Over the years conventional orange juice has moved over to make way for more exotic choices, particularly pomegranate and mangosteen juice. Pomegranate has received a vast amount of attention, but mangosteen is fairly unknown.
What Is a Mangosteen?
Mangosteen juice comes from the full production of the seeds, rind and skin of the mangosteen fruit found mainly in Southeast Asia’s Phillipines, Thailand and Malaysia. The tropical fruit has also expanded to successful harvests in Brazil and Hawaii. The fruit is of no relation to the mango and is characterized by a dark purple rind, a yellowish brown leaf starburst of four or eight points and a green stem. Inside, it is a fleshy white mass that resembles a head of garlic and has the consistency of an orange with a taste that is both sweet and tart. It has been called the “Queen of Fruit”, possibly for its abundant health benefits.
What Are Its Benefits?
All the benefits of the mangosteen come from the pericarp (the rind or peeling) of the fruit. Like other fruits, mangosteen juice contains many vitamins and minerals, including B1, 2 and 6, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. However, this fruit seems to surpass many others with its high antioxidant levels. Claims have been made that mangosteen can possibly help prevent cancer, dysentary, inflammation, hypertension and bacterial infections to name a few. In preliminary testing the molecules of mangosteen juice have been found to promote apoptosis or death of harmful cells in the body. It seems that high amounts of xanthones, which are chemical compound antioxidants that naturally occur in plant life, are the key to the mangosteen’s health benefits. It is the combination of these compounds (there may be two dozen or more different xanthones found in this fruit) and others that work together as a powerful remedy for many ailments. Two other powerful antioxiodants in mangosteens are catechins and polyphenols.
The ORAC Scale
Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity is a test that measures the ability of antioxidants to absorb potentially disease-causing free radicals. The higher the ORAC finding the better the food is to consume. Ounce for ounce mangosteen is said to have 20-30x more absorption capability than most other fruits and vegetables. This means that the high antioxidant population within the rind, seeds and flesh of the mangosteen is like a huge army scavenging for cell damaging molecules.
Where Can You Find Mangosteen Juice?
If you are fortunate enough to live near some authentic Asian communities then you will probably be able to find the raw fruit for sale at local supermarkets or stands. The extracted juice is marketed by many companies and mostly found in health food stores.