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Rambutan Fruit: Health, Beauty, And Medicinal Benefits

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If you’re an avid fruit lover and are tired of seeing the same old apples and bananas and watermelons in your salads, you may want to look this fruit up.

The rambutan finds its way into internet listings of some of the most exotic fruits on this planet.
You’ve probably even spotted this furry strawberry look-alike at the local fruit monger’s, and it may have come across as a little intimidating with its hairy exterior. Don’t let that put you off.

Give this fruit a chance and your taste buds will be forever grateful to you, for inside that scary exterior lies a tender, fleshy fruit that’s so delicious, it melts in your mouth. It tastes almost like a grape, sweet with a hint of sour.

The rambutan may have taken the backseat for all these years, but it’s getting onto everyone’s health radar because of the numerous benefits it has to offer.

1. Health Benefits Of Rambutan Fruit

Rambutan fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals

Be it the seeds, the fruit, or even the leaves – every part of rambutan can be used to solve a plethora of health, skin, and hair ailments.

i. Rich Source Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vital to strengthen your body’s immune system so that it can fight free, harmful radicals. It also aids in reducing cell inflammation and also increases the absorption of iron which is important for good blood health. With its high content of collagen-forming compounds, vitamin C also plays an important role in building and repairing of skin tissue, bones, and joints.

It is always good to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C on a daily basis because your body is unable to store it for future use. A single rambutan fruit is decently high in vitamin C content; 100 gms of rambutan contains approximately 4.9 mg of vitamin C. The daily vitamin C requirement for the average adult is about 75–90 mg, and eating about 10 to 12 rambutans every day will deliver the quantity of vitamin C that is needed by your body.1

ii. Boosts Energy

Rambutan is a rich source of carbohydrates and proteins that your body uses to convert into energy. Rambutan fruit also has a high water content, which reduces your thirst levels, thereby keeping you from feeling dehydrated. In this way, it helps improve your energy levels when they are low.

iii. Aids In Weight Loss

The rambutan fruit is high in fiber content (about 2 gms per 100 gms of fruit) and at the same time very low in calorie content. This property, along with the high water content of the fruit, helps keep frequent hunger pangs at bay so that you don’t feel the need to snack on junk food. This way, eating rambutan on a regular basis can help in losing weight.

iv. Reduces Constipation

The higher fiber content in rambutan helps improve bowel movement for good digestion, thereby lowering the risk of indigestion and constipation problems.

v. Generation Of Red And White Blood Cells

Rambutan fruit contains a very high amount of iron and copper. Both these minerals play a key role in the production of red and white blood cells. Copper helps your body utilize iron to produce hemoglobin so that it can manufacture more red and white blood cells that are essential for a healthy immune system.

vi. Prevents Anemia

An appropriate level of iron in your blood helps maintain a healthy amount of oxygen in your blood to prevent you from feeling dizzy and tired. Rambutan is a high source of iron which contributes to maintaining healthy oxygen-rich blood for your body, and also lowers your risk of anemia, a condition that occurs because of iron deficiency in the blood.

vii. Removes Waste From Kidneys

Phosphorus is an essential mineral that helps the kidneys filter out waste matter effectively. Eating rambutan fruit which is high in phosphorus content fulfills about 2 to 6% of the daily recommended intake for phosphorus.2

viii. Strengthens Bones

Ingesting rambutan contributes healthy amounts of calcium, iron, and phosphorus to your body. When these elements are broken down, your body utilizes them to repair and form strong bones, as well as ensure their stable growth. This way, it reduces the odds of fractures and bone diseases.

ix. Antiseptic Properties

Rambutan comes with an impressive set of antiseptic qualities which protects the body against various infections. It can help cure wounds quickly enough so that there is no unhealthy pus formation, and can also effectively relieve skin itching and inflammation caused by insect bites.

x. Kill Parasites

Rambutan fruit has long been known as an anti-parasitic fruit for its high saponin content. Regular consumption of this fruit helps to kill intestinal parasites and keeps your gut healthy to promote good digestion.

xi. Maintaining Sperm Health

Healthy amounts of vitamin C has been linked to healthy sperm development. It is possible that a deficiency in vitamin C in males may bring down the chances of conceiving children. For good sperm health, a monthly vitamin C intake of 500 milligrams is recommended. Therefore, eating rambutan fruit which contains good amounts of vitamin C can greatly help to enhance the quality and quantity of sperm.

2. Health Benefits Of Rambutan Leaves

The rambutan leaf is an analgesic, aphrodisiac, and promotes hair health

The leaves of the rambutan fruit contain healing juices that can do wonders for your health.

i. Analgesic

Rambutan leaf is known as an effective painkiller in traditional Chinese medicine. Although it is difficult to find research to back this claim, is has been found that the family Sapindaceae, to which the Rambutan belongs, have plants whose roots and fruits are widely used as natural remedies to fight pain.3 Drinking the juice of rambutan leaves works on your nerve centers to push the brain into interpreting the changing perception of “pain”.

ii. Aphrodisiac

The leaf of the rambutan is known to be an effective aphrodisiac. Boiling the leaves in water and drinking it can help in stimulating the hormones responsible for increasing sexual libido.

iii. Prevents Graying

Hair grays due to the lower content of melanin in the hair. Sometimes, old melanocyte cells are not able to guarantee 100% efficacy in producing hair melanin which is responsible for hair color. Rambutan leaves have the ability to animate dead hair pigment, which slows down the graying process of your hair.

  • Rinse a few leaves of rambutan.
  • Mash these leaves until they’re all broken up.
  • Pour a little water to these mashed leaves.
  • Rub this juice into your scalp and your hair regularly after bathing.

iv. Promotes Good Scalp Health

An unhealthy scalp gives rise to unhealthy hair and hair loss. Rubbing the juice from Rambutan leaves into your scalp greatly helps in curing dandruff, ulcers, and relieving itchiness. This will keep your scalp clean and healthy and will help you grow hair that’s smooth, strong, and shiny.

3. Health Benefits Of Rambutan Seeds

Rambutan seeds make for healthy snacks, and have skin-softening and anti-diabetic properties

Rambutan fruit seeds found their way into ancient texts many years ago, for their medicinal properties and use.

i. Healthy Snack

Rambutan seeds are full of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. When boiled or roasted, rambutan seeds can make for a snack that’s both delicious and healthy.

Note: Do not ever eat rambutan seeds raw, for they contain poisonous compounds such as saponin. Roasting and boiling render the saponin compound ineffective, thus making these seeds safe for consumption.

ii. Enhances Skin Texture

The high water content in rambutan fruit keeps your skin hydrated, keeping it smooth, soft, and supple. The seeds also have great oxidative properties which help remove blemishes and leave you with glowing, youthful skin.

Mash the seeds of a few rambutans into a fine paste and apply it on your skin daily for a clearer complexion devoid of patches or dark spots.

ii. Anti-Diabetic

The seeds of the rambutan fruit are anti-diabetic in nature, for they help maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level. The following concoction can greatly help diabetics keep their sugar levels in check, as well as cure the typical pain experienced by patients with diabetes mellitus.

  • Take a few rambutan seeds and chop them into tiny pieces.
  • Allow them to dry in the sun for a few days.
  • Now grind these seeds into a fine powder.
  • Mix a little of this powder in a glass of warm water and drink up.

4. Rambutan Fruit Peel

Rambutan fruit peels are anti-cancerous and can cure dysentery and fever

i. Anti-Cancer Properties

The outer skin that encases the rambutan fruit contains flavonoids and gallic acid that are anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory in nature.4 They help to fight cholesterol and eliminate free radicals. Hence, eating rambutan on a regular basis will help ward off carcinogenic substances from entering your body.This section contains substances called flavonoids.

Rambutan fruit peels can be washed properly and eaten raw. The spines may look frightening, but if you touch them, you’ll find out how soft they are.

ii. Cure For Dysentery And Fever

Dysentery is a very serious disease that impacts your bowel movements. It gives you the urge to go to the bathroom very frequently and as a result, makes you feel very weak. Rambutan skin has anti-parasitic properties that help kill harmful bacteria and relieves your stomach.

Follow the instructions below to prepare a concoction for your stomach.

  • Peel a rambutan and cut the skin into small pieces.
  • Toss these into a pot, add water and wait till it starts boiling.
  • Let it simmer until the pot has half of the original content of water. Let it cool and strain so that you’re only left with the water.
  • Drink this water twice or thrice a day.

This same preparation is can be used to cure severe fevers.

5. Rambutan Bark

Rambutan bark can relieve canker sores

Although there is no research to confirm this claim, rambutan bark was recognized by traditional medicine for its astringent properties to heal canker sores that can be very painful.

Rambutan For Pregnancy

Rambutan fruit helps relieve dizziness, nausea, and itchy skin in pregnant women

When eaten in controlled amounts, the rambutan fruit can be quite useful for pregnant women.

  • The sweet taste of rambutan fruit can help relieve nausea and dizziness that so many women face during their pregnancy.
  • Since rambutan fruit is high in iron content, it helps fight fatigue and dizziness during pregnancy and also your hemoglobin at a healthy level.
  • A lot of expecting mothers experience discomfort due to itchy skin. Rambutan fruit has a high content of vitamin E which helps keep skin nourished and helps relieve itchiness.

Note: Like other plant-based traditional remedies, there is a lack of scientific evidence to back certain claims. It is, therefore, best to first consult your doctor before you go ahead and eat this fruit to address your health concerns. He may be able to advise you on the appropriate dosage. Also, speak to a certified herbalist before using the fruit or any part of it for medicinal purposes.

References   [ + ]

1, 2. Wall, Marisa M. “Ascorbic acid and mineral composition of longan (Dimocarpus longan), lychee (Litchi chinensis) and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) cultivars grown in Hawaii.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19, no. 6 (2006): 655-663.
3. Díaz, Martina, and Carmen Rossini. Bioactive natural products from Sapindaceae deterrent and toxic metabolites against insects. INTECH Open Access Publisher, 2012.
4. Wikantyasning, Erindyah Retno, and Riyan Eko Hartanto. “Antioxidant Activity of Nanoemulsion Gel of Rambutan Fruit Peel Extracts (Nephelium lappaceum L.) Using Dpph and FTC Method.” (2016).
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