Amazing benefits of Rambutan | Daily News


Amazing benefits of Rambutan

By the end of the 17th century, the world was a hostile place with battles erupting all over the world. The people of Sri Lanka were eager to oust the Portuguese. Sri Lanka’s colonial history was certainly bloody. It is believed that the Portuguese brought the first Rambutan seeds to Sri Lanka from Malaysia. According to The Food of Sri Lanka by Douglas Bullis and Wendy Hutton, the Dutch was another source. Dutch Malacca (1641–1825) was the longest period that Malacca was under foreign control. The book points to the Dutch who brought a number of Malays to Sri Lanka who then introduced Rambutan, Mangosteen and Durian. Green Thumbs speaks to Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Dravyaguna Vignana, Senior Lecturer, Dr. S. D. Hapuarachchi on our last article on Rambutan.

Around the 13th to 15th centuries, Arab traders, who played a major role in Indian Ocean trade, introduced rambutan into Zanzibar and Pemba of East Africa. Subsequently, the plant spread to tropical Americas, planted in the coastal lowlands of Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and Cuba. In 1912, rambutan was introduced to the Philippines from Indonesia.

Last week, Green Thumbs provided readers with the health benefits of Rambutan. In this article we go in depth, in other words provide the reader with the details of these health benefits. Here, Dr. Hapuarachchi provides our readers with knowledge known to medical practitioners.

“Rambutan is also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that helps your body absorb dietary iron more easily. This vitamin also acts as an antioxidant, protecting your body’s cells against damage. Eating 5–6 rambutan fruit will meet 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Rambutan also contains a good amount of copper, which plays a role in the proper growth and maintenance of various cells, including those of your bones, brain and heart,” said Hapuarachchi.

It offers smaller amounts of manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc as well. Eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) will meet 20 percent of your daily copper needs.

“Rambutan may contribute to a healthy digestion due to its fiber content. About half of the fiber in its flesh is insoluble, which means that it passes through your gut undigested. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and helps speed up intestinal transit, thus reducing your likelihood of constipation. The other half of the fiber is soluble. Soluble fiber provides food for your beneficial gut bacteria. In turn, these friendly bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate, propionate and butyrate, which feed the cells of your gut,” stated Hapuarachchi.

Just like most fruits, rambutan may prevent weight gain and promote weight loss over time. At around 75 calories and 1.3–2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, it’s relatively low in calories for the amount of fiber it provides. This can help keep you fuller for longer, which may reduce your likelihood of overeating and promote weight loss over time.

“It’s rich in vitamin C, which may encourage the production of the white blood cells your body needs to fight infection. Getting too little vitamin C in your diet can weaken your immune system, leaving you more prone to infections. The Vitamin C contained in Rambutans acts as a natural antioxidant,” said Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi added that traditional medicinal uses include boosting energy, relieving anemia, reducing pain and keeping the skin supple and young. According to some people, all of the rambutan plant can be used, from the root to the skin of the fruit, the seed and leaves to relieve such ailments as dysentery, diabetes, fever, and hair loss. Though some people eat the peel and seed, they’re generally considered inedible. It may be best to avoid eating the seed altogether until scientific research says otherwise. Its peel and seeds may be toxic when eaten raw or in very large amounts.

Rambutan benefits include cure for small ailments like dry lips, improves the health of the eyes, prevention of anemia, reduces bad cholesterol, prevents cancer, cleans kidneys, is an immunity booster, lowers blood pressure, a cure for diarrhea, prevents constipation, rejuvenates skin, and makes hair healthy.

“Rambutan is adapted to warm tropical climates, around 22–30 °C, and is sensitive to temperatures below 10 °C. It is grown commercially within 12–15° of the equator. The tree grows well at elevations up to 500 m (1,600 ft) above sea level, and does best in deep soil, clay loam or sandy loam rich in organic matter, and thrive on hilly terrain as they require good drainage,” added Hapuarachchi.



(Outlined by Dr. Hapuarachchi for the Expert Chef)

* 1 tsp. ground turmeric

* 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

* 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn

* 3 red Thai chiles, stemmed

* 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed, fibrous outer layers removed, and inner core thinly sliced

* One 2-inch piece galangal root, peeled and thinly sliced

* 8 rambutan

* 2 tbsp. peanut oil

* 1⁄2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes

* 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

* 2 1⁄2 cups coconut milk

* 2 cups chicken stock

* 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced on a bias

* 1 tbsp. fish sauce

* 2 tsp. palm sugar or light brown sugar

* Cilantro leaves, to garnish

* Lime wedges, for serving

* Cooked white rice, for serving


Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, lime leaves, chiles, lemongrass, and galangal with the turmeric until a coarse curry paste is formed. Using a small paring knife, halve the rambutans and peel away their outer shell. Remove the soft flesh from the center nut, avoiding the papery skin that surrounds it, and place the flesh in a bowl.

In a 6-qt. saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high. Add the pineapple, and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, for about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pineapple to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and then add the onions. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, for 4 minutes. Add the curry paste, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

Pour in the coconut milk and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken, and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved pineapple and rambutan, and cook until the fruit is warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Remove the curry from the heat, and stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately with the lime wedges and rice.



A cure for small ailments

People who take meals with little quantities of vitamin C suffer from small diseases like dry lips. Vitamin C is effective against sore throat.

Improves health of the eyes

Deficiency Vitamin A is associated with eye problems. Rambutan has a high concentration of Vitamin A.

Prevention of Anemia

Rambutan can provide you with the iron you need to rejuvenate your body

Preventing cancer

The fruit contains vast amounts of antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals from the body. At least three rambutans a day are enough to minimize the risk of contracting cancer. Free radicals quickly destroy our bodies by inviting cancer cells. Cancer is related to free radicals in our bodies said to have originated from the foods available for consumption in the current era

Cleaning kidneys

Rambutans help cleanse the kidneys. The fruit contains phosphor that detoxifies the toxins left in the kidneys

Makes hair luxurious and healthy and skin rejuvenation

The fruit contains Zinc and proteins that lead to better hair health and growth. Proteins and other essential minerals help replenish your skin

Lowering blood pressure

The fruit contains minerals that help prevent a heart attack

( › rambutan-benefits)

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