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8 Potential Health Benefits of Mangosteen

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit with a delicate texture and slightly sweet and sour flavor. It is originally from Southeast Asia, but can also be found in different tropical regions around the world. This fruit is also known as purple mangosteen because of the deep purple color of its outer skin. The inner flesh is white and juicy when ripe. It can be eaten raw or added to smoothies or fruit salads. If you’re not familiar with this fruit, read this article to learn more about the health benefits of mangosteen.

Potential Health Benefits of Mangosteen

1. Rich in Powerful Antioxidants

Mangosteen FruitOne of the mangosteen’s most significant characteristics is its unique antioxidant profile. Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the damaging effects of harmful molecules called free radicals that are linked to various chronic diseases.

Mangosteen contains nutrients with antioxidant capacity like folate and vitamin C. More importantly, it contains xanthones – a type of plant compound which has strong antioxidant properties. Several studies indicate that xanthones may have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-diabetic effects. That said, more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.

2. May Help Fight Cancer

Mangosteen has been the focus of several anticancer studies. Results appear to support their reputation as cancer-fighting foods. The mangosteen fruit contains at least 20 xanthones. In particular, one xanthone called alpha-mangostin was found to have a cancer-preventive effect on animal subjects. This research was conducted by the Gifu International Institute of Biotechnology in Japan in 2008.

Also, a 2012 study showed that xanthone extracts had anti colon cancer effects. Meanwhile, a study published in the International Journal of Oncology analyzed the anticancer activity of alpha-mangostin on breast cancer cells. The research indicated that alpha-mangostin inhibited cancer cells.

The ability of xanthones to prevent and treat cancer have been demonstrated in various stages of cancer formation (initiation, promotion, and progression). Also, xanthones have shown an ability to control inflammation, cancer cell division and growth, and cancer metastasis.

3. May Boost Heart Health

Mangosteen Increased oxidative stress and a lack of antioxidants are factors that are believed to play a role in the occurrence of heart attacks. Oxidative stress happens when there are too many free radicals and the body is unable to counteract their harmful effects.

A study on animal subjects conducted by the Center for Advanced Studies in Botany (University of Madras in India) suggests that alpha-mangostin has a cardio-protective effect. The fact that mangosteen is high in xanthones may be helpful in reducing the risk of a heart attack.

4. May Combat Inflammation and Allergies

Research has shown that mangosteen extract has anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties. One study reported that the extract worked better at inhibiting prostaglandin than an anti-allergy drug in Japan. The extract proved to be successful at inhibiting the release of histamine and prostaglandin that are both associated with inflammation, as well as allergies.

Additionally, research reveals that alpha-mangostin and gamma-mangostin (two bioactive substances found in the fruit) have anti-inflammatory effects. Test tube and animal studies show that xanthones may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

5. May Lower Blood Sugar

Mangosteen May Have the Potential to Lower Blood SugarMangosteen may be helpful in preventing and managing diabetes because it helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. It acts as an alpha-amylase inhibitor, inhibiting enzymes that cause starches to be transformed into glucose.

The ability of mangosteen to lower blood sugar is said to come from its tannic acid and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). OPCs are naturally-occurring plant metabolites that can be found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

6. May Aid Digestion

Among the primary health benefits of mangosteen is its beneficial effect on the digestive system. As a high-fiber food, this fruit is good for digestive health. Consuming fresh mangosteen can help prevent constipation. By consuming this tasty fruit, you also increase the intake of prebiotics.

7. May Help Maintain Healthy Skin

Sun exposure can cause skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer. One study done on mice treated show that supplemental mangosteen extract has a protective effect against ultraviolet-B radiation.

Furthermore, a 3-month study conducted on humans discovered that individuals treated with 100 mg of mangosteen extract daily experienced more elasticity in their skin and less accumulation of a compound known to contribute to skin aging.

8. May Promote Weight Loss

One of the mangosteen’s claims to fame is its potential to aid weight loss. In an 8-week study, people who supplemented their diets with 3, 6 or 9 ounces of mangosteen juice twice daily tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than the control group.

Research on mangosteen and obesity is limited, but it is believed that the fruit’s anti-inflammatory property plays a role in preventing weight gain and promoting fat metabolism. Ultimately, more research is needed to understand how mangosteen can promote weight loss.

Interesting Facts about Mangosteen

Mangosteen production occurs primarily in Southeast Asia, mainly in Thailand. Other major Asian producers include Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Despite decades of attempts to grow mangosteen in South America, the Caribbean Islands, Florida, California, and Hawaii, no major production occurs elsewhere except in Asia.

Mangosteen trees may bear fruit in 5 to 6 years, but typically require 8 to 10 years. The yield is variable, depending on the age of the tree and climate. If a mangosteen tree is bearing for the first time, 200 to 300 fruits may be produced. When the tree reaches maturity, the average yield is 500 fruits per season. At age 30 to 45 years, a tree may produce as many as 3,000 fruits, with trees as old as 100 years still bearing fruit.

Mangosteen May Not Be Right for Everyone

Very few adverse effects have been reported from eating mangosteen in its natural form, and it is likely safe for most people. However, concentrated forms like juices, powders, or supplements are not 100% risk-free.

Some research suggests that xanthones found in supplements may slow the process of blood clotting. Avoid concentrated sources if you are taking blood-thinning medications or have a blood clotting condition.

Also, there is not enough research made to determine whether mangosteen supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it’s best to avoid them during these life stages.

Conclusion

The reported health benefits of mangosteen are primarily due to its unique antioxidant content. Mangosteen may be hard to find, depending on where you live. You can try your luck at specialty Asian markets, but fresh mangosteen can be quite expensive. Canned or frozen mangosteen are cheaper and easier to find. However, canned versions usually contain added sugar. Mangosteen is also available in juice form and as a powdered supplement.

As mangosteen is grown primarily in Southeast Asia, most studies on this fruit have been done in those markets. Although most of these Asian studies show promise for the reported health benefits of mangosteen, there is not much US-based scientific information or evidence on this fruit, so keep that in mind if you decide to try mangosteen.

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What Are the Different Types of Exercise?

There are four different types of exercise, each one serving a particular purpose. We all know that exercise has many health benefits and is important for bone and muscle strength, heart health, and maintaining a healthy weight. Read this article to learn more about the different types of exercise.

Different Types of Exercise

1. Aerobic (Endurance) Exercises

Jogging: An Example of Aerobic ExerciseAerobic exercises (also known as cardio) increase breathing and heart rate. Aerobic refers to the use of oxygen to meet energy demands during exercise. This type of exercise keeps your lungs, heart, and circulatory system healthy. Some of the benefits of aerobic exercise are improving overall fitness, reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes, as well as helping you build endurance. In general, aerobic exercises are performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. Examples of aerobic exercises include:

• Brisk walking
Jogging
• Biking
• Swimming
• Dancing
• Climbing the stairs
• Gardening
• Playing tennis

Aerobic exercise differs from anaerobic exercise (e.g., strength training) in the intensity and duration of muscular contractions involved, and by how energy is generated within the muscle. Anaerobic exercise is more ideal for promoting strength, speed and power, and for increasing muscle mass. Unlike aerobic exercises which are performed for longer periods of time, anaerobic exercises are done for a shorter duration.

2. Strength Exercises

Lifting Dumbbells: An Example of Strength ExerciseAlso known as strength training or resistance training, this type of exercise helps keep your bones and muscles strong. Strength exercises increase muscle mass, endurance, and strength. They also strengthen joints, increase bone density, and build good posture. This type of exercise helps you perform everyday activities like climbing stairs, carrying groceries, and activities that require lifting. Some examples of strength exercises include:

• Lifting free weights (e.g., barbell, dumbbells)
• Using resistance machines
• Using resistance bands

3. Flexibility Exercises

Yoga: An Example of Flexibility ExerciseFlexibility exercises can help you maintain a wide range of motion. Some people may not pay too much attention to this type of exercise because they don’t see it as a “proper exercise” (i.e., doesn’t require too much effort). But in reality, flexibility exercises provide so many benefits. That is why you should include them in your fitness regimen. Aside from increasing the range of motion, this type of exercise supports spinal musculoskeletal health, improves mobility, releases tension, and reduces the risk of injury while doing other types of exercises. Some examples of flexibility exercise include:

• Stretching (e.g., shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch)
Yoga
Pilates

4. Balance Exercises

Tai Chi: An Example of Balance ExercisePracticing and improving balance is particularly important for older people because it can strengthen the core and help prevent falls. Almost any activity which keeps you on your feet and moving can help you maintain good balance. But there are specific exercises designed to enhance balance and improve stability. Some examples of balance exercises are:

• Heel-to-toe walk
• Standing on one foot
• Tai Chi

Conclusion

The four different types of exercise are aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most people tend to focus on one type of exercise, thinking they’re doing enough. But it is important to note that each type is different. Mixing up exercises will reduce boredom and allow you to enjoy all the benefits associated with an active lifestyle.

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What Are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 7 (30 million) people in the United States have diabetes. Many don’t even know they have the disease. About 95% of these people have type 2 diabetes while 5% have type 1 diabetes. Worldwide, it is estimated that over 420 million people have diabetes. How can you know if you have this disease? In this post, we will discuss the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

High Sugar Levels in the BloodType 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition which affects the metabolism of sugar in the body. It occurs when the level of blood glucose rises beyond the normal level. Type 2 diabetes or hyperglycemia is the most common type of diabetes which occurs due to resistance to insulin or low level of insulin secretion from the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the pancreas and the damaged pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes and was formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes, since it often begins in childhood. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually still produces some insulin, but not enough for the body’s needs.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes had once been common in adults but now children are suffering too, due to childhood obesity.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes include the following:

Frequent urination – When sugar levels in the blood are high, the kidneys will try to remove excess sugar by filtering it out. This can cause a person to urinate more often, especially at night.

Increased thirst – The frequent urination can result in the body losing water. Because of this, a person may feel more thirsty than usual.

Always hungry – People with diabetes usually don’t get enough energy from the food they eat. The body’s digestive system breaks food down into glucose, which it uses as fuel. When an individual has diabetes, not enough glucose reaches the body’s cells. For this reason, people with type 2 diabetes often feel hungry, no matter how recently they’ve eaten.

Tiredness and fatigue – Type 2 diabetes can have an impact on a person’s energy level and cause them to feel tired or fatigued. This occurs because there is insufficient sugar reaching the body’s cells.

Blurry vision – Excess sugar in the blood can damage tiny blood vessels in the eyes. This can cause blurry vision. It can occur in one or both eyes and may come and go. If diabetes is not treated, damage to the blood vessels in the eyes can become more severe. When this happens, permanent loss of vision may eventually occur.

Slow healing of wounds – High sugar levels in the blood can damage nerves and blood vessels and impair blood circulation. As a result, cuts and wounds may take weeks to heal. Slow healing can also increase the risk of infection.

Tingling and numbness in the hands or feet – Too much sugar in the blood sugar can damage the body’s nerves and affect blood circulation. This can lead to a sensation of tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and feet. This condition is known as neuropathy. It can worsen over time if a person doesn’t get treatment for diabetes.

Patches of dark skin – Formation of dark skin patches on the neck, armpit, or groin can signify an increased risk of diabetes. The patches may feel soft and velvety. This condition is known as acanthosis nigricans.

Itching and yeast infections – High sugar levels in the blood and urine provide food for yeast and can lead to infection. Yeast infections usually occur in warm, moist areas such as the mouth, armpits, and the genital area. Affected areas are usually itchy. A person may also experience redness, burning, and soreness.

Causes and Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 DiabetesType 2 diabetes occurs due to an increased resistance of the body to insulin. The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin which regulates the level of glucose in the bloodstream. Some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes are the following:

Excessive body weight
Sedentary lifestyle
High blood pressure
• Genetics
• Age
• Gestational diabetes
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Following a healthy lifestyle can help prevent type 2 diabetes. A healthy lifestyle includes:

• Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and foods that are low in sugar, fat, and calories.
• Stay physically active every day.
• Shed the extra pounds with the help of daily exercise like swimming, jogging, walking, or a good fitness program to maintain a healthy body weight.

Conclusion

Currently, there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes. The best way to prevent and deal with the disease is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly and avoid foods that are high in sugar and carbs to stay healthy and fit. Maintain an active lifestyle and ditch unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. If you experience the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, consult a doctor.

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FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

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