Native to Southeast Asia, Rambutan is a medium-sized edible fruit that belongs to the family Sapindaceae. Rambutan is closely related to other tropical fruits such as longan, lychee pulasan, and mamoncillo. The Rambutan is cultivated in other tropical areas as well, such as southern Mexico, Africa, Sri Lanka Philippines, Panama, India, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Although these fruits have a short shelf-life, they carry amazing benefits for both beauty and health. Consuming Rambutan not only helps your kidney but eyes and other organs as well.
Health and Beauty Benefits of Rambutan
1. Nutrients and Antioxidants
The Rambutan fruit is known for its nutritional and antioxidant content. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and several other beneficial plant compounds. Perhaps the best thing about the rambutan fruit is its flesh. It contains around1.3-2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces. This is somewhat a similar amount to what you get in oranges, apples, or pears.
Furthermore, it is also rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for your body as it helps absorb dietary iron more efficiently. Moreover, Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, which helps protect both the body and its cells against any kind of damage. Therefore, if you consume 5-6 rambutans, it will help you meet 50% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Rambutan also features copper, which plays a pivotal role in the proper growth and maintenance of various cells, such as the ones in your heart, brain, and bones. Additionally, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron are included as well that are required by your body for normal operation and carrying out daily activities. If you consume 3.5 ounces of rambutan food, your body will receive 20% of the daily copper needs along with several other important nutrients.
Rambutan peel and seeds also contain beneficial compounds. Even though people tend to eat them, but neither are considered edible. In some cases, it has been stated that they may be toxic to humans. However, there is one way to reduce these effects, and that is roasting them. People belonging to different cultures do consume them that way.
2. Provides a boost to your body
Rambutans consist of proteins and carbohydrates. Such compounds provide energy to your body. Proteins are crucial for spinal posture, muscle development and growth as well. If your body lacks essential compounds such as proteins and carbohydrates, it can be worn out easily. You will feel more tired and fatigued. This deficiency will prevent you from carrying out your daily chores regularly.
3. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Since rambutan fruit consists of a sufficient amount of fiber, it may help with healthy digestion. Moreover, more than half of the fiber included is indigestible, which means that it will pass through your body without being processed. Such insoluble fibers help with intestinal transit, ultimately reducing the chances of constipation. While one half is insoluble, the other is. Soluble fiber is responsible for providing benefits to bacteria in the gut.
4. Helps with weight loss
Similar to several other fruits, Rambutan helps with preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss as well. Featuring around 75 calories with 1.3-2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces, the calories featured in Rambutan are relatively low, considering the amount of fiber it consists of.
This helps in making you feel full longer without having to munch on snacks every now and then. This is particularly important for people who have a habit of overeating. Finally, the soluble fiber in Rambutan develops a gel-like structure in your stomach. This reduces the rate of digestion and absorption of nutrients, leading to a feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.
5. Helps with fighting infection
The rambutan fruit helps strengthen the immune system, which is solely responsible for protecting your body against intruders, which are, in this case, potentially harmful cells. To begin with, as already mentioned, it contains vitamin C, which helps with the production of white blood cells, helping your body fight with infections. If your immune system does not get enough vitamin C, it will weaken it, leaving you open to harmful bacteria and viruses. Back in the day, the rambutan peel was used to treat and fight infections. Several studies suggest the fact that it might protect your body against bacterial infections and viruses.
6. Improves Eye Health
Studies have stated that vitamin A deficiency is usually related to eye problems. The deficiency may result in temporary problems of the eyes, but if left ignored, it could lead to serious complications. On the one hand, the intake of vitamin C is important; on the other, vitamin A is essential. If you happen to consume vitamin A, there is a high probability that you end up with a clear vision and healthy eyes.
7. Helps with bad cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is known to be a massive threat to the body, especially the heart. In many cases, it can often lead to hazardous ailments, leading to an early death. LDL happens to be a complete antithesis of HDL, which is good cholesterol. Even though medical technology has progressed to the point where heart diseases are treatable, but it does not mean that severe cases are treatable. Therefore, consuming rambutans helps you stay safe by preventing the accumulation of bad cholesterol.
8. Prevents Cancer
Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases on the planet. However, we can prevent and protect ourselves from such harmful chemicals by controlling the types of food we consume. By consuming rambutans, one can help with the prevention of cancer. Since there are many antioxidants present in rambutans, their intake can help fight cancer.
9. Cleaning Kidneys
Kidneys are designed to eliminate waste and filter blood from our bodies, which are then exited through urine. Kidney complications, such as kidney stones and failures, can lead to painful suffering and death. Therefore, you must care for your kidneys as it helps determine your health in the future. Sometimes specific residues may be left inside the kidneys, leading to accumulation and risk of failing. In such cases, Rambutans are there to help your kidney get rid of such accumulations and cleanse them at the same time. Furthermore, it contains phosphorus that detoxifies the toxins left inside the kidneys.
10. Rejuvenates Skin
Believe it or not, one of the best benefits offered by Rambutan is skin rejuvenation. Since the skin itself is a very delicate organ, you always need to be careful with that. Luckily, rambutans are there to help as well. You will find proteins and other essential nutrients that will help replenish your skin. Proteins help replace the dead skills on the surface with new ones, making your skin both fresh and healthy.
Things to consider when buying Rambutan
When purchasing rambutans, the first thing you should be making sure is that it is as red as possible. The more vivid red, the better. You will observe that some rambutans are still attached to the branch, highlighting the fact that they have been freshly picked. However, if you are living in Southeast Asia, your rambutans will not come that way, but you need not worry.
Simply pick the ones that have a firm flesh and hair spikes featuring dark color and fresh look.
In some cases, you shall find that the end of the hairy spikes is green and fine. In fact, most rambutans from the Southern province of Thai feature red shells with greenish spikes until they are fully ripe.
Once rambutans have been taken off from the branches, they will not last for more than two weeks. Therefore, it is advised that you consume them fresh. Furthermore, you can store them at room temperature for a couple of days. If you wish to refrigerate them, it will make them last a week or so, but they will lose their aroma. So, it is better that you wrap them properly in a paper towel or a perforated plastic bag.
How else can you use Rambutan?
We have already discussed the benefits, the Rambutan fruit offers, but that’s a lot more. Rambutans have a lot to offer through their leaves and seeds, which needs to be discussed.
The leaves of Rambutan contain juices with healing properties. They possess analgesic properties, meaning that they act as an effective painkiller. It has been stated that drinking the juice helps relax the nerve centers and provides relief from pain.
Furthermore, the juice from the leaves is great for scalp health as well. It may help you get rid of frizzy hair, which is a common problem in a lot of people. Simply squeeze the juice out from the leaves and apply directly on your scalp and hair. Allow it to remain there for at least an hour and then rinse. Repeat the process at least three times a week.
Although the seeds of Rambutan feature beneficial properties, it is suggested that you never consume them raw. They contain saponins, which are compounds considered to be extremely poisonous. On the other hand, the seeds are rich in proteins and carbs as well. You can add them to your snacks. They consist of antioxidant properties, which can help remove blemishes from your skin. To use it effectively, simply crush them, make a fine paste, and then apply.
The peel of Rambutan consists of gallic acid and flavonoids. These contain anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. You can simply wash them before consuming them raw. Plus, do not be worried about the spines; they are soft and tender even though they may look scary at first. Additionally, the peel can cure fever and dysentery as well. You can simply boil them and extract the liquid. Drink it twice or thrice a day.
How to grow Rambutan?
Rambutans can grow in tropical to semi-tropical environments. They thrive in temperatures ranging between 71-86 degrees F. If the temperature happens to drop below 50 for a few days, note that it will kill these heat lovers. Therefore, rambutan trees are best grown in warm regions. You can grow them in a greenhouse or sunroom as well.
The most important thing to consider when growing a rambutan tree is the temperature. If you are growing them in locations that are not that warm, then you need to prepare yourself to tackle sudden changes in temperature. Rambutan trees can be grown from seedling or seed, which you can purchase online or buy from your local market. The seed you purchase must be fresh, less than a week old, and all the pulp should be cleaned from it.
In order to grow Rambutan from seed, place the seeds in a small pot with drainage holes and organic soil mixed with sand and organic compost. Now, place the seed in the dirt and lightly cover it with soil. It shall take around 11-22 days for the seed to germinate. Furthermore, it will take around two to three years before the tree can be transplanted outdoors.
Rambutans are power-packed fruits, but their availability is limited. You will rarely find these in cooler regions as they thrive in warm areas. However, you can find them canned and can be consumed as snacks. If you live in a country that experiences warm temperatures throughout the year, you can grow a rambutan tree on your own as well.
Furthermore, considering the nutrients and vitamins it packs, people with heart ailments, constipation, and blood pressure problems can consume it. However, it should be remembered that rambutans do not last long and will need to be consumed as soon as possible until they are fresh.