The Rambutan is an exotic tropical hairy red fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is similar in texture and taste to several other edible tropical fruits such as lychee, longan, pulasan and guinep.
The fruit is mainly found in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Thailand is the largest producer of Rambutan.
In Sri Lanka, the fruit season starts in May and lasts until the end of August. If you are in Sri Lanka during these months, you will definitely be able to see an abundance of it.
This exotic tropical fruit looks like a Sea Urchin but not really….its skin is covered in fluffy soft hair which makes it look like a sort of toy and not something you will associate with food.
It comes in two colours orange-red and yellow and both varieties are delicious…
The fruits are very easy to peel, press with your thumb gently and give it a squeeze and it will pop and then pull apart the leathery skin.
This amazing and exotic tropical fruit tends to be expensive when imported. This is because of the short shelf-life and because they can only ripen on the tree. Unfortunately, almost all canned versions contain a lot of added sugar making them extremely unhealthy.
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Health benefits of Rambutan
Here are some of the health benefits
Supports the immune system
Research suggests that the hairy fruit helps fight infections by inhibiting viral replication.
Promotes weight loss
This fruit contains a lot of water and fibre. Studies show that fibre intake can help in weight loss.
Helps in making the digestive system more resilient because of dietary fibre
The fibre content can also help nourish the good bacteria in the gut. Studies show that soluble fibre feeds healthy microorganisms in the stomach.
Keeps you hydrated
This exotic tropical fruit can keep you hydrated due to its water content.
Lowers the risks of cancer
This red and hairy fruit are high in antioxidants which can reduce cellular damage. Studies show that chemicals in the seeds can potentially cure many diseases.
Non scientific studies suggest that this exotic tropical fruit can have a positive impact on bone health, kidney stones, and heart health.
Your questions about Rambutan
What does rambutan taste like?
It is similar in texture and taste to several other edible tropical fruits such as lychee, longan, pulasan and guinep.
Does rambutan taste like lychee?
Yes, the flesh of the fruit is slightly harder and meatier. Rambutan has a richer and creamier taste. Lychee is more delicate.
Where can I find rambutan?
This exotic tropical fruit is mainly found in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. The fruit is also found in Vietnam, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama.
Are there risks when eating rambutan?
The exotic tropical fruit naturally contains a lot of sugar. So if you have diabetes, then you need to limit your intake.
In Sri Lanka, eating a hundred rambutans in one sitting is quite normal.
The seed is known to be toxic, particularly if you swallow the seed after chewing.
What happens if you swallow a rambutan seed?
You could choke on it.
The seed is known to be toxic (many seeds are if you consume in large quantities), especially if you swallow the seed after chewing.
I swallowed a seed by accident and I know many people who have done the same. There is a small risk but don’t panic.
Sources & Resources
Health Benefits of Rambutan – Web Mdhttps://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rambutan#
RAMBUTAN IN SRI LANKA – kaprukahttps://www.kapruka.com/Sri_Lanka/cms/kapruka_t1.jsp?docid=1278357492359
Rambutan: A Tasty Fruit With Health Benefits – Health Linehttps://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rambutan
Antimicrobial activity of Litchi chinensis and Nephelium lappaceum aqueous seed extracts against some pathogenic bacterial strains – Science Directhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1018364713000359
A trypsin inhibitor from rambutan seeds with antitumor, anti-HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, and nitric oxide-inducing properties – National Library of Medicinehttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25820360/
The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre – National Library of Medicinehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589116/#