The term “superfruit” is thrown around pretty loosely these days. But the rambutan fruit really fits the label. The health benefits of rambutan fruit are numerous.
All fruits and vegetables contain bioactive compounds, nutrients and antioxidants. However, some fruits and vegetables have more action than others.
Rambutan is a rare healthy fruit which contains a multitude of beneficial substances. Hence, it can help you to maintain good health while recovering from disease.
So, let’s get to know rambutan better!
What Is Rambutan?
Rambutan fruit is a member of the genus Nephelium and family Sapindaceae, which includes figs, roses, soapberries and lychees. Its scientific name is Nephelium lappaceum but is closely related to Nephelium mutabile. Rambutan fruit is a tropical fruit that is sweet and tangy. The name comes from the Malay word ‘rambutan’, which means “hair-like”, probably referring to rambutans’ long hairy beards! These seeds look like frog eggs and are soft, round and translucent.
Rambutan, which originated in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and tropical South Asia, is a tropical fruit that grew to popularity in Indonesia. There are a lot of health benefits that come with the consumption of this fruit. Since it is still relatively unknown outside of these countries, many people have never heard of it or have no clue what it looks like. Before you go ahead and buy your first rambutan fruit for eating purposes, here are some points you should know.
Where Does The Rambutan Fruit Grow?
Rambutans are mainly cultivated in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.
There are two significant types of rambutan with different characteristics, namely the red rambutan and the yellow rambutan. A typical rambutan tree can grow up to 50-80 feet tall with large green leaves and fragrant yellow flowers. The tree is self-pollinating and usually sets fruit without cross-pollination. Honeybees may spread pollen between trees, but this is not required for fruit production.
Rambutan fruit is typically available during the months of July to October.
What Does Rambutan Taste Like?
Rambutan is one of the most favourite tropical fruit in Southeast Asia, with a taste comparable to lychee. The edible portion consists of the fleshy aril, which is surrounded by thin but tough skin. Rambutan is said to be very nutritious and intensely sweet in flavour. It is juicy and tastes like red lychee or grape with a soft texture.
How To Eat Rambutan Fruit
Rambutan has high vitamin C content, fibre, carbohydrates and water. The sweet taste makes it very delicious for consumption. There are several ways in which rambutan can be eaten to get multi-nutritional benefits.
The ripe fruit has juicy edible flesh like lychee. Although, the seed in the center of the fruit is hard, like avocado.
The skin is inedible when the rambutan is raw. However, you can pop it open with a sharp knife and remove the edible flesh without any trouble.
The standard way to eat a rambutan is to slice off the skin with a knife, separate the flesh and remove the seeds. Then take the flesh in your mouth and eat. You can also add them to your recipes as desired. For example, add them to fruit salad, cocktails, smoothies or use them for jams.
Some people eat the seeds but ensure you don’t eat them raw or overeat them. This is because it can cause some health issues.
Rambutan Nutrition Facts
Enjoying a piece of this exotic fruit, which is red on the outside and white on the inside, is a great way to add some variety to your diet. Rambutans have many distinct nutritional qualities that make them a worthy member of your fresh fruits arsenal. They have a sweet flavour, are low in calories, and are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, amino acids, and fibre. Some of the nutritional facts are;
- Rambutans are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fibre, magnesium. Research shows that the peels are very high in antioxidants.
- They are even high in protein for all you plant-based lovers.
- The peel and seeds can be as beneficial as some medicines.
The health benefits of rambutan fruit are due to its numerous vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants. Rambutan contains at least 40 different kinds of nutrients, along with many different types of antioxidants that are beneficial to health in general, for digestion, particularly for detoxification, and have cancer-prevention properties. Let’s examine some of its health benefits.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rambutan
The fleshy part is white in colour, which has a sweet taste, while the skin is covered by three layers of thorny skin, which are edible. This fruit contains many health benefits. Rambutan fruit has been recognized as one of the healthiest fruit species. Here are the most essential health benefits from its consumption.
1. Lowers blood pressure
It is widely known for its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The best thing about tropical rambutan is its ability to lower blood pressure. The rambutan fruit contains polyphenol. Polyphenols are natural chemicals that help people with high blood pressure. Research has proven that it helps give relief from high blood pressure levels.
This fruit has long been recognized in Malay traditional healers and herbalists for balancing the system and maintaining normal blood glucose levels (blood sugar). The Extract found in Rambutan fruit also helps control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
2. Helps with ageing
This fruit species has also been researched to be beneficial for anti-ageing. Rambutan fruit’s benefits include the reduction of wrinkles and anti-ageing properties. The antioxidants in this fruit can assist with wrinkle reduction and other issues related to ageing. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory compounds in rambutan may help improve memory and cognitive abilities associated with ageing.
3. Fights diabetes
Eating this fruit is considered as a way to prevent and fight diseases such as hypertension, diabetes. Rambutan’s benefits for diabetes are many. Research shows that the peels of this fruit have anti-diabetic properties. This nutrient-rich fruit has long been used as a traditional health remedy in Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand to treat diabetes.
4. Aids weight loss
Rambutan is a good fruit for those who want to lose weight. Rambutan Fruit is a great way to lose weight. It provides low calories and dietary fibre that allows the body to feel full. Furthermore, it assists in blocking fats and cholesterol from entering the digestive system. It is perfect for someone who is on a diet and wants to lose weight fast. Research has emphasized its use in decreasing unwanted fat, fighting cancer and usage for skin and hair care.
5. It helps promotes digestion.
According to natural therapists, rambutan is an excellent natural laxative due to its high dietary fibre content. It helps promote digestion, reduces constipation and gas. In Chinese traditional medicine, Rambutan acts as an effective treatment for abdominal ailments. Such as diarrhea, irregular bowel movement, and food poisoning. This is because it has a warm and sweet property that can replenish energy and blood.
6. Strengthens bones
Rambutans are rich in vitamin C, which is required by the body to make collagen. Collagen is essential for healthy skin, bones, tendons, muscles, ligaments and blood vessels. It helps maintain a normal immune system, contributes to strong teeth and bones.
7. Helps with healthy skin
The rambutan fruit is a healthy fruit because it can be used for healthier skin. The fruit has various forms of vitamins, which are essential to the body. It helps with healthy skin and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Furthermore, it repairs damaged skin.
If you eat the Rambutan fruit, it will become easier for you to have healthy skin that will look good. Studies show that using the fruit extract may be useful in repairing damaged skin. The extract of Rambutan can also protect against some rare types of cancer.
8. Gives healthy hair
The rambutan fruit is rich in fibre and other nutrients. Hence, it is effective for promoting healthy hair growth. It has vitamin B1, vitamin C, vitamin E and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron. This promotes healthy hair growth as it helps prevent dandruff and other scalp infections.
9. Improves eye health
The Rambutan fruit has many nutrients that are good for the eyes, especially to prevent eye disorders. It is also effective in preventing any damage to the retina of the eyes. The nutrients contained by the fruit help in preventing the formation of free radicals. This helps in improving vision and prevents the possible occurrence of degenerative diseases of the retina such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Furthermore, it is rich in beta carotene, which means that it helps promote healthy eyesight and night vision.
10. It boosts immunity
The rambutan fruits nutritional value is mainly due to their high-carbohydrate and low-fat composition. Additionally, their high vitamin C content gives them a wide variety of beneficial properties to improve our overall health.
One medium sized fresh rambutan fruit contains 7 calories, 2g of carbohydrate, less than 1g of fat, sugar and protein.
A can of rambutan syrup contains about 123 calories, 31g of carbohydrate, 63mg of potassium, 1.4g of dietary fibre and 1g of protein.
Storing rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is quite easy. But to make sure that they ripen and taste great, we need to follow proper ways of storing them for future consumption. Rambutan fruit can be stored at room temperature for about 1 week. After the fruit is picked, it needs to be washed with clean water. It should be kept in a plastic bag so that it will not absorb other food’s odor.
Rambutan vs Lychee
The rambutan is a fruit in the same family as the lychee. They are both grown in south Asia. In some ways, rambutan and lychee are very different fruits. But they have profound similarities as well. Both grow on trees, and they have a hard outside shell. Also, both have a soft, delicious inside that’s good to eat.
A rambutan is red, has big spines and grows on trees. It thrives in tropical climates. Lychee has small spikes and grows on trees. It does well in subtropical climates.
They are similar in taste to the untrained tongue. However, it’s easy for experienced traders to tell them apart if they get to know their flavours.
The fruit is also becoming popular among people from different walks of life. This is because it is a superfood that contains a whole bunch of nutrients and compounds. A lot of people are still skeptical about this fruit. However, the one indisputable fact about the Rambutan Fruit is that it is delightfully juicy and flavorful.
They are low in calories, contain less fat and have no cholesterol. This makes them a very good diet food and an excellent snack for those who live a healthy lifestyle.
What is rambutan fruit good for?
It is low in calories but jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. Aside from being rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant, it also contains other beneficial nutrients such as iron and phosphorus.
The antioxidants in rambutan fruit will boost your immune system and help protect against diseases.
Rambutan fruits are good for treating diarrhea, indigestion, headaches, inflammation, heart problems, leucoderma, fever and viral infection.
How do you eat rambutan fruit?
There are many ways of eating rambutan fruit. If the skin is too bitter for your taste, you can make it sweet by steaming the fruit. If you don’t want to pull out all the flesh with your teeth, use a spoon. You will find it’s incredibly delicious.
Is rambutan the same as lychee?
Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) and lychee (Litchi chinensis) are not the same things. Rambutan and lychee are both edible fruits, but otherwise, they’re very different. For example, rambutan scales cover the whole fruit and stick closely to the flesh, while the flesh of lychee sticks tightly to its two large flat seeds. However, both are said to taste like a mix between grapes and bananas.
Is rambutan fruit poisonous?
Rambutan is not poisonous. It is a delicious fruit, and it is even used for cooking purposes in some places.
When should you eat rambutan?
When they’re in season, but not when they’re out of season, or when they’re too ripe or too green.
Can I eat rambutan during pregnancy?
Yes, there is nothing wrong with these fruits. However, avoid eating the overripe ones as they might have traces of alcohol.
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