Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that is abundant in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. They say that it has been quite popular not just because of its taste but primarily because a lot of people believe that it promotes good health. Apparently, the fruit has been long used because of its health benefits and the belief that it can lower one’s risks of getting a variety of diseases.
These days, the mangosteen is becoming more and more popular because it contains antioxidants which neutralize the effects of free radicals such as aging and sickness. Studies show that the mangosteen contains xanthones and these antioxidant compounds can help prevent cancer. In some laboratory studies, research also suggests that it can have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Some say that it is also anti-diabetic. What makes it more interesting is that most claim that out of the 200 different varieties of xanthones which scientists have discovered, 40 are present in a mangosteen fruit.
I checked with MayoClinic and I found in one Q&A post that there really are laboratory and animal studies which suggest that mangosteen has significant anti-inflammatory effects. In addition to that, there are small-scale studies in humans which suggest that the mangosteen juice can help in reducing blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). C-reactive protein is a substance which is associated with inflammation caused by widespread infection or disorders. These disorders include inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The mangosteen has the same size and shape as that of a tangerine – only that it seems to have a crown. It has a thick, dark rind and creamy flesh, and it can be used for cooking certain meals and delicacies.
When buying mangosteens, pick those which are purple-ish like dark or reddish purple and not those which are blue or black. Mangosteen is now often marketed as a supplement. Some offer it as a juice while others provide it in capsules.
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