Rambutan (scientifically termed as ‘Nephelium Lappaceumis’) is a fruit that definitely features in the list of ‘Most Exotic fruits of Our Planet’. It’s a fruit not a lot of people know about. However, some experts call it ‘super fruit’ because of the many benefits its ingestion has. This fruit resembles lychees in the way it looks- it is red colored on the outside while its inside it white, it is oval in shape and is generally one to two inches in length. Moreover, like lychees, it is also found in bunches with stems sticking out of them. Even though this fruit is said to be native to Malaysia and Indonesia, it is found all over Southeastern Asia. The fruit has a thin, leather like skin layer with multiple tube-like structures sticking out of it that seem like spikes on a hedgehog. Sometimes, one can also find rambutans having greenish yellow or orange exterior skin colors. The fruit, in many ways, also looks exactly like a sea urchin.
The trees on which this fruit grows have some interesting characteristics as well. The fruit grows on trees which are about 10-20 feet (which is nearly 3.05-6.1 m) high. These trees generate cultivable fruits twice every year- a smaller batch during mid spring along with a bigger one at the end of fall. What is notable is their genders (Yes, trees have genders as well). Some of the rambutan trees are male and therefore do not produce fruits at all. Several trees are hermaphrodites, i.e., producing both female and male flowers, while some are entirely female. The hermaphrodite trees, thus, are the most fruitful (pun intended).
The flowers that blossom on these trees have got a fairly sweet aroma and are thus used in flower bouquets. They’re white or even green in color, plus some variation exists in between the female and male flower. Biologically speaking, cross pollination is essential for female trees, in order for them to bear fruits. The rambutan flowers help majorly in this by attracting the bees to their high quality nectar. Thus, without the flowers, there would be no fruit at all.
Rambutans, apart from tasting quite good, have several nutritional characteristics which are beneficial for our health. Here are some you probably didn’t know before.
15. Source of iron
Rambutans are highly rich iron. Iron is not only beneficial, but essential for the human body to function. Iron present in the hemoglobin is used by the human body to transport oxygen from the lungs to the different tissues. Deficiency of iron can cause illnesses like anemia which leads to severe fatigue and dizziness.
14. Decreases unwanted fat
Rambutans are highly effective in lessening the body fat content of the human body. This is because the fruit is high in fiber content (2 g per 100 g of fruit) and, at the same, low on calories. Moreover, it has high water content. Due to this, it decreased hunger episodes significantly. The seeds also help in weight reduction. In order to ingest rambutan seeds, it is advised to crush them and take them mixed with other foodstuff. Alternatively, they can be consumed raw as well.
13. Treatment of dysentery
The skin of the rambutan fruit can be used to treat dysentery. It can also be used to cure other chronic ailments like chronic fever. Some people also combine the fruits with other ingredients which greatly increases its efficiency in curing such ailments.
12. Helps in boosting energy
The fruit is rich in carbohydrate and protein content which helps give an instant energy boost when consumed. The high water content of the fruit also helps quench the thirst and bring back lost energy. It is highly suitable for runners and other sport players because of this property.
11. Generation of red and white blood cells
Of the many nutrients the fruit contains, it contains copper which is vital for the production of red and white blood cells in our body. The fruit also contains manganese which is essential for our body for the production of enzymes and their activation. Enzymes are necessary for carry out many functions in our body and often carry out essential biochemical essential in our body.
10. Strengthens bones
Another benefit of this fruits is that it helps in strengthening our bones. This is due to the fact that the fruit is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron. Healthier bones lead to stable growth and reduced chances of fractures and other bone diseases.
9. Makes skin better
Rambutan helps in hydrating your skin and making its soft and supple like you always wanted. This is due to the high water content that the fruit holds. The water helps in the hydration, helping keep the skin smooth and soft.
8. Helps in boosting immunity and prevent diseases
Rambutans are also high in vitamin C content. Technically speaking, if you ingest ten to twelve rambutan fruits, you would get 75-90 mg of ascorbic acid, which is more than double the amount that is advised in everyday consumption. The major benefit of vitamin C is that it provides increased immunity from infections (by helping strengthen our body’s defense mechanism). It serves as anti-oxidant, prevents cell damage and helps prevent diseased like scurvy. Vitamin C in Rambutan also helps in the absorption of minerals, iron and copper. Moreover, it protects the body from getting damaged from free radicals.
7. Eliminates free radicals
One of many compounds included in the skin of rambutan is Gallic acid. This particular substance behaves as a predator for free-radicals. The way it does this is by protecting the body from damage due to oxidation.
6. Helps in removing waste from the kidneys
Another highly beneficial function of this amazing fruit is that it assists in removing waste from our kidneys. This is done with the help of phosphorus present in rambutan. The phosphorus is also essential for the development, repair, and maintenance of tissues and body cells.
5. Treating common illnesses
Rambutan is also good for treating common illnesses like headache, thrush and, as mentioned before, dysentery. In order to relieve headaches, the leaves of the trees can be applied on the forehead as a paste . This process is supposed to calm the nerves and reduce the headache. An amalgamate of the bark of the tree can be used to treat thrush. A similar preparation of the roots of the tree can be used to treat fever. So, all in all, not just the fruits but every part of the rambutan tree is beneficial to us in some way or the other.
4. Helps in treating diabetes
The seeds of the rambutan fruit hold their own importance. When ingested, they can relieve the pain felt by diabetic patients, especially ones suffering from a specific condition known as ‘diabetes mellitus’.
3. Help in hair care
Rambutan helps in a huge way improving the health of your hair. A paste made from the leaves of trees is has been known to known to provide nutrition to the hair. This paste is made by taking some rambutan leaves, mashing them, adding some water and squeezing the extract. Many people experience a noticeable change in their hair quality in just a few weeks.
2. Improves sperm quality
Vitamin C, which the rambutan fruit is rich in, can also be very important for sperm development. The possible lack of vitamin C in males can result in restricted ability in fruitful reproduction. This condition can be improved by a remedy which requires the person to up their Vitamin C by about 500 mg for around a month. This has been known to enhance both the quality and quantity of sperm in many cases.
Rambutan fruit, as already discussed earlier, consists of anti-oxidant components. This is not very well known, but a study carried out by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on ‘Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Non-Edible Parts of Selected Tropical Fruits’ found out that rambutan can be effective against cancer. The skin and seeds and deeds of the fruit have been proved to be effective against different kinds of cancer.