12 Ways the Mangosteen Assists in Maintaining a Healthy System

Right now in the organic and healthy world of superfoods, those that are slowly on the rise are exotic fruits and vegetables. We Americans are slowly eyeing these not-so-common superfoods and gradually learning about all the health benefits they can provide us. One good example is the mangosteen.

Mango-what?

All right, I hear you. I know that this fruit sounds out of this world and pretty strange. For many of us, it is.

The mangosteen is a purplish-blue fruit that comes from a tropical evergreen tree that grows mainly in Southeast Asia. Its fruit is sweet and tangy, set off in sections, kind of like an orange. Its skin is a bit thick and has a dark purple hue. The little segments of flesh inside are milky white and are the only ones edible.

Eating the fleshy sections can be quite addicting as they boast a sweet flavor that will definitely please even the pickiest taste buds.

Of course, consuming plenty of this superfood is highly encouraged. The mangosteen has plenty of vital nutrients that will boost our entire well-being.

According to Malaysian author Desmond Tate, “By popular acclaim, the mangosteen is held to be the most delectable of all the tropical fruits, and it has been proclaimed their queen. There is no doubt about the luxury of its taste. It has won unstinted praise down the ages from all who have encountered it.”

Whew, now that’s some big shoes this fruit has to fill.

What’s in a Mangosteen?

For something somewhat small, this little gem of a fruit packs quite the punch. It contains healthy carbohydrates, dietary fiber, energy, total fat, and protein. For the vitamins, mangosteen possesses folate, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin A, and pantothenic acid.

The mineral content composes of copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus.

Mangosteen also has trace amounts of the electrolytes potassium and sodium.

For a lucky few, especially those living in Southeast Asia, they can enjoy this fruit raw. For others halfway around the world, mangosteen can be taken in tablet form or juice form.

And did you know that a long time ago, the mangosteen was banned from entering the United States? This was because people believed the fruit harbored the Asian fruit fly. The ban was eventually lifted in October 2007.

Mangosteen Benefits

Plenty of people are starting to reap the benefits of this amazing fruit. And slowly, it’s gaining popularity in the United States. Here are just a few examples of what we can get from the mangosteen.

Improves Eye Health

For many of us, it’s quite normal to be staring at a computer screen for almost the entire day. We do this for work or for leisure. Unfortunately, this causes great strain in our eyes and will lead to damage.

Mangosteens have vitamins A and C, which help improve eyesight and fight off  eye diseases. These vitamins will protect the lens in your eyes, heals wounds in the eye faster, and fight off free radicals that might do eye damage. These two vitamins can also lessen the risk of night blindness. They can also improve the quality of your eyesight.

Vitamin C especially reduces  the blood flow to your eyes, which helps avoid cataracts.

Provides Healthy Skin

Mangosteens have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that all work together to ensure you have beautiful and naturally healthy skin. This will help in reducing a number of skin conditions. These include skin aging, skin inflammation, eczema, bacterial infections, and allergies.

This fruit also contains xanthones, which help in skin cell regeneration and can repair damaged skin cells. This compound is also helpful in treating various skin diseases.

The vitamin C in magosteen also contributes to healthier skin by improving the quality of skin tone, protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, and reducing the dark circles under the eyes.

Guarantees Oral Health

If you spit out some blood as you brush, chances are, you have a tooth infection. Before this gets any worse, you can apply some mangosteen gel directly on your teeth and gums. This reduces bleeding and cures gum problems.

Also, some studies show that the mangosteen gel can cure the gum disease periodontitis.

Eases Allergies

Mangosteens are known as a natural antihistamine. The fruit’s extracts also contain anti-allergy as well as anti-inflammatory properties that curb the release of histamine and prostaglandin. These two are associated with inflammation in the body and allergies as well.

Compounds in the fruit also have therapeutic and soothing effects on allergy-induced asthma.

Boosts the Immune System

Since mangosteens have plenty of various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, all these work together to strengthen and improve the body’s immune system. Keep in mind that our immune system is our first line of defense against harmful foreign bodies and free radicals that try to enter our systems and bring about damage and disease.

The fruit also has cell boosters called xanthones, which possess various properties with medicinal value. This is one of the reasons why mangosteens are considered as healing fruits.

Vitamin C also contributes to a stronger immunity as it helps get rid of  harmful free radicals that cause inflammation and many illnesses. This vitamin also aids in the production and function of leukocytes. These are white blood cells that protect the body against infectious diseases and foreign invaders.

Helps Proper Organ Growth

Regularly eating mangosteens can definitely help with the proper growth and formation of your organs. Mangosteens have a high amount of copper. This mineral is especially important for the growth and development of a number of organ tissues.  

Aids with Diabetes

The daily consumption of mangosteens is a great way to prevent and keep diabetes under control as they help regulate blood sugar levels. They act as alpha-amylase inhibitors. This means they prevent enzymes that cause starches to break down into glucose.

The tannic acid and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC) in the fruit make up its blood sugar–lowering properties.

Also, the xanthones in mangosteens help fight against diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance.

In fact, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, there are compounds in the fruit that are comparable to acarbose. This is a prescription drug used to help with type 2 diabetes symptoms.

Promotes Good Digestion

Mangosteens are high-fiber food. Regularly eating this helps prevent constipation and digestive distress. The fiber also makes sure you increase your prebiotic intake, which ensures the flourishing of probiotics in your intestines.

In addition, ingesting the right amount of fiber effectively flushes out harmful toxins and unhealthy additives from your system. This lowers the development of bloating, stomach cramping, excess gas, and constipation.

Treats Stomach Troubles

Traditional medicine shows that mangosteen peel and pericarp effectively ease certain stomach orders, such as dysentery and diarrhea. In addition, recent studies that mangosteens are effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Contributes to Weight Loss

When included in a regular diet, mangosteens can help you lose weight the right way. First off, these fruits are low in calories and contain no saturated fats. Instead, they have high water and fiber content. These together makes you feel full faster, and this feeling of satiety will last for a while.

The fruit also has compounds that prevent body weight gain by restricting pancreatic lipase and alpha-amylase activities. These are the common causes of obesity.

Improves Heart Health

If the body lacks antioxidants and have an increase of oxidative stress, these two will possibly lead to heart attacks. Fortunately, the xanthones in mangosteens help reduce the risk of heart attacks. Also, mangosteens help reduce the risk of strokes or myocardial infarction.
In addition, there are studies that show mangosteens treat hypertension by regulating blood pressure as well as heart rate.

Combats Cancer

The mangosteen is widely known as a cancer-fighting fruit. It possesses anti-cancer properties. The xanthones, for example, inhibit cancer cell growth. They also have the potential to be agents to prevent cancer and as a cancer treatment in combination with other known therapies.

According to a 2012 study by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, xanthone extracts have anti-colon cancer effects in vivo and in vitro. Another study also shows that mangosteens can also effectively slow down the progression of prostate cancer.

Yet another study proves that there is anti-cancer activity of the mangosteen’s alpha-mangostin compound on human breast cancer cells. This compound induced programmed cell death of the cancer cells.

Mangosteens are also effective in fighting against skin cancer, mammary cancer, and liver cancer.

 

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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