Mangosteen is a small purple colored fruit that grows in Southeast India. In recent years this fruit has gained a lot of popularity due to its various health benefits. This fruit has given the reputation of being a “superfood” now.

Mangosteen has a sweet and sour taste as a mix of peach, strawberry, and lychee. This fruit is also known as purple mangosteen due to its deep purple color. This color is developed when the rind is ripened. In contrast, the inner of this fruit is juicy and bright white.

Mangosteen is cultivated in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Other countries consume this fruit as juice or medicine.

What Is Mangosteen?

Mangosteen, scientifically known as Garcinia Mangostana, is a tropical fruiting tree. The original place where this fruit first originated is not well known, but some evidence has found its presence in the Moluccas and Sunda Island. These wild trees can be found in Malaya and Kemaman forests. It is also cultivated in Vietnam, Burma, Thailand, and Southwestern India. Many attempts have been made to cultivate this tree in U.s but have limited results.

Therefore, fresh mangosteen is hard to find in the United States. And there are two reasons for that. First, Mangosteen trees need a full tropical environment and a lot of time to grow. Second, fresh mangosteen can increase the risk of pests or bugs that can threaten the ecosystem, which makes it necessary for the importers to sterilize the fruit before it enters the country.

The mangosteen tree has very slow growth. This tree can grow between 6-25 m in height. This tree has a short stalk and dark green leaves, which are yellow-green on the underside. The fruit of this tree is round and dark purple in color. The flesh of the fruits is bright white and juicy, with or without seeds. The fruit of the mangosteen tree is acclaimed for its delectable and slightly acidic flavor.

I love exotic fruits like Loquat Fruit, Tuna Fruit, Bread Fruit, and Ackee.


Nutritional value of  Mangosteen:

Mangosteen is low in calories but contains a high amount of essential nutrients. One cup of canned mangosteen can provide:

  • Calories: 143
  • Carbs: 35 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Fiber:5 gram
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the daily recommended value
  • Magnesium: 6% of the daily recommended value
  • Copper: 7% of the daily recommended value
  • Folate: 15% of the daily recommended value
  • Riboflavin: 6% of the daily recommended value
  • Thiamine: 7% of the daily recommended value
  • Manganese: 10% of the daily recommended value

These vitamins and minerals present within mangosteen are essential and play an important role in some major body functions like DNA production, wound healing, immunity, and muscle contraction.

Moreover, a single cup of this fruit can provide almost 14% of the daily recommended value of fiber, an essential nutrient which is not enough in most people’s diets.

Where To Buy Mangosteen

My daughter brought me 10 mangosteen fruits from the local Asian market. I was so happy when I saw these fresh purple mangosteen and I couldn’t wait to taste them. I was really impressed by how delicious mangosteen tasted. 

Fresh mangosteen can also be purchased online as well, it can also be found freeze-dried, as a powdered supplement, and canned (note that the canned version may contain added sugar).

 Mangosteen Fruit Taste

Mangosteen fruit tastes sweet,and  juicy with a hint of tartness.  It reminds me of a sweet version of soursop.

Mangosteen fruit in a white bowl



    • Digestive Health: mangosteen contains a high amount of fiber. One cup of mangosteen can provide almost 14% of the daily recommended value of fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Studies(Diane Quagliani, 2017) have also shown that a diet high in fiber can improve bowel movement.

      Health Benefits of Mangosteen

      Due to the high nutritional value of mangosteen, it can provide a lot of health benefits, including weight loss.

      1. Rich Source of Antioxidants

      Mangosteen has also gained popularity due to its unique antioxidant profile. Antioxidants are compounds that can cancel the damaging effect of harmful molecules known as radicals. These harmful molecules are associated with various chronic diseases.

      Mangosteen consists of several nutrients with antioxidant properties like folate and Vitamin C. moreover; this fruit also provides Xanthones, a unique type of plant compound with strong antioxidant properties.

      Several studies (Ovalle-Magallanes, 2017) have found that the antioxidant property of Xanthones can provide anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antidiabetic, and anticancer effects as well.

      1. The fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, Vitamin A, B6, C, thiamine, zinc, folate, potassium, calcium, riboflavin, niacin. Read More.

      Moreover, in another study of 60 people (Zhuohong Xie, 2015), 30 people were given the mangosteen beverage daily for a month. The researchers compared the blood of these people to the other 30 people who had consumed the beverages without mangosteen.

    • After a month, the researchers found out that the group of people with mangosteen beverages had more antioxidants in their bloodstream as compared to the placebo group.

      2. Anti-inflammatory Properties

      Inflammation is a natural and normal part of the immune system, in which the body removes foreign substances like viruses, bacteria, and other chemicals. But sometimes, this inflammation tends to continue even after removing the threat and can contribute to various health conditions like cancer, arthritis, depression, and heart diseases.

      But the anti-inflammatory properties of mangosteen can lower the risk of these inflammatory diseases. The xanthones present in mangosteen also play an essential role in reducing inflammation. According to a test tube study (Ovalle-Magallanes, 2017), xanthone has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the risk of various inflammatory diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

      Mangosteen also contains a large amount of fiber, which can provide various health benefits. According to an animal study (Vieira, 2017), a diet rich in fiber can help in reducing the inflammatory response of the body.

      3. Promotes Weight Loss

      One of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of mangosteen within a few years is its ability to promote weight loss. This Is because of the higher fiber content present in mangosteen. This fiber can slow down digestion and make you feel full for longer, which means low-calorie intake and results in weight loss.

      One animal study (Chae, 2016) of mice on a high-fat diet found out that the mice who received mangosteen supplements gained less weight as compared to the mice in the control group with no supplements.

      Similarly, a small human study (Udani, 2009) found out that the people who take supplements of mangosteen juice twice daily with their diet have lower body mass index than the control group.

      4. Anticancer Effects

      According to multiple research types, a diet with a high amount of vegetables and fruits like mangosteen can reduce the risk of various cancers. This is due to the presence of Xanthones in mangosteen, a specific plant compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties of xanthones can reduce the development and spread of cancerous cells.

      According to a test tube study (Shan, 2011), xanthones can prevent the growth of cancer cells present in the breast, lung tissues, and stomach.

      Moreover, in another small animal study (shan, 2011), one group of mice was given the mangosteen extract. The study found the slow progression of colon and breast cancer in the mice with mangosteen extraction compared to the other mice without extract consumption.

      5. Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

      The plant compound present in mangosteen can be helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels as well. Both the test tube and animal studies have shown this benefit of mangosteen. For example, one study of obese women (Watanabe, 2018) found out that the women who took 400 mg of supplemental mangosteen extract daily had a significant reduction in insulin resistance compared to the control group.

      Not only plant compounds but the fiber present in this fruit can also help in maintaining blood sugar levels because the body can not easily break down fiber which means no spike up in the blood sugar the way other carbs can. Moreover, fiber also reduces bad cholesterol levels, which is also a risk factor for diabetes.

      6. Increase Immunity

      Vitamin C and fiber present within mangosteen are important for a healthy immune system. Fiber supports healthy gut bacteria, which are also essential to a healthy immune system. On the other hand, vitamin C improves the function of various immune cells and also has antioxidant properties.

      Some researchers (Cunha, 2014) have also shown that plant compounds that mangosteen contain have antibacterial properties as well, which can provide benefits when it comes to immune health by killing harmful bacteria.

      The human immune system needs many different nutrients in order to function properly. And mangosteen can be a good choice, but keep other nutrient-dense food on the side in your balanced diet.

      7. Maintain Healthy Skin

      Skin exposure can cause skin damage, which is common worldwide and can cause the risk of many skin issues like cancer and aging. One animal study (Im, 2017) of mice treated with mangosteen extract observed that these mice have a positive effect against ultraviolet-B radiation in the skin.

      Moreover, another small 3-month human study (Ohno, 2015) found out that people treated with 100 mg of mangosteen extract daily have more elasticity in their skin and less accumulation of the compound that causes aging compared to the control group.

      The main reason behind the skin protective effect of the mangosteen is its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which provide a protective effect on the skin.

      8. Other Potential Benefits

      Mangosteen can also have some positive effects on the brain and digestive system. There are many types of research present to prove that. Read more.

    • Digestive Health: mangosteen contains a high amount of fiber. One cup of mangosteen can provide almost 14% of the daily recommended value of fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Studies(Diane Quagliani, 2017) have also shown that a diet high in fiber can improve bowel movement. Read more.
    • Mangosteen’s leaves and barks are used medicinally. Read more
    • Boosts heart health – the xanthone called Alpha-Mangostin in mangosteen are credited in reducing heart attack risk. Read more. 
    • Brain Health: mangosteen can be very helpful in improving brain health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies(Oberholzer, 2018) have shown that mangosteen can be very helpful in decreasing brain inflammation and preventing mental decline and symptoms of depression.

Other Amazing Fruits To Try

How To Eat Mangosteen?

Mangosteen is a fruit which you cannot find everywhere. The season of this fruit is very short. That’s why it has limited visibility. Although it is difficult to find, it is very easy to prepare and eat.

The best way to find mangosteen is to look for it in the Asian market, but be aware of its price because fresh mangosteen can be expensive. These fruits’ frozen and canned forms are cheaper and can be easily found. But this canned version can also contain added sugar.

If you are looking for fresh mangosteen, choose the fruit with a smooth rind with dark purple color. The rind of this fruit is not edible and can easily be removed with the help of a knife.

This fruit can also be consumed in the form of juice or in powdered supplements. The inner flesh of this fruit is juicy when it ripens. This can be eaten raw and added to smoothies and salads for a delicious boost.

Who Should Avoid Mangosteen

Consuming mangosteen is safe for most people, but few face adverse health effects after consuming it in its whole form. Moreover, the other concentrated forms like juices, powder, and supplements are also not 100% risk-free.

Early research (Cordier, 2012) suggested that xanthones found in herbal supplements, including supplemented mangosteen, can slow down the process of blood clotting.

As mangosteen is a rich source of xanthones, it is not a good idea to consume this fruit or its supplements if you have a blood clotting condition or are taking medications like blood thinning. There is not enough research available to ensure the safety of mangosteen supplements for pregnant and breastfeeding women. So it is probably better to avoid this medication at this stage of life.

Moreover, consult your doctor or health professional before making any changes to your diet plan or taking any new supplements, including mangosteen supplements.

The Bottom Line

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that originated from Southeast Asia and gained popularity within the last few years due to its numerous health benefits. This fruit contains a large number of nutrients that are essential for the proper functioning of the body.

Most of the benefits of mangosteen are related to its antioxidant profile and plant compounds present. These antioxidants and plant compounds can help lose weight, maintain blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases like heart diseases and cancer.

Mangosteen can be easily added into the diet, as its juicy and sweet taste makes a delicious addition to food recipes. It is mostly used in smoothies and salads. Fresh mangosteen is not easy to find, but the canned and supplemental forms are more common. But be aware of the canned mangosteen as it can contain added sugar in it.

Whether you use this fruit for culinary purposes or its health benefits, it is a win either way.

Mangosteen fruit

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