Because this tropical super fruit is so delicious and because it can be dried as nutritious snacks or the rind made into anti-oxidant-rich mangosteen powder, we decided to use the round, reddish-purple fruit as our tropical superfoods logo. It is attractive and a bit unusual so we hope that you like it!
Our dried fruit is always seasonal and as mangosteen trees don’t fruit until November or December in Australia, you will need to wait until then before sampling this ‘Queen of Fruits’ either fresh from the tree, at local markets or dehydrated in one of our special mixes.
Although the commercial ‘bandwagon’ currently promotes mangosteen as a super fruit that has near magical properties if one consumes it, it is actually the almost inedible rind of the fruit that has the most anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients.
Originating in the South Pacific, mangosteen trees (garcinia mangostana) grow well in tropical climates, the majority being grown commercially in Thailand, India and the Caribbean.
In common with many other tropical trees it is a giant of the forest, which can live for a hundred years or more. However, the trees in commercial plantations are kept low enough for ease of harvesting.
Historically, the mangosteen’s rind has been used as an anti-parasitic and anti-microbial remedy for digestive, urinary and skin disorders and to prevent and treat dehydration. Recent claims indicate that the whole mangosteen, juiced, may assist in weight loss.
It is the mangosteen juice benefits that seem to be so widely promoted by commercial interests, much as noni juice was a few years ago and it is the juice as well as the powder that are made from the tough rind. It is expensive, though, and you need to check the ingredients as some companies add cheaper juices, such as apple juice, to their end product (perhaps to improve the taste?).
Low in fat like most fruit, the sweet, white, peeled mangosteen fruit contains Vitamin C, fibre, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and trace minerals. Although best eaten fresh from the tree, mangosteen sorbet is a delicious alternative and the fruit is also superb in fruit salads.
In Tropical North Queensland the Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm counts mangosteens as their main crop.
On-going laboratory research indicates that mangosteen rind contains an impressive amount of zanthones, catechins, sterols, polysaccharides and epigallocatechins, which, individually or together seem to have the potential to inhibit bacteria, fungi, viruses, inflammation and even cancer.
But I can find no evidence of clinical trials on humans so, while the potential may exist for it to be hailed as a true super fruit, I am yet to be convinced of its magical properties.
If you have found that these attractive and tasty ‘super fruits’ have helped you to improve your health, please tell us about it via the form below. Otherwise, why not just join me in enjoying them as a delicious fruit treat?