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Rambutans have a bizarre, hairy exterior that conceals a smooth, sweet white fruit within. You can easily peel open a rambutan by splitting the skin apart with your nails and spreading it back, much as you would peel an orange. Don’t worry about the spines; they look sharp but are actually quite soft and bend back easily.
Many people describe the flavor of rambutans as similar to that of the lychee fruit, but slightly more tart. They’re usually eaten plain as a snack, though they are also delicious muddled into cocktails or paired with other fruits in a tropical salad. You can also use them as a substitute for lychees.
Health Benefits of Rambutan
The rambutan fruit is a conglomeration of vitamins and minerals, all encased in a sweet and juicy little package. Despite its small size, it actually packs a considerable amount of vitamin C, which is important for helping keep your immune system healthy and flushing out toxins.
It is also a good source of copper. Even though the body needs only a limited amount of it in the system, copper works together with iron in keeping your blood vessels, immune system, bones and the production of red blood cells at peak condition.11 Rambutan is also a good source of iron,12 which is why ingesting this fruit is especially useful for the maintenance and the production of red blood cells.
If anyone ever asks you, “Is rambutan good for you?” you’ll know that your answer is yes. Other rambutan fruit benefits include:
High Fiber Content. The high fiber content of rambutan aids the digestive system in food metabolism, preventing constipation. It is also low in calories, which helps promote weight loss and restrain sudden hunger pangs.13
Antiseptic Qualities. Rambutan is famous for its antiseptic properties that help the body fight off infections. The fruit also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which makes it both antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic.14
Kills Intestinal Parasites. According to traditional Chinese medicine, rambutan can help expel parasites in the gut because of its antifungal properties. 15
Contains Phosphorus. Rambutan is a good source of phosphorus, which helps in bone formation and the maintenance of your bones and teeth.16
Contains Gallic Acid. The rambutan rind contains a high amount of gallic acid, which functions as a free radical scavenger. This compound helps prevent cancer and oxidative damage.17