When you find a food that is both healthy and delicious you know you want to add it to your diet. This is the case with rambutans. This exotic fruit is indigenous to Malaysia. It can also be found in most of southeast Asia.

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Its scientific name is Nephellium lappaceum which refers to both the tree and the fruit.

It’s a relative of the Lychee fruit though not as well known.

This fruit is truly one of the most “exotic” looking in appearance. It has bright red, thick leathery skin that has prickly points all over it. The skin is sometimes a yellow or orange color. They grow on trees and produce twice a year. The white fruit inside is sweet and has almost a perfume like smell.

To eat the fruit you cut it around the middle by turning it as you cut. Do not try to cut through the hard seed in the middle. Pull each half off the seed. You can then use a spoon to scoop out the fruit or pull the skin off.

The fruit can be eaten on its own or added to salads. It is also canned or used to make jams and jellies.

The seeds can also be eaten if they are cooked. They contain both saturated and unsaturated fat.

The health benefits of the rambutan are plentiful.

  • They contain many antioxidants which help fight free radicals and keep blood cells safe. This helps to prevent cancer.
  • They are a good source of magnesium.
  • The phosphorous will help to neutralize toxins that are then flushed out by the kidneys – keeping the kidneys healthy.
  • The fruit has a large amount of vitamin C which helps build immunity and flushes toxins out of the body.
  • They contain iron which helps maintain healthy blood cells and fight fatigue.
  • The calcium promotes healthy bones.
  • The Vitamin A in the fruit helps promote the growth of healthy red, blood cells and prevent anemia.
  • Additional nutrients include niacin, potassium, and zinc.

Other potential health benefits include:

Helps boost energy levels.

Lots of fiber which aids in digestion and prevent diarrhea and constipation.

Can help lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.

Some women found it helped fight the nausea and dizziness caused by pregnancy.

In the past, rambutan fruit was used to fight diseases such as dysentery and chronic fever.

Aid in weight loss due the high content of water and fiber. These help you feel full longer after eating them.

You can also use the seeds to make a paste to be used as a face cream that keeps skin looking young and healthy.

They are not one of the more prevalent fruits so you may have some difficulty finding a place that sells them. Health food stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joes are a good place to start your search. As people become more health conscious this fruit is becoming more readily available in main stream grocery stores such a Publix, Kroger’s and Aldi.