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Discover the Surprising Health Benefits of Rambutan: Nature’s Delicious Secret

health benefits of rambutan

The tree Nephelium lappaceum, often referred to as “rambutan,” is indigenous to Malaysia. It yields tiny, reddish-colored fruits with leathery skin and flexible spinterns, which are hairs or spines. The Malayan term “Rambut,” which means “Hair” in English, is where the name originates.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Rambutan

Because of their high vitamin C content, rambutan fruits which are technically considered berries are juicy, sweet, and somewhat acidic. Apart from being an abundant supply of vitamin C, rambutans also include fibre, phytochemicals that offer protection, and a number of other vitamins and minerals.

A Rich Source of Antioxidants, Like Vitamin C

Though they are nutrient-dense and contain many different vitamins and minerals, rambutans are particularly high in vitamin C.

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Water-soluble vitamin C functions as a potent antioxidant in the body and is crucial for skin and immune system health. Antioxidants work by scavenging free radicals, which are highly reactive chemicals that may cause illness. A large concentration of free radicals in the body might have detrimental effects on health. Additionally, vitamin C has anti-inflammatory qualities.

Keeping blood levels of vitamin C at appropriate levels may also help prevent heart disease by lowering heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure and halting the artery-clogging process known as atherosclerosis.

Research indicates that a 100-gram (g) portion of rambutan pulp may provide 21.5–69.1 mg, or 24–77% of the Daily Value (DV), of vitamin C. The typical vitamin C content of fresh rambutan varies. Mexican-grown rambutan cultivars seem to have the greatest vitamin C content.

Research indicates that eating foods high in vitamin C, including rambutan, on a daily basis may help maintain normal vitamin C status and lower the risk of heart disease and some malignancies. For instance, an analysis published in 2024 that included 20 research showed that eating vitamin C reduced the incidence of lung cancer by 18%.

High vitamin C consumption has also been linked to a lower risk of prostate, stomach, and breast cancers, according to previous research. By scavenging free radicals, avoiding damage to DNA, and inhibiting oncogenesis the process by which normal cells become cancerous—vitamin C may help prevent cancer.

There are several phytochemicals in rambutan that have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For instance, it contains polyphenols with health-promoting qualities, such as coumarins, tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.

Supports Digestive Health

One excellent source of fibre is rambutan. Rambutan pulp contains 0.61–6.5 g of fibre per 100 g serving, or 3-23% of your daily fibre requirements. Soluble and insoluble fibres are present in most fruits and vegetables, including rambutan, and they both have significant health benefits.

The large intestine produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as a consequence of bacteria fermenting or breaking down soluble fibres. The large intestine’s lining cells use SCFAs like butyrate and acetate as fuel, and they also control inflammation in the digestive system, which are two other ways that SCFAs support gut health. Additionally, by attracting water into the stools, soluble fibre keeps bowel motions loose and helps avoid constipation.

Your stools will have more volume thanks to insoluble fibre, which promotes regular bowel motions. Additionally, by slowing down the breakdown of food, it promotes blood sugar balance and helps you feel fuller after eating by reducing the amount of glucose absorbed into the circulation.

Including more fiber-rich foods, like rambutan, in your diet may help improve digestive health and lower your chance of developing common illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.

Nutritional Facts of Rambutan

Fibre, vitamins, and minerals are among the components found in rambutan. There is, however, little nutritional data available for fresh rambutans. A lot of rambutan items that are marketed online are prepared from rambutan that has been canned in heavy syrup, which might have less nutrients and a lot more added sugar than fresh rambutan. This is due to the use of sweet syrup in these goods as well as the fact that levels of several nutrients, particularly water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, are greatly reduced during the canning process.

There are differences in the nutritional value of fresh and canned rambutan. The region in which the fruit was cultivated also has a major impact on the vitamin C content of fresh rambutan.Nevertheless, rambutan is nutrient-dense and offers a variety of vital vitamins and minerals whether it is fresh or canned.

When rambutan is drained and served in a cup, the following is the nutritional breakdown:

  • Calories: 123
  • Protein: <1 gram (g)
  • Carbohydrates: 31.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.35 g
  • Fat: <1 g
  • Copper: 0.099 milligrams (mg), or 11% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Manganese: 0.515 mg, or 22% of the DV
  • Niacin: 2.02 mg, or 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 7.35 mg, or 8% of the DV

While rambutan is rich in many vitamins and minerals, copper, manganese, and niacin are particularly abundant.

While copper is required for growth and development, neurotransmitter synthesis, red blood cell formation, energy generation, and iron metabolism, manganese is a mineral involved in immune system, neurological system, and energy metabolism.

Vitamin B3, or niacin, is a B vitamin that is essential for several vital functions. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), the active form of niacin that the body produces, is required for the operation of approximately 400 enzymes that are involved in energy generation, cellular communication, and other processes.

Although canned and cooked rambutans have less vitamin C than fresh rambutans, rambutans are still a rich source of this nutrient.

Risks of Rambutan

The flesh of rambutan fruits is generally regarded as safe for consumption. Allergies to rambutan are rare, but have been documented. Avoid eating rambutan and anything manufactured with the fruit if you have a rambutan allergy.

While raw rambutan is nutrient-dense, certain rambutan products include a significant amount of added sugar. For instance, each serving of rambutan canned in thick syrup may have several tablespoons of additional sugar. Limiting added sugar consumption is recommended to enhance general health since high-sugar diets have been connected to a number of illnesses, including heart disease.

Adults should keep their daily consumption of added sugar to no more than 6% of calories, or 6–9 teaspoons, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).To cut down on added sugar, go for fresh rambutans wherever feasible, or drain and rinse rambutans that have been canned in heavy syrup.

Finally, before eating the pulp, the prickly, leathery outer layer of rambutan should be removed. Even though the seed is thought to be safe for ingestion, most people throw it out before eating rambutan fruit.

Tips for Consuming Rambutan

Rambutan has a grape-like texture and a sweet, somewhat acidic flavour. It is popular in fruit salads, sweets, and savoury meals like curries. It may be eaten raw or cooked. You may also add rambutan juice to smoothies and drinks.

Because rambutans have a huge seed and prickly, leathery skin, they need to be prepared carefully before eating.

How to savour a fresh rambutan is as follows:

  1. Select a ripe rambutan with a skin that is reddish in colour. Underripe rambutans have green skin, whereas overripe ones may have bruising, considerable skin darkening, and a mushy texture.
  2. Keeping the fruit securely in place, carefully use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and carve around the centre of the fruit, taking care not to sever any flesh.
  3. After removing the fruit, peel the skin off the flesh.
  4. You can either eat the whole fruit and spit out the seed once you’re done, or you may remove the seed using the previously described procedure.

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In some regions of the globe, including Southeast Asia, rambutan is extensively accessible, but it could be hard to locate in US grocery shops. It may be bought online as well as sometimes at specialist shops like Asian grocery stores.


Rambutans are odd-looking fruits with a texture similar to grapes and a sweet, somewhat acidic flavour. They are an excellent source of fibre and vitamin C, among other healthy plant chemicals.

The majority of individuals may safely consume rambutans, yet some rambutan products like those that are canned in heavy syrup may have a lot of added sugar. An allergy to rambutans is conceivable, however rare.

They may be eaten on their own or combined with foods like fruit salads, smoothies, and curries. They taste great both raw and cooked.