There are a lot of exotic fruits in the world and some of them grace the shelves of commercial grocery stores for short periods of time. People stop and admire the foreign produce because they are different, pretty, and intriguing. Seldom do they purchase them for consumption, though. Fruits like jackfruit, mangosteen, and lychee are among these striking, tropical fruits, but the one that stops people in their tracks is the rambutan.
What Is A Rambutan?
Closely related to lychee, rambutan is popularly consumed in Southeast Asia. With its spiny, hair-like protrusions and rich red skin, the rambutan looks like it’s from another planet. It is a great source of nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and a high amount of iron. When you remove the outer layers of both lychee and rambutan fruits, the edible fruit looks the same, but they have nutritional differences.
The benefits of rambutan are not solely focused on the fruit because the tree itself has been used in the world of natural remedies. The leaves have been mashed into a paste with water and the extract has been applied to the scalp to promote healthier hair. The seeds have also been mashed into a paste and applied to the skin to achieve a clearer complexion. One thing to note about the seeds is that they shouldn’t be consumed raw or boiled because they contain compounds, known as saponins, that can be toxic to humans.
Promotes Digestive Health:
While it isn’t good to eat tons of rambutans, due to the high sugar content, they are rich in in fiber. Eating foods that are high in fiber helps to move food through the digestive tract and helps to add bulk to stool. Consuming fiber can help you avoid constipation and improve overall digestive health.
High In Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are essential for reducing oxidative stress in the body, and some research has indicated that they may play a role in disease prevention. Rambutans have tons of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenes, tannins, phenols, and xanthophylls.
Wards Of Pathogens:
Famed for the powerful antiseptic properties, rambutans help the body fight off infections. When you consider the powerful antioxidants in rambutans, adding this fruit to your diet is beneficial for boosting the immune system.
Supports Bone Health:
Manganese is an integral mineral that is involved with the formation of healthy bones. Roughly 43% of the body’s manganese content is found within bones, so it is advantageous to eat foods that are rich in manganese. Rambutan is a rich source of manganese and phosphorus, which also aids with healthy bone formation.
When you eat rambutans, make sure to peel the red exterior and discard the pit in the center of the fruit. It is slightly sweet and a little tangy. They are very refreshing and should be consumed whenever you find them. You may have more luck finding them at ethnic grocery stores.