by Andy Khong
Mangosteen is a tropical fruit known for its delicious taste and numerous health benefits. It is scientifically known as Garcinia Mangostana and is native to South-East Asia, particularly Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. The fruit is revered for its sweet and tangy flavour, often described as a combination of strawberry, peach, and pineapple.
Here are some key features and information about mangosteen:
- Appearance: Mangosteen is a small, round fruit with a thick, purple rind. The rind is leathery and contains bitter latex that stains easily. Inside, the fruit is divided into several segments, similar to an orange, and each segment contains a soft, juicy, and white flesh.
- Taste and Aroma: The flesh of a ripe mangosteen is renowned for its unique flavour profile. It is sweet, yet tangy, with a hint of citrus notes. The taste is often described as a delightful blend of tropical flavours, earning it the nickname “Queen of Fruits.”
- Nutritional Value: Mangosteen is low in calories and fat while being rich in essential nutrients. It contains vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins (thiamine, niacin, and folate), as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, and copper. Additionally, it is a good source of dietary fibre and contains various beneficial plant compounds, including xanthones, which are known for their antioxidant properties.
- Health Benefits: Mangosteen has been associated with several health benefits, although more research is needed to fully understand its effects. Some potential benefits include:
- Antioxidant properties: Mangosteen is rich in antioxidants, particularly xanthones, which may help protect against oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Immune system support: The vitamin C content in mangosteen can contribute to a healthy immune system and may help fight off infections.
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Some studies suggest that mangosteen may possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially benefit conditions such as arthritis.
- Potential anti-cancer properties: Certain compounds found in mangosteen have shown promising results in laboratory studies regarding their potential anti-cancer effects. However, more research is necessary to understand their impact on human health.
- Culinary Uses: Mangosteen is primarily consumed fresh as a delicious and refreshing snack. It is typically eaten by cutting through the thick rind and prying open the fruit to reveal the edible segments. The fruit can also be used in various culinary creations, such as fruit salads, smoothies, juices, desserts, and preserves.
- Availability: While mangosteen is primarily grown in South-East Asia, it is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, it can be challenging to find fresh mangosteens in certain regions outside of their native growing areas. In some places, you may find frozen or canned versions of the fruit or products containing mangosteen extract.
The practice of eating mangosteen and durian together in Malaysia/Singapore/Thailand to balance the perceived “heaty” effects of durian, is a traditional belief in East Asian cultures. Certain foods are believed to have “cooling” or “heaty” properties, which are thought to affect the body’s balance of energies or temperature. All foods according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are assigned properties according to the five flavours: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty; and the four natures: cool, cold, warm and hot.
Durian is often considered a “heaty” fruit due to its rich and heavy nature, while mangosteen is considered a “cooling” fruit due to its refreshing and lighter qualities. As a result, some people believe that consuming mangosteen alongside durian can help counterbalance the heatiness and provide a sense of relief.
Next time you are in South-East Asia, experience the tropical delight by indulging in the exquisite flavour and healthful bounty of Mangosteen!
Mangosteen is the Queen of Fruits; now read about the King of Fruits (Durian): https://www.youngpioneertours.com/durian-king-of-fruits/
Tried Cat Shit Coffee? https://www.youngpioneertours.com/kopi-luwak-cat-shit-coffee/
Tried Balut (duck embryo)? https://www.youngpioneertours.com/balut-strange-snack-from-the-philippines/ .
You could always try Mangosteen(s) during YPT’s South-East Asia Tour: https://www.youngpioneertours.com/tour/ultimate-south-east-asia-adventure/