The purple mangosteen, colloquially known simply as mangosteen, is a tropical evergreen tree believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. It grows mainly in Southeast Asia, and also in tropical South American countries such as Colombia, in the state of Kerala in India and in Puerto Rico, where the tree has been introduced.
The tree grows from 6 to 25 m tall. The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, and somewhat fibrous, with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind when ripe. In each fruit, the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed is botanically endocarp, i.e., the inner layer of the ovary.The purple mangosteen belongs to the same genus as the other, less widely known, mangosteens, such as the button mangosteen or the charichuelo.
Mangosteen peel contains xanthonoids, such as mangostin, and other phytochemicals having antioxidant properties in vitro. Some studies demonstrated that juice containing mangosteen peel extracts may reduce blood levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker of inflammation. Some mangosteen juice products contain whole fruit purée or polyphenols extracted from the inedible exocarp. The resulting juice has purple colour and astringency derived from exocarp pigments.
Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is one of the popular tropical fruits. It comprises an impressive list of essential nutrients, which are required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.
This fruit is very low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, which can be very important for individuals who are concerned about putting on excess body weight.
Mangosteen is good in vitamin C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Fresh fruit is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Further, it also contains a very good amount of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate, and blood pressure; thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
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