Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a fruit native to Southeast Asia.It grows in a tree that can reach up to 80 feet (27 meters) in height and thrives best in tropical climates, such as in Malaysia and Indonesia.Rambutan got its name from the Malay word for hair because the golf-ball-sized fruit has a hairy red and green shell. Its unmistakable appearance is often compared to that of a sea urchin.
The fruit is related to the lychee and longan fruits and has a similar appearance when peeled. Its translucent white flesh has a sweet yet creamy taste and contains a seed in its middle.Rambutan is very nutritious and may offer health benefits ranging from weight loss and better digestion to increased resistance to infections.
Here are some of the main health benefits of rambutan and how to eat it.
- Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants
- Promotes Healthy Digestion
- May Aid Weight Loss
- May Help Fight Infection
Other Potential Benefits
Rambutan may offer additional health benefits — the best-researched include:
- May reduce cancer risk: A few cell and animal studies found that compounds in rambutan may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells
- May protect against heart disease: One animal study showed that extracts made from rambutan peel reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetic mice.
- May protect against diabetes: Cell and animal studies report that rambutan peel extract may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.