68mg of vitamin C
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
*This article is not a replacement for professional medical advice