Although mangosteen is mostly grown in South East Asia, it is considered a tropical fruit that requires a humid, warm climate to grow in. One of the perks of coming home to tropical Honduras is the endless supply of exotic tropical fruits that I don’t normally find in my urban-feel college.

Not your typical fruit, a mangosteen is a fruit with a hard, dark-purple colored shell and a gel-like covered seed inside, with many nutritional benefits. It has a high water content, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also a great source of vitamins B12, A, zinc, calcium, and iron, mangosteen is more than just a pretty fruit. I dare say that it's more like an elixir of health.

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes, it’s totally edible and delicious as well. This fruit not only gives you an exciting feeling when you crack it open and find the gel-like goodness inside and tangy flavor. 

Health Benefits of Mangosteen

pear, apple
Lissane Kafie

As I was writing this article, I came across various theories and a ton of research on the health benefits of eating mangosteen. I know that eating fruits and vegetables has its perks, and mangosteen is not the exception.

As I kept digging, I read about mangosteen’s role in cancer prevention. Immediately, it caught my attention, and to my surprise, I found that most of the data found on its role in cancer prevention have not yet been confirmed. It is safe to assume that it does aid in fighting cancer cells due to a number of xanthones present in the mangosteen fruit. The xanthones in the fruit help inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body.  

sweet, fig
Lissane Kafie

The xanthones present in the mangosteen fruit also contain antioxidants that help our immune system combat free radical cells in the body. These antioxidant benefits are mostly found in the mangosteen peel and its extracts, which contain phenolic acid. 

Other health benefits of eating mangosteen include acne-fighting, anti-inflammation, menstrual regulation, weight loss, maintaining a vibrant skin, and wound healing. What's there not to love about all this?

So, How Do I Eat This Thing?

Lissane Kafie

To eat this super exotic fruit, all you need is a knife and an appetite. Take a knife and insert it down the middle of the mangosteen. Cut it in half, opening it up as if it were an avocado. Take the inner seeds of the mangosteen, suck on them with your mouth, and enjoy the gel-like freshness and tanginess of the fruit. 

Research has shown the benefits of the mangosteen peel, its extract, or extract powder alone. Although eating the peel is a little hard (just a little, and, yes, I am being sarcastic), there are many other ways to reap its benefits without having to bite into it. Perhaps a cup of tea, anyone?

Lissane Kafie

I go through life believing that food is the best medicine, and that is also one of the major reasons why I chose to major in nutrition and dietetics. I'd rather eat my way to health than becoming dependent on drugs and medicine to get there. But hey, that's just me. In case you were wondering what is mangosteen, I hope that I successfully convinced you that this is a fruit you must try at least once in your life.