Not many people from the Western part of the world are familiar with the rambutan fruit, mostly because it is native to Malay countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia . Rambutan (botanical name-Nephelium lappaceum) is a fruit considered exotic to people outside of its native range. It is such a wonderful delicious and nutritious fruit.
Rambutans is a tasty fruit and it is popular in many countries. Even though it is a foreign fruit to Sri Lanka, it has become an exclusive fruit since the days the seeds were planted in Sri Lanka. In the olden days the Portuguese had a Fortress in the area known as Malwana along Colombo Kandy road and they found the soil in the Kelani Valley ideal for the plant to thrive. This plant has been cultivated in different parts of the globe as well. Rambutan trees have been planted in specific parts of Australia and Central America. The season actually occurs twice a year: from June to August and December to January.
If you take one bite into a ripe rambutan you will be hooked for life. The taste is irresistible and delicious with a sweet and sour flavor and you will want eat more and more. This fruit is rich in Vitamin and minerals such as Vit C, Vit A, fat, calcium, Iron, Protein, Nitrogen, Sodium, Zinc, Thiamin, Riboflavin etc. Eating five fruits a day decreases the chance of getting illnesses such as cancer. It is also useful in preventing diarrhea and dysentery and effective in lowering blood pressure. It quenches the thirst for travelers. But unfortunately this fruit is available only during the season from July to October
Rambutan’s uses don’t necessarily focus on the fruit alone, as the different parts of the tree can be used in lots of ways. Here are some examples:
The leaves can be used for basic hair care. Mash the leaves into a paste, add water and squeeze the extract. Apply the extract to your hair and scalp. This will help improve your hair health. The seeds can also be used to help patients with Diabetes . Take the seeds, chop them into small pieces and allowed to dry for a few days. Grind the seeds into a fine powder. Mix it with hot water and drink. This will help you maintain your blood sugar at healthy levels.
Rambutan can be eaten by opening the part of the thick skin and the succulent kernel can be eaten and the seed thrown out. From pavements to supermarkets one cannot avoid the lovely site of rambutans displayed beautifully on stands during the season. They come in different colors and sizes. There is the “Malasian yellow” is sweet but the “Malawana Special”variety. But the demand is low for the yellow because the “Malwana Special” has bright red skin which is more attractive. Though rambuttan is grown in various parts of the island, Malwana area is famous for Rambuttan.
Health Benefits of Rambutan
The rambutan fruit is full 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. It is also a good source of iron, which is why ingesting this fruit is especially useful for the maintenance and the production of red blood cells. 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 aids the digestive system in food metabolism, preventing constipation. It is also low in calories, which helps promote weight loss .
Antiseptic Qualities. Rambutan is famous for its antiseptic properties that help the body fight off infections. The fruit also contains high amounts of antioxidants ,
Kills Intestinal Parasites. According to traditional Chinese medicine, rambutan can help expel parasites in the gut because of its anti fungal properties.
Contains Phosphorus. It is a good source of phosphorus, which helps in bone formation and the maintenance of your bones and teeth.
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
OPENED RAMBUTAN FRUIT
Rambutan tree grows to a height of 10 to 20 feet and the fruits are borne in clusters. Each cluster has had about 20 to 30 fruits. Almost everyone in the Malwana area owns one or two trees but a few planters grow Rambuttan on a commercial scale. Some owners of Rambutan, lease crop during the season to other merchants as it is rather difficult to safeguard the harvest from the enemies like bats, squirrels and birds. When sun goes down hundreds of bats appear and cause great damage, if not chased away.
During the day squirrels monkeys and birds come to feed on the Rambutan. It is full time job the guard the fruit from these enemies. In the night the owners of the trees switch on lights placed on the branches to keep away the bats As the season begins the fruits are expensive and fetch prices between Rs 5 and – Rs 10, but as more fruits come to the market the price comes down gradually. Neatly arranged Rambutan by the roadside makes a lovely sight and tempts the passersby to stop part with a few hundred rupees to get intoxicated with the delicious taste.
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