Mangosteen-Just a Juice or More
You may have been hearing about a fruit or fruit juice called mangosteen. Mangosteen has been getting a lot of press of late, some of it good, some of it bad. Hard to believe right? A fruit getting "bad press".
Let's first start out with what mangosteen is. Garcinia mangostana is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeastern Asia. It may be known by other names...."queen of fruits", mangostan, Xango, or other brand names.
The fruit is very unique in appearance. It is covered by a dark purple, thick, smooth rind called the Pericarp. The pulp consists of anywhere from 4 to 8 segments of soft white flesh.
In the case of the juice, I have heard some describe it as almost a berry taste. I can't quite put my finger on what I think. It is a bit gritty. Some love it, one person I know finds the taste unpleasant. From my reading, most find it quite palatable.
Nutrition wise, mangosteen is nutrient dense. Its claim to fame is its phytonutrients. In particular a class of phyotnutrients called xanthones.
There are around 200 known xanthones and the pericarp of the mangosteen has 20 of them including Alpha Mangostin and Gamma Mangostin.
Xanthones are showing strong antioxidant activity in recent studies. Antioxidants are substances that act to neutralize or deactivate free radicals in our body. Free radicals are the product of oxidation caused by our normal cell metabolism, or excess free radical production by stress, exposure to certain chemicals, smoke, etc. It is suspected that an excess of these free radicals can be responsible for premature aging, heart disease, certain cancers, peripheral artery disease, and more.
Mangosteen is undoubtedly is a healthy fruit and juice. Is it the miracle that some of the companies are touting it to be? This is where the debate begins.
I would be hard pressed to pay the kind of money they are asking for the juice. There are many juices in the market that are full of wonderful antioxidants. Blueberry, pomegranate, even apple has quercetin--that is a great phytonutrient. All these for much less money.
Until I see some data stating something more definitive, I will save my money. Is mangosteen bad? No! It is a very healthy juice. I will also say that there are studies that are showing it to be useful when used as a cosmetic active ingredient for acne preparations.
When the price comes down a bit, I will be a happy user of mangosteen. Until then, I will stick to the more humble-yet still fabulously healthy-fruit juices.