If you haven’t heard of the exotic fruit known as mangosteen, chances are you soon will. It comes from an exotic tree that produces the characteristic mangosteen fruit which has a hard, outer rind covering an incredibly healthy and juicy interior. Some people describe the pulp as having a taste similar to a fresh peach. Almost everyone who tries it describes it as delicious. The mangosteen fruit has been purported to have a variety of health benefits. This tasty fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, those free radical scavenging substances that help to reduce the risk of a variety of chronic diseases. What exactly are the health benefits of mangosteen?
One way to measure the antioxidant potential of foods is to use a test called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity test. Using this test, selected foods can be compared with one another in terms of their antioxidant potential and given a number called the ORAC number. Interestingly enough, mangosteen has one of the highest numbers of all foods tested up to this point.
To get the reported antioxidant benefits of mangosteen, health conscious consumers often turn to mangosteen juice to get a tasty, concentrated source for this healthy fruit. Although mangosteen juice is quite pricy with some companies charging over $30.00 for a bottle, many consumers think the price is well worth the potential benefits. The juice is increasingly being marketed through health food stores and via independent network marketing companies.
What exactly are the potential health benefits of mangosteen juice? Most of the purported benefits of the fruit and of the juice are related to its strong antioxidant properties. Cancer researchers have shown a strong interest in this product with several preliminary studies showing mangosteen derivatives to be as effective at killing cancer cells as many standard cancer chemotherapy drugs. Although results like this is encouraging, this premise is far from proven. Many more studies will be required to draw any final conclusion on the effectiveness of mangosteen in treating or preventing cancer.
The list of diseases mangosteen may play a role in preventing is quite extensive ranging from cancer to arthritis. It’s also been purported to have anti-aging properties and mood elevating properties for those who suffer from depression. Again, studies addressing the health benefits of mangosteen are still in their early stages.. For those who don’t have the inclination to eat the fresh fruit or drink the juice, mangosteen supplements are available in pill form, although questions arise as to whether mangosteen supplements have the same beneficial properties as the fresh fruit and what supplemental dosage is optimal.
Is mangosteen a fruit you should add to your diet? Because studies so far are encouraging but not conclusive, mangosteen wouldn’t be recommended strictly for its health benefits. If you enjoy the taste of the fresh fruit or juice, it can be a healthy and tasty addition to your regular diet. And the good news is you may be reducing your risk of disease at the same time.