Three Mangosteen Facts
To set the record straight about the queen of superfruit, here are three mangosteen facts for the informed consumer:
1. Mangosteen is not related to the mango.
Don’t confuse this southwest Asian fruit with the mango commonly sold in grocery stores. While they are geographical neighbors, they are not of the same family. Mangoes have a warm, yellow-orange skin and orange fruit that grows around a large seed. The mangosteen description, on the other hand, begins with an outer purple skin and soft white fruit inside segmented like an orange. In size, the mangosteen is somewhere between an apple and an orange with a flavor that is both citrus and peach-like. Both are high in antioxidants, and while mangoes have been available (and grown) in the U.S. for some time, the mangosteen has just recently been introduced to western markets though they do not grow well in less than ultra-tropical climates.
2. Mangosteen contains xanthones.
Nutritionists are beginning to document the health benefits of mangosteen. A compound called xanthones, which occur naturally in mangosteens, possesses antioxidant-like qualities that can help with cartilage function, joint function, respiratory system, intestinal health, immune system, and fighting free radicals. The mangosteen fruit as anti inflammatory is one benefit of xanthones that nutrition companies have tapped into as well as anti-allergenic potential.
3. Mangosteen is being investigated for its cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Consumers have seen considerable health benefits from mangosteen including aid for sinus and respiratory illnesses. A study of the mangosteen fruit in Beijing showed that a product derived from mangosteen improved the immunity and overall health of test subjects. Mangosteen also shows up in anti-aging products. Mangosteen is being called a superfruit – in fact, the queen of superfruit – because of the antioxidants in both the rind and fruit that fight free radicals. Mangosteen can be taken internally as a juice, powder, or capsule; eaten raw; or ground up and applied externally to the skin to treat inflamed joints. According to the American Cancer Association, the fruit may have a future in cancer treatment; early studies suggested that mangosteen may treat acne when applied topically for the same reason that natives of southern Asia have been using it for skin conditions and wounds. Mangosteen and health products made from mangosteen extract or powder can be found online and in health food stores.