Mangosteen (garcinia mangostana), also known as the purple mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree with edible fruit native to island nations of Southeast Asia. Its exact origin are unknown due to its widespread cultivation since ancient times, but it is believed to have been somewhere between the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, south west India and other tropical areas such as Columbia, Puerto Rico and Florida, where the tree has been introduced. The tree grows from 6 to 25 m (19.7 to 82.0 ft) tall. The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, somehwhat fibrous, with fluid-filled vesicles (like the flesh of citrus fruits), with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind (exocarp) when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e., the inner layer of the ovary. Seeds are almond-shaped and-sized.
Species: G. mangostana
Binomial name – Garcinia mangostana
Mangosteen contain several nutrients, with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones – a unique type of plant compound known to have stong antioxidant properties.
Mangosteen is a relatively obscure fruit, it shouldn’t be overlooked, as it may offer many health benefits due to its rich supply of nutrient, fiber, and unique antioxidants.
Health Benfits of Mangosteen
Mangosteen is relatively low in calories yet provides many essential nutrients.
A 1-cup (196-gram) serving of canned, drained mangosteen offers.
. Calories: 143
. Carbs: 35 grams
. Fiber: 3.5 grams
. Fat: 1 gram
. Protein: 1 gram
. Vitamin C: 9% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
. Vitamin B9 (folate): 15% of the RDI
. Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 7% of the RDI
. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 6% of the RDI
. Manganese: 10% of the RDI
. Copper: 7% of the RDI
. Magnesium: 6% of the RDI
The vitamins and minerals in mangosteen are important for maintaining many bodily functions, including DNA production, muscle contraction, wound healing, immunity, and nerve signaling.
Rich in Powerful Antioxidant
One of mangosteen’s most significant attributes is its unique antioxidant profile.
Antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize the damaging effects of potintially harmful molecules called free radicals, which are linked to various chronic diseases.
Mangosteen contains several nutrients with antioxidant capacity, such as vitamin C and folate. Plus, it provides xanthones – a unique type of plant compound known to have strong antioxidant properties.
In several studies, the antioxidant activity of xanthones has resulted in anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-aging, and antidiabetic effects.
Thus, xanthones in mangosteen may be responsible for many of its potential health benefits.
Have Anti-inflammatory Properties
The xanthones found in mangosteen may play a role in reducing inflammation.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that xanthones have an anti-inflammatory effect and may reduce your risk of inflammatory diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Mangosteen is also rich in fiber, which offers various benefits. For instance, some animal research indicates that a higher-fiber diet may help reduce your body’s inflammatory response. Though this data is encouraging, more research is needed to better understand how mangosteen affects inflammation and disease progression in humans.
Have Anticancer Effects
Population studies show that diets rich in vegetables and fruits like mangosteen are associated with reduced incidences of cancer. Specific plant compounds in mangosteen – including xanthones – have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help fight the development and spread of cancerous cells.
Multiple test-tube studies reveal that xanthones can inhibit cancer cell growth, including in breast, stomach, and lung tissue.
Similarly, a small number of studies observed that this compound may slow the progression of colon and breast cancer in mice.
Promote Weight Loss
In the health and wellness industry, one of mangosteen’s biggest claims to fame is its potential to aid weight loss.
One study found that mice on a high-fat diet who received supplemental doses of mangosteen gained significantly less weight than mice in the control group.
Similarly, in a small, 8-week study, people who supplemented their diets with 3.6 or 9 ounces (90, 180, or 270 ml) of mangosteen juice twice daily tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than the control group.
Additional research on mangosteen and obesity is limited, but expects theorize that the fruits’s anti-inflammatory effects play a role promoting fat metabolism and preventing weight gain. Ultimately, more studies are needed to better understand how mangosteen may fit into an effective weight loss plan.
Support Blood Sugar Control
Both test-tube and animal studies show that xanthone compounds in mangosteen may help you maintain highly blood sugar levels. A recent 26-weeks study in obese women found that those receiving 400 mg of supplemental mangosteen extract daily had significant reductions in insulin resistance – a risk factor for diabetes – compared to the control group.
The fruit is also a good source of fiber, a nutrient that can help stabilize blood sugar and improve diabetes control. The combination of the xanthone and fiber content in mangosteen may help balance blood sugar.
Promotes a Healthy Immune System
Fiber and vitamin C – both of which can be found in mangosteen – are important for a healthy immune system.
Fiber supports your healthy gut bacteria – an essential component of immunity. On the other hand, vitamin C is needed for the function of various immune cells and has antioxidant properties.
Additionally, some research suggests that certain plant compounds in mangosteen may have antibacterial properties – which could benefit your immune health by combating potentially harmful bacteria.
In a 30-day study in 59 people, those taking a mangosteen -containing supplement experienced reduced markers of inflammation and significantly greater increases in healthy immune cell numbers compared to those taking a placebo.
Your immune system requires many different nutrients to function optimally. Mangosteen may be a healthy choice to include alongside other nutrient-dense foods as part of a balanced diet.
Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
Skin damage from sun exposure is a common occurrence worldwide and a major contributor to skin cancer and signs of aging.
One study in mice treated with supplemental mangosteen extract observed a protective effect against ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation in the skin.
What’s more, a small, 3-month human study found that people treated with 100 mg of mangosteen extract daily experienced significantly more elasticity in their skin and less accumulation of a particular compound known to contribute to skin aging.
Researchers assert that mangosteen’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity is the main reason for these skin-protective effects.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Mangosteen may also have a positive impact on your heart, brain, and digestive system.
Heart Health – Animal studies show that mangosteen extract effectively reduced heart disease risk factors like LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Brain Health – Studies indicate that mangoteen extract helps prevent mental decline, decrease brain inflammation, and improve symptoms of depression in mice, though human studies in this area are lacking.
Mangosteen is packed with fiber. Just 1 cup (196 grams) provides about 14% of the RDI. Fiber is essential for digestive health, and high-fiber diets help promote bowel regularity.
Though these results are promising. It’s still too early to make definitive claims regarding mangosteen’s role in supporting brain, heart, and digestive health in humans.
Reference: wikipedia / healthline.com