Superfood: Mangosteen

Once upon a time, a health-conscious shopper had to try a specialty store to find products made with the “super fruits,” exotic gems like acai and goji berries, which are reportedly high on the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale. These foods are rich in antioxidants, which serve as natural protection for healthy body cells.

Many believe antioxidants can aid in protecting the body from cancerous cells and other ailments. Whatever your take is on these super fruits, you probably know they have gained mainstream popularity in recent years. Now you can visit your chain grocer to find supplements, juices and other foods enhanced with acai and another popular fruit, mangosteen.

The name may throw you off a bit, but it’s important to know that the mangosteen is definitely not a mango. In fact, it looks nothing like a mango! Mangosteens are round and purple and indigenous to tropical climates. When you cut one open, you’ll find the large white bulbous pulp — the only edible part of the fruit. The flavor of the mangosteen, some argue, is difficult to pinpoint. It’s a touch citrus and a touch sweet, with even a tinge of sourness. Only in the last few years, too, have Americans been able to buy this fruit domestically (that is, if you know where to go). The health conscious, however, may be more likely to find mangosteen in juice form.

The Benefits of Mangosteen

Antioxidant-rich foods are believed to attack free radicals in the body responsible for aging and various degenerative illnesses that come with growing older. Some of the benefits that may come with the regular partaking of mangosteen include:

Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.

The stress of work and family problems can get to us at times, and certain foods have been known to aid in helping us feel better, or the very least, less stressed. The free radicals that pose a threat to mental health may be eradicated with antioxidant intake.

Reduced feelings of pain.

If you suffer from the aches and pains of everyday life, or more serious ailments like arthritis, you may wish to search for natural methods of relief. The antioxidants in mangosteen have been known to help people regain comfortable mobility.

Improved bone mass.

Not unlike calcium, mangosteen can assist in strengthening your skeletal system.

Improvement to skin.

If you have experienced problems like rashes or acne, regular intake of a super fruit may help clear any such problems and leave you looking and feeling younger.

Increased heart health.

As antioxidants work to eliminate free radicals, they also help keep the blood clear. This in turn increases blood flow to the heart and improves your cardiovascular system. You may find, too, that your blood pressure decreases.

Slower aging.

Nobody likes looking in the mirror to find another gray hair or wrinkle around the eyes. While getting older is inevitable, there are ways to combat rapid aging. Fruits rich in antioxidants, like mangosteen, aid in your overall health and youthful feeling.

Strengthened immunity.

When you eat right and try natural fruits with high ORAC ratings, you can reduce the chance of getting sick and increase the bounce back, from a cold or fever.

When we were little, our mothers may have given us some Vitamin C to cure our ills. Vitamins are important to a daily regimen, but adding the goodness of mangosteen can also do wonders. If you are not able to find the actual purple fruit in your store, look for products that contain it. Some may be blended with other fruits like dark berries or citrus, but either way, adding it to your diet can work wonders.

Kathryn Lively is a novelist, book reviewer, editor and freelance writer. Growing up with a love for words, Kathryn knew at a young age she wanted to be a writer. She sold her first story at 19 and hasn’t looked back. To date, she has written several novels and numerous articles on books, health and fitness, travel and the Internet. Kathryn also writes about Vemma (www.vemma.com) opportunities.

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