7 Health Benefits Of Mangosteen, Nutrition, And How To Eat It

From weight loss to controlling debates, learn what else this fruit can help you with.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, RD
Written by Swathi Handoo, MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health
Fact-checked by Aparna Mallampalli, BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition  • 

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit predominantly found in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam and Thailand. It has a unique appearance and taste (1). But what are the benefits of mangosteen?

Traditionally, this fruit was used to treat kidney ailments, diabetes, high blood pressure, and skin conditions (2). So why have Western countries banned the use or sale of mangosteen? Keep reading to find out!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Mangosteen

What Is It?
A dark purple berry-like tropical fruit with white or yellowish pulp.

What Are Its Benefits?
It may help maintain blood glucose levels, prevent free radical damage, treat acne and microbial infections, and aid in weight loss.

Who Can Consume It?
Those with skin issues, high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance may consume mangosteen on the recommendation of their doctor.

How Often?
You can eat one whole fresh mangosteen daily.

If you are on blood thinners or heart-related medications, avoid mangosteen consumption to prevent drug reactions.

What Is Mangosteen?

Image: IStock

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit cultivated mainly in Southeast Asia. It is now grown in the tropical areas of East Indies, India, China, and Sri Lanka as well (1).

The mangosteen tree has deep green leaves and a dark purple berry-like fruit. The fruit has a 1½-inch thick rind enclosing its flesh (2).

Its flesh is so delicate that it melts in your mouth almost like ice cream! The fruit’s pulp is white or yellowish, with crimson veins. Mangosteen fruit produces a yellow latex-like juice that is uber-flavorful (1), (2).

protip_icon Trivia
Thailand is the top producer and exporter of mangosteen. This fruit can grow only in humid, tropical conditions.

For obvious reasons, locals enjoy this fruit. Mangosteen juice and brewed tea are also equally popular. Wondering why? Find out in the next section.

Why Is Mangosteen Popular?

Mangosteen is not only delicious but also extremely healthy, containing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Traditional medicine uses its pulp, juice, and rind to treat chronic inflammatory disorders (2).

Recent scientific studies suggest that this fruit possesses strong antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties (3).

The credit goes to its rich phytonutritionali  XPertaining to chemicals produced by plants that are rich in antioxidant properties and help lower the risk of cancer and stroke. profile.

The active compounds in mangosteen play a crucial role in battling cancer, diabetes, heart, and brain diseases.

protip_icon Trivia
Mangosteen is also called the “Queen of Fruits” due to its unique sweet-sour flavor.

To know how mangosteen treats such conditions, keep reading.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Mangosteen?

Mangosteen is effective against inflammatory conditions like diabetes, constipation, skin diseases, and potentially arthritis. Its antioxidant activity may help fight cancer.

1. Controls Diabetes

Oxidative stress and insulin resistance can cause diabetes. Hyperglycemia (increased blood glucose levels) is often the result of free radical damage. Free radicals are active chemical ions that interfere with the functionality of your organs – in this case, the pancreas (4).

Antioxidants counter-attack free radicals to bring down blood sugar. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods like mangosteen can boost the antioxidant levels in your body.

Mangosteen contains phytochemicals, including xanthones and mangostins. These are potent antioxidants that can neutralize free radical activity. Mice studies suggest that mangostins and xanthones can bring down fasting blood glucose levels (4), (5).

They can also improve the health of insulin-producing pancreatic cells (β-cells of the islets of Langerhans) in diabetic mice. Therefore, mangosteen is a promising antidiabetic and anti-hyperglycemic agenti  XAgents that help lower blood sugar levels and aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. (4), (5).

2. Treats Acne And Microbial Infections

Image: IStock

Extracts of this tropical fruit possess excellent antimicrobial properties. Bacterial strains, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Propionibacteriumi  XBacterium found in sebaceous glands in the skin and hair follicles that leads to acne formation. acnes, and Bacillus subtilis, are susceptible to mangosteen phytochemicals (6), (7).

Mangosteen xanthones – mangostin, gartanin, and isomangostin – can reduce the inflammation caused by Propionibacterium acnes infection, which is commonly known as acne (6).

In a study conducted in Thailand, patients with acne applied mangosteen fruit rind extract on their face for 12 weeks. Mangosteen fruit rind extract showed about 67% reduction of comedonal skin-colored bumps, inflammatory lesions, and scars in these subjects (8).

The xanthones in this fruit also inhibit fungi from Epidermophytoni  XA type of fungus that can lead to skin and nail infections and cause itching, skin rashes, scaling, and hair loss. , Alternaria, Mucor, Rhizopus, and Aspergillus species (6).

Did You Know?

Some Malaysian hotels don’t allow mangosteens in their suites. Why?

Mangosteen oozes a thick, dark purple juice when you cut it open. This juice stains fabric and floors.

To avoid such stains on their upholstery and belongings, hotels restrict mangosteen on their premises.

3. Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

The principle bioactive compound in mangosteen fruit, alpha-mangostin, has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It inhibits the secretion of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers in your body (9).

Alpha-mangostin can interact with the genes producing these compounds (such as interleukins and nitric oxide) in your body and control the severity of chronic inflammatory diseases (9).

Mangosteen also has strong anti-allergy effects. You can apply mangosteen-based products or extracts topically to control eczema. Eating this fruit may also help in reducing the severity of heart and lung diseases. It is also effective against diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, chronic ulcers, and neurodegenerative conditions (3), (6).

4. May Prevent Cancer

Mangosteen xanthones have a variety of biological activities. The most studied property is its anticancer effect. Alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, and gamma-mangostin were effective on various human cancer cells (10).

These xanthones have been proven to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancerous cells. They have also shown preventive effects against breast, prostate, and colon cancers in laboratory experiments (11), (12).

Mangosteen xanthones employ several cell signaling pathways to stop cancer progression. However, they need in-depth research to be applied to humans. It is best to observe caution before consuming mangosteen products, especially if you are battling cancer (11), (13).

5. Helps In Weight Loss

Image: IStock

The production of pro-inflammatory compounds increases with an increase in fat deposition. These compounds cause collateral and chronic damage to vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys, brain, lungs, and liver (5), (14).

East Asian medicine used native fruits like mangosteen to treat obesity and related conditions. The active molecules in it, like alpha-mangostin, inhibit the pancreatic enzymes that are responsible for fat accumulation (5).

Various clinical trials investigated the role of mangosteen in weight loss and inflammation. Along with decreasing total cholesterol and LDL levels, mangosteen extracts may also promote HDL (good cholesterol) levels in your body (5), (14).

6. Makes Skin Look Younger And Healthier

Image: IStock

A build-up of free radicals in your accelerates aging. High level of oxidative stress affects most of your body’s organs, including your skin. Your skin starts to show symptoms of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation (15).

Having a diet rich in antioxidants can maintain the appearance of your skin to an extent and helps maintain skin health. Fruits like mangosteen have a strong antioxidant profile. Their active phytochemicals, such as xanthones, scavenge the free radicals from the skin cells (15), (16).

Mangosteen xanthones inhibit the accumulation of collagen-inhibitory compounds (like pentosidine) in your skin. This allows ample collagen to boost the elasticity and moisture-holding capacity of your skin (16).

7. Regulates Blood Pressure

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of mangosteen may help in regulating blood pressure. It contains ample amounts of potassium that are crucial for controlling heart rate (17).

The xanthones in this tropical fruit also demonstrate cardioprotective effects. They fight free radicals and cholesterol accumulation in blood vessels (18).

The antioxidant property of xanthones can bring down the risk of atherosclerosisi  XThe buildup of plaque in the artery walls that narrows them and possibly leads to a heart attack. and ischemic heart attack. This is why having mangosteen may offer protection from hypertension and bleeding disorders (18). hence reducing the probability of heart disease.

8. A Potent Antioxidant

The pericarp, flesh, and peel of mangosteen contain varying amounts of xanthones. These biomolecules are potent antioxidants. Protocatechuic acid, coumaric acid, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid are the most abundant phenolic acids found in mangosteen peel (19), (15).

Anthocyanins, proanthocyanidinsi  XA group of chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts that help improve vision and joint flexibility. , epicatechin, xanthones, cyanidin-3-sophoroside, and cyanidin-3-glucoside are few of the flavonoids identified in it (15).

Therefore, mangosteen (and its extracts) is used extensively in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. The antioxidants in it are responsible for its analgesic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, and antiobesity effects of mangosteen fruit (15).

So, these are the amazing mangosteen benefits. But does mangosteen only contain xanthones? Are there no other nutrients in it?

No! Like any other exotic fruit, mangosteen has excellent nutritional value. Find out more details in the following section!

Nutrition Details of Mangosteen

NutrientsUnit1 Value per 100g1.0 cup, drained 196g1.0 cup, 216g
Total lipid (fat)g0.581.141.25
Carbohydrate, by differenceg17.9135.1038.69
Fiber, total dietaryg1.83.53.9
Calcium, Camg122426
Iron, Femg0.300.590.65
Magnesium, Mgmg132528
Phosphorus, Pmg81617
Potassium, Kmg4894104
Sodium, Namg71415
Zinc, Znmg0.210.410.45
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg2.95.76.3
Vitamin B-6mg0.0180.0350.039
Folate, DFEµg316167
Vitamin B-12µg0.000.000.00
Vitamin A, RAEµg244
Vitamin A, IUIU356976
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)µg0.00.00.0
Vitamin DIU000

That’s the profile of canned mangosteen.

Eating whole fresh mangosteens provides impressive phytonutrition. The flesh, pericarp, and skin of mangosteen contain xanthones, anthocyanins, and several flavonoids. It also contains phenolic acids like caffeic acid and ferulic acid.

All these active molecules in mangosteen work cumulatively to bring about its health benefits.

Now, let’s find out how to enjoy this fruit!

How To Eat Mangosteen

Image: IStock

The mangosteen fruit is as big as a tennis ball. It has a beautiful dark violet peel. It has a firm and fibrous shell before it ripens. On ripening, it becomes soft and almost mushy.

To open a mangosteen, you need to get rid of its shell with a sharp knife.

Hold the mangosteen in both hands and try to pry it open gently with your thumbs.

Once the rind cracks, you should be able to pull the halves apart easily.

Be careful when you are opening the fruit. Its purple juice may stain your clothes or skin.

Inside, you will find its creamy white pulp arranged in equal segments. This part of the fruit is soft, sweet, and sour, delicious, and heavenly!

Why Is Mangosteen Banned?

Mangosteen is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. It attracts several species of Mediterranean fruit flies.

Due to fear of losing local crops to these fruit flies, Western countries (in North America and Europe) banned the entry of this fruit.

However, disinfected mangosteens are now being sold in American markets. Irradiating mangosteens kills the fruit flies without affecting their viability and safety.

Vendors from the East are now able to share this piece of paradise with the West by adhering to the strict guidelines laid by the local governments.

You can relish this exotic fruit in different ways. The most preferred preparation is mangosteen juice.

Want to know how to make it?

Scroll down!

How To Make Mangosteen Juice And Tea

Mangosteen juice is a simple and flavorful drink enjoyed by locals and tourists in Southeast Asia. All you need to make it is mangosteen flesh. Here’s how you can make it!

Simple And Quick Mangosteen Juice

Image: IStock
What You Need
  • Mangosteen fruits
  • Other fruits of your choice
  • Sharp knife
  • Electric juice blender/juicer
  • Honey or sweetener (optional)
  • Milk or water (for consistency)
  • Ice cubes or crushed ice (optional)
  • Apron (to avoid staining your clothes)
Let’s Make It!
  1. Wash the fresh mangosteens thoroughly by running them under water.
  2. Get rid of the firm shells with the help of a sharp knife.
  3. Carefully cut through the rind. Beware of staining your clothes!
  4. Scoop out the white flesh from within.
  5. To a blender, add the mangosteen flesh, honey, and other fruits of your choice.
  6. Add milk (for a smoothie) or water to adjust the consistency. Blend until you get a smooth juice.
  7. Pour the juice into serving glasses.
  8. You can top the juice with crushed ice or ice cubes for a refreshing twist.

And tThere you go – your homemade mangosteen juice is done and waiting to refresh you!

This fruit’s flesh is already mildly sweet. Taste the raw juice before adding honey/sweetener.

Another way of having mangosteen is by brewing its tea.

Tasty And Healthy Mangosteen Tea

What You Need
  • Mangosteen fruit or powder
  • Sharp knife
  • Boiling pot/teapot
  • Food processor or dehydrator
  • Drinking water
  • Sugar/sweetener (optional)
Let’s Make It!
  1. Wash the fresh mangosteen fruit thoroughly under running water.
  2. Get rid of the firm shell with a sharp knife.
  3. Cut through the rind carefully. Don’t stain your clothes!
  4. Pull the skin apart using both your hands to separate the inner flesh from the purple rind.
  5. If you want to go the traditional way, you can sun-dry these rinds. You can also use a food dehydrator or processor to speed up this step.
  6. Collect the dried rind pieces and add to a pot of boiling water to purée them. You can also use a food processor for this step
  7. Turn off the heat to cool the rind purée.
  8. You can also use a food processor for this stepto make the rind-purée
  9. To a teapot, add the required amount of water and bring it to a boil.
  10. Add the puréed rind and sugar/sweetener. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and let it steep.
  12. Add juices/spices of your choice (optional).
  13. Serve it warm or hot!

If you don’t like tea and juice, you can try having mangosteen extract capsules. This way, you won’t miss out on your daily fruit intake too!

But is it safe to have mangosteen every day? Will it trigger any side effects?

Find out in the next section.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Mangosteen?

Recent scientific literature claims that there are no side effects of having mangosteen. However, there is insufficient evidence for the same (16).

When used as a weight-loss supplement, mangosteen supplements did not cause any adverse effects. They only brought down body weight and cholesterol levels (20).

But a study reports drug interactions with its extracts. A few Thai fruits, including mangosteen, were able to modify the liver enzymes that are involved in metabolizing certain drugs (21).

If you are on blood thinners or heart-related medications, observe caution. You may need to avoid mangosteen if advised (21).

Researchers are also not sure about the safety of mangosteen during pregnancy or lactation.

However, these were small-scale and short-term studies.

The safety of mangosteen can only be established based on more data collected over an extended period.

In any case, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider about the safety of mangosteen.

Infographic: How To Eat Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a tropical edible fruit with a mild flavor. It is available as fresh, frozen, or canned fruit and is easy to eat. It can be eaten raw or added to smoothies, salads, or even in desserts or savory dishes. Click on the infographic below to learn more about mangosteen.

how to eat mangosteen (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Mangosteen is a Southeast Asian dark purple tropical fruit featured in many dishes. This exotic fruit is used in traditional medicine to treat many chronic inflammatory disorders, boost the immune system, and improve digestion. The benefits of mangosteen can be attributed to its rich phytonutrient content. It may help manage diabetes, aid in weight loss, increase energy levels, and regulate blood pressure. In addition, its natural antibacterial properties and the broad range of antioxidants make it beneficial for your skin. However, excessive consumption may interfere with blood thinners or medications for heart problems. Since the safety standards have not been determined, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before consuming mangosteen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mangosteen a Superfood?

Mangosteen is packed with powerful antioxidants that help treat many ailments. The presence of a wide variety of nutrients makes mangosteen a superfood.

How many mangosteens can I eat in a day?

There is no specific recommended dosage of mangosteen. However, intake of mangosteen two to three times a day is considered safe.

How does the nutrient content of mangosteen vary depending on its ripeness and preparation method?

Much anecdotal evidence suggests that unripe mangosteen has lower antioxidant levels than the ripe fruit, especially xanthones (known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties). In addition, the fresh fruit contains more nutrients than its juice or supplements, as the juicing process may remove fiber and other nutrients. Moreover, the number of nutrients may vary in the form of supplements.

Can I boil mangosteen skin and drink it?

There is no scientific evidence on the safety of consuming boiled mangosteen skin. Hence, it is recommended to consult your doctor before drinking it to avoid its adverse reactions.

Is mangosteen good for uric acid?

From one animal study, an extract of mangosteen fruit showed a significant uric acid-lowering effect in rats (22). However, more human studies are needed to understand this benefit of mangosteen.

Can mangosteen be used in cooking or baking?

Yes. Mangosteen can be used in baking and cooking, though most people prefer to eat it raw. The fruit’s sweet and tart flavor may provide a range of foods with a distinctive taste.


Key Takeaways

  • Mangosteen primarily grows in Vietnam and Thailand and has years of reputation as a remedy for various health issues.
  • Mangosteen extracts have powerful antimicrobial properties that can lessen acne inflammation.
  • It can also treat inflammation, obesity, and weight loss.
  • The antioxidant content of mangosteen aids in improving your skin’s elasticity and ability to retain moisture.

Discover the amazing health benefits and nutrient facts of the exotic mangosteen fruit! Check out this video and learn how this superfood can help you stay healthy and fit.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.
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