Tag Archives: xanthones

Mangosteen and Xanthones

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that grows in hot and humid parts of the world, particularly those in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Going against what the name may suggest, the mangosteen fruit has pretty much no relation to the mango (apart from both being exotic fruits!), and in terms of looks, it has the similar properties to a peach, being the same size and roughly the same color. Since the discovery of the fruit in Western countries, effective research has been shown to prove that mangosteen is massively beneficial to our health, providing various nutrients unable to be obtained elsewhere.  In fact, people often classify it as one of the so-called ‘wonder foods’ or ‘superfoods’.

One significant reason for its status as a wonder fruit is down to the amount of xanthones in mangosteen fruit. Research has shown that the hard rind of a mangosteen fruit contains more xanthones than any other fruit, and it is these xanthones which make it such a popular source for medicine, both modern and ancient.

If you are sat there thinking, “Well what in the world are xanthones,” let me explain:  Xanthones in mangosteen come in many forms, but they all serve the same purpose, to make us healthy! “Xanthones” is basically the collective term for certain compounds such as beta-mangostin, garcinone B, alpha-mangostin and garginone E. They may sound confusing, but… well, they are!

Whether you understand them or not, xanthones have always been found in fruits and vegetables, and they present numerous health benefits. The xanthones found in mangosteen have been show to help to reduce the risk of cancer, prevent heart disease, and help eradicate smaller problems such as inflammation, as well as having antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Since the production of a mangosteen based beverage in the United States, the mangosteen fruit has been mostly unheard of.  However, the mangosteen is rapidly gaining in popularity.  Since its rise in popularity, people have started to understand more about the actual benefits of exotic and tropical fruits.

Xanthones in mangosteen are essential for our overall health and well-being, but the mangosteen doesn’t just stop there. Fruits in general are low in calories, and the mangosteen is no exception. As mentioned earlier, the mangosteen can been compared to fruits such as the peach, in terms of its size and flavor, so if peach is a piece of fruit you enjoy, then maybe mangosteen could be your next love.

Further reading and sources

  1. 65 Ways to Use Mangosteen Juice for Your Better Health
  2. MANGOSTEEN’S HEALING SECRETS REVEALED: Why Xanthones are Your Body’s Best Defense Against Sickness and Disease
  3. Mangosteen: The X-Factor: A Look at the Health Benefits, Science & Xanthones of Garcinia Mangostana

Mangosteen: Sweet, Tangy, Delicious

I fondly remember the time I first learned about the mangosteen.  When I had my first taste of mangosteen, it was in a Snapple juice blend.  I forget the name of the flavor, but I think it was mangosteen and passion fruit flavored.  It was pretty good, but when I first read the label, I had never heard of a fruit named “mangosteen.”  I had just thought, at the time, that the fruit mangosteen must have been an exotic twist on the mango.  After about an hour, I had another look at the bottle, and it showed a drawing of a fruit I had never seen before, a lush, purple fruit with a pure-looking white inside.  I searched it up on the internet, and there it was – a fruit I didn’t even know about for the first 15 years of my life.

It’s hard to find fresh mangosteens in the US – they grow on tropical evergreen trees and are thought to have first been grown and cultivated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia.  In my recent trip to Southeast Asia, I managed to get a taste of several mangosteens, and they were absolutely delicious.

Well, now that I’m familiar with the mangosteen, here’s an introduction to this exotic fruit.  The mangosteen is actually called the “purple mangosteen.”  It’s very unique; I haven’t seen any other fruit quite like it.  The outer part, or rind, of the mangosteen is a dark purple when the fruit is ripe, but cannot be eaten.  The inside of the mangosteen is the edible part – it’s actually the ovary of the fruit.  As a person who’s tasted the fruit, it’s unlike any other fruit I’ve tasted: both sweet and somewhat tangy, and both juicy and fibrous.


Whole mangosteens and a cut-open mangosteen

One of the most fun parts of eating a mangosteen is peeling it.  The first time I tried a mangosteen, my friends told me to simply apply pressure to the outer rind, and it’d split open crisply.  So, that’s it – how to eat a mangosteen!

As for the nutritional benefits of the mangosteen, the mangosteen is amazingly unique.  Though the mangosteen does not contain a significant amount of the basic vitamins compared to other exotic fruits, xanthones from the fibers of the mangosteen have been researched over and over and found to give many potential health benefits, though scientists are not sure.  This is really attractive to me – after all, we get plenty of basic vitamins in other parts of our diet, but definitely not the polyphenols and xanthonoids that mangosteens provide.

Not only are mangosteens valued in the modern world for their health benefits, mangosteens have traditionally been used in many folk and traditional medicines of Southeast Asia.

It’s quite hard to find fresh mangosteens in the US: try ordering online! Frieda’s Fresh Mangosteen. Or, try some Xango mangosteen juice, packing in all the health benefits fresh mangosteen provides: Xango Juice/ Mangosteen 4 Bottles