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With a rather strange name and appearance rambutan is one of the most diverse varieties among common fruit category. Though different types of fruits are available in every part of the world certain fruits are found in particular region with great nutritional values and considered as exotic fruits. Rambutan is an exotic fruit that is a native to Malaysia, Indonesia and southern Asian regions. It was mainly consumed by the tribe population the Malaysian jungles. Though they are found in Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines other than Malaysia and Indonesia the origin of the fruit is still unknown. Currently it is cultivated in commercial basis in India, Pueto Rica, Panama and Srilanka. Thailand is the highest producer of this fruit in the world today.
The rambutan fruit is classified in the genus nephelium, in the fruit family of Sapindaceae. One of the unique features of the fruit is that it ripens only in the tree. The fruit has oval shape with a hairy outer skin in red or yellow color and have pale pink or white juicy flesh inside. The word “rambut” in Malay language means hair and the outer hairy feature gives the name rambutan. It has sweet flavor with slight acidity. It has single nutty seed that is also edible and normally used in the roasted form. Rambutan can be consumed best in its raw form though it is also used in several culinary purposes including making of deserts, syrups, preserves, squashes, jellies, yoghurts, smoothies, salads, jams and spreads.
The fruit is also used for several local medicinal purposes or as home remedy for ailments in Malaysia. It contains high rate of essential nutrients including vitamins and minerals that are great benefit for the health promotion and stability. According to the nutrient data base of the USDA every 100 g of the fruit contains 82 calories of energy. It is rich in dietary fiber and protein and has low fat content. It is rich in bioflavonoids and vitamins. Thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, Niacin or vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate or vitamin B9 and abundant source of vitamin C are present in this fruit. Apart from the vitamins it is also enriched with immense mineral content including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. It also contains saponin, tannin and pectin that promote medicinal properties in curing ailments. In many traditional Malaysian treatments rambutan is used for several therauptic uses. The healing properties of this fruit help to cure various ailments.
The low fat content reduces the cholesterol level and burns out the unwanted fat deposits and there by lessens the body fat. It is also good for skin and hair care. It improves the blood circulation and eliminates impurities from the blood and improves the skin texture and complexion and due to these properties it is used in several skin care and cosmetic products. The rambutan leaves crushed or in the paste form are used as excellent hair wash and conditioner that helps to rejuvenate the hair growth. The rambutan skin is used as common remedy for dysentery by boiling. The mashed roasted seeds of rambutan boiled in water are good for diabetes control. Dried rambutan skin boiled in water is an effective remedy for fever… The carbohydrate and protein provides instant energy. The iron calcium and phosphorus contents promote bone health. Vitamin C improves the metabolic process and the antioxidant and flavonoids prevents cancers and tumor growth. The copper content increases the red blood cells and high dietary fiber promotes proper digestion. Several websites gives the remedial results and health benefits of the fruit based on several studies and researches.