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Passion Fruit

The mangosteen is a superfruit that grows in Asia. It is quite rich in nutrients and has the potential for being able to lower the risk against a variety of diseases. The fruit was used for a long period of time in Southeast Asia because of its health benefits. This tropical fruit can be found in the following places: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

The mangosteen is comparable in size to a mandarin orange or a tangerine. It has a dark purple/reddish rind with white flesh inside. It is mupti-segmented just like other tropical fruits. The taste is sweet and very similar to a plum. You should not peel it as you would a tangerine. However, you should either twist or press this fruit until it easily breaks apart. This special fruit was used in folk medicine to cure everything from dysentery to skin disorders. The rind of the mangosteen is used in the alleviation of several health conditions such as bladder infections, skin rashes, diarrhea and gonorrhea. This fruit is thought to have cooling properties known as yin.

There is a unique fact about this fruit because each one contains a kind of scar at one end, which is representative of the flower. This scar will be able to tell you how many segments it contains, but it also indicates the number of seeds as well. Those fruits that have the most segments will have fewer seeds.

It is known that the fruit's rind contains a variety of compounds. Therefore, it is thought to be an antioxidant. What exactly is an antioxidant?They are also knows as anti-oxidation agents. It has been proven that antioxidants combine with harmful molecules of dangerous oxidants thereby reducing their destructive power. One of the jobs of the antioxidant is to help repair any damage that has already been sustained by the body's cells. In certain laboratory studies, it has been found that the mangosteen fruit contains xanthones. When they were studied in test tubes it was found that xanthones have anti-cancer effects. When studied in test tubes, other health benefits of xanthones included antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiseptic properties. However, no proof is available when they were taken orally in a controlled laboratory setting.

Mangosteens have not been allowed to come into North America legally except for Hawaii and Canada. Juice containing the fruit's extract may be sold here in the United States in the form of juice. The ban was placed on this fruit by the Food and Drug Administration due to the fact that there may have been a fruit fly infiltration. Now, however, the FDA here in the United States lifted the ban in 2007 and now allows irradiated mangosteens to be imported into this country.

There is a little bit of an art to choosing a perfect mangosteen. Be sure to select those that are dark or reddish purple. You do not want any that are black or blue in color. Once you have bought some , they should be stored at room temperature and eaten with a few days. One caution - do not freeze the fruit.

Kim Pinzini is the author and has more information on mangosteen. You can contact her at

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