Rambutan trees can be male (producing only staminate flowers and, hence, produce no fruit), female (producing flowers that are only functionally female), or hermaphroditic (producing flowers that are female with a small percentage of male flowers). The fruit is a round to oval single-seeded berry, 3-6cm (rarely to 8cm) long and 3-4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10-20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name, which means 'hair'. The fruit flesh, which is actually the aril, is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavour very reminiscent of grapes.
The single seed is glossy brown, 1-1.3 cm, with a white basal scar. Soft and containing equal portions of saturated and unsaturated fats, the seeds may be cooked and eaten. The peeled fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and eaten: first, the grape-like fleshy aril, then the nutty seed, with no waste.
Aromatic rambutan flowers are highly attractive to many insects, especially bees. Flies. (Diptera), bees (Hymenoptera), and ants (Solenopsis) are the main pollinators. Among the Diptera, Lucilia spp. are abundant, and among the Hymenoptera, honey bees (Apis dorsata and A. cerana) and the stingless bee genus Trigona are the major visitors. A cerana) colonies foraging on rambutan flowers produce large quantities of honey. Bees foraging for nectar routinely contact the stigma of male flowers and gather significant quantities of the sticky pollen from male blossoms. Little pollen has been seen on bees foraging female flowers. Although male flowers open at 06:00, foraging by A. cerana is most intense between 07:00 and 11:00, tapering off rather abruptly thereafter. In Thailand, A. cerana is the preferred species for small-scale pollination of rambutan. Its hair is also helpful in pollination where pollen can be hooked on and transported to female followers.
Rambutan is an important fruit tree of humid tropical Southeast Asia, traditionally cultivated especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It is a popular garden fruit tree and propagated commercially in small orchards. It is one of the best -known fruits of Southeast Asia and is also widely cultivated elsewhere in the tropics including Africa, southern Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. It is also produced in Ecuador where it is known as ocotillo and on the island of Puerto Rico. Thailand is the largest producer of rambutan, with 588,000 tonnes (55.5 per cent), followed by Indonesia with 320,000 tonnes (30.2 per cent) and Malaysia with 126, 3000 tonnes (11.9 per cent) in 2005, the three countries collectively accounting for 97 per cent of the world's supply of rambutan. Rambutan production is increasing in Australia and, in 1997, was one of the top three tropical fruits produced in Hawaii. The fruit is usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned. Evergreen rambutan trees with their abundant coloured fruit make beautiful landscape specimens.
In some areas, rambutan trees can bear fruit twice annually, once in late fall and early winter, with a shorter season in late spring and early summer. Other areas, such as Costa Rica, have a single fruit season, with the start of the rainy season in April stimulating flowering, and the fruit is usually ripe in August and September. The fragile fruit must ripen on the tree, then they are harvested over a four-to seven-week period. The fresh fruit is easily bruised and has a limited shelf life.
1. Improves Sperm Quality
The quantity of Vitamin C in the rambutan is also very important for sperm development, and a lack of it in males can result in restricted reproductory abilities. The ingestion of this fruit reportedly enhances both the quality and quantity of sperm.
2. Enhances Skin Health
The seeds of the rambutan fruit are known to enhance your skin's health and appearance. Mash the seeds into a paste and apply it to your skin for a clearer and even complexion. Using the seed paste regularly can soften and smoothen your skin and improve its texture. Rambutan also hydrates your skin. The manganese in the fruit, along with the vitamin C, aids collagen production and also acts as an antioxidant that damages the free radicals. All of this keeps your skin healthy and young for a long time.
3. Prevents Anemia
An appropriate level of iron in your blood helps maintain a healthy amount of oxygen in your blood to prevent you from feeling dizzy and tired. Rambutan is a high source of iron which contributes to maintaining healthy oxygen-rich blood for your body and also lowers your risk of anaemia, a condition that occurs because of iron deficiency in the blood.
4. Aids In Weight Loss
Rambutan is highly effective in lessening the body fat content of the human body. This is because the fruit is high in fibre content (2 g per 100 g of fruit) and, at the same , low on calories. Moreover, it has high water content. Due to this, it decreased hunger that you don't feel the need to snack on junk food. This way, eating rambutan on a regular basis can help in losing weight.
5. Generation of Red And White Blood Cells
Of the many nutrients, the fruit contains, it contains copper which is vital for the production of red and white blood cells in our body. The fruit also contains manganese which is essential for our body for the production of enzymes and their activation. Enzymes are necessary for carrying out many functions in our body and often carry out essential biochemical essential in our body.
6. Improves Heart Health
The high fibre content in rambutan can potentially reduce the risk of coronary diseases. It also helps treat hypertension and might lower cholesterol levels-both of which can otherwise damage the heart.
7. Promotes Scalp And Hair Health
The antibacterial properties of rambutan might treat dandruff and other scalp issues like itching. And the vitamin C in the fruit can nourish the hair and scalp. The copper in the rambutan treats hair loss. It also intensifies hair colour and prevents premature greying. Rambutan also contains protein, which can strengthen the hair roots. Vitamin C can also give your hair that added shine. You can simply apply rambutan juice to your hair and let it sit for about 15 minutes before shampooing as usual. As there is little research in this aspect, we recommend you consult your doctor before you use rambutan for your scalp & hair health.
8. Improves Bone Density
With notable amounts of half-dozen minerals, including zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium, this fruit can help aid bone strength, as many of these minerals are required for the production and maintenance of your bone density, thus helping you avoid osteoporosis as you age.
9. Boosting Energy
The fruit is rich in carbohydrate and protein content which helps give an instant energy boost when consumed. The high water content of the fruit also helps quench the thirst and bring back lost energy. It is highly suitable for runners and other sports player because of this property.
10. Remove Waste From The Kidneys
Another highly beneficial function of this amazing fruit is that it assists in removing waste from our kidneys. This is done with the help of phosphorus present in rambutan. This is done with the help of phosphorus is also essential for the development, repair, and maintenance of tissues and body cells.
11. Treating Common Illnesses
Rambutan is also good for treating common illnesses like headaches, the thrush and, as mentioned before, dysentery. In order to relieve headaches, the leaves of the trees can be applied on the forehead as a paste. This process is supposed to calm the nerves and reduce a headache. An amalgamate of the bark of the tree can be used to treat thrush. A similar preparation of the roots of the tree can be used to treat fever. So, not only the fruits but every part of the rambutan tree is beneficial to us in some way or the other.
12. Anti- Cancer
Rambutan fruit, as already discussed earlier, consists of anti-oxidant components. This is not very well known, but a study carried out by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 'Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Non-Edible Parts of Selected Tropical Fruits' found out that rambutan can be effective against cancer. The skin and seeds and deeds of the fruit have been proved to be effective against different kinds of cancer.
13. Antiseptic Properties
Rambutan comes with an impressive set of antiseptic qualities which protects the body against various infections. It can help cure wounds quickly enough so that there is no unhealthy pus formation, and can also effectively relieve skin itching and inflammation caused by insect bites.
14. Kill Parasites
Rambutan fruit has long been known as an anti-parasitic fruit for its high saponin content. Regular consumption of this fruit helps to kill intestinal parasites and keeps your gut health to promote good digestion.