This time of year, at fruit stands on the streets or in the supermarkets you are likely to find the spiky red Rambutan fruit, also known as mamon chino. This fruit has been employed in traditional medicine in Malaysia and Indonesia for hundreds of years as a treatment for various ailments, including diabetes and hypertension. Research done at the Chiang Mai University in Thailand found that the rambutan pulp, seeds and skin have strong, plant-based antioxidants called flavonoids, believed to reduce cholesterol and to possess anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory attributes.
This fruit has a high water and fiber content and is low in calories, making it an excellent breakfast food or snack in between meals to hydrate and reduce hunger. It is nutritionally high in vitamin C: 10-12 rambutans provide 75-90 mg of ascorbic acid, more than double the amount recommended to take daily. An essential antioxidant, vitamin C prevents body cells from being damaged by free radicals and helps the absorption of iron. Iron increases oxygen inside red blood cells, which improves cell communication, increases energy and mental clarity and also reduces the chances of getting anemia, the iron deficiency that results in great fatigue.
This food can also be used topically to hydrate the skin. It also plays a significant role in improving hair health. Take some leaves and mash them until they become soft and smooth. Add some water and squeeze the leaves until you get the extract. Apply the mixture onto your hair and scalp. If you have a headache, you can also crush up the leaves and place them on the temples as a poultice to calm the nerves.
It has been touted to kill intestinal parasites, relieve symptoms of diarrhea and some traditional healers in Malaysia also employ parts of the fruit to cure fever. Talk to your doctor before using rambutan as a remedy for any ailment.
1 cup rambutan
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup ice
Blend and enjoy!