Mangosteen: The Tropical Antioxidant

Mangosteen: The Tropical Antioxidant

The Claim

Mangosteens are tropical fruits with purple rinds and sweet, white flesh inside. You can eat the fruit raw or buy it in capsule and powder form: The fruit, rind, bark, and twig are all used as medicine. Mangosteen is thought to have antioxidant and disease-fighting effects.

The Evidence

“It’s easy to see how mangosteens got their nickname as ‘the queen of the fruits,’” says Kellyann Petrucci, ND, a naturopath in Birmingham, Michigan. “They’re rich in xanthones that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.”

While many integrative healthcare practitioners are into the fruit, so far, very little research backs them up. Mangosteens are high in inflammation-fighting vitamin C, as well as B vitamins your body needs to keep your body humming. Those xanthones, an antioxidant you don’t find in many food sources, has scientists excited, but little research exists proving its prowess. A few preliminary studies have hinted that mangosteens may slow the progression of skin cancer, prostate cancer, and malignant colorectal tumors, but more research is needed.

How to Use It

If you spot them in your grocery store, pick up a few mangosteens—they make a great dessert fruit and a really good jelly (word is Queen Victoria called it her favorite fruit). Mangosteens are also low in calories and high in belly-filling fiber.

Mangosteen juice (which sometimes goes by the name “xango juice”) is being marketed as a health drink. If you go the juice route, you’ll miss out on the fruit’s natural fiber. Just beware juice-hawkers claiming xango juice can cure PMS, UTIs, and other issues; the scientific evidence just isn’t there yet.

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