Mangosteen to Maca Part 1: The Body Ecology Guide to 5 Exotic Fruits, Berries & Roots

Heard of all the new superfruits, like acai, mangosteen and goji berries? Or the roots, like maca root and yacon syrup? Find out the benefits AND detractors to these new superfoods and what you can do to get the most out of them.

NOTE: Also see Part 2 of Mangosteen to Maca: 5 Exotic Fruits, Berries and Roots

Everywhere you look from the Internet to the health food store, new and exotic fruits and vegetables are showing up.

Many of them come from far away islands and contain high antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. We recently met with Body Ecology founder Donna Gates to learn more about these exotic new superfoods and find out whether they live up to the hype.

In this article, you’ll learn about the new superfoods and how to best incorporate them into your healthy diet…or whether you’d best leave them out all together.

How to Incorporate the New Superfoods into Your Healthy Diet

Here are some of the most popular new superfoods and the Body Ecology solution for adding them into your diet:

The Fruits and Berries

  • Acai – Pronounced ah-sigh-ee, this fruit is grown in Brazil, Central and South America, Belize and Peru. The purple berry is the size of a grape and tastes like a combination of chocolate and berries.What all the fuss is about: Acai is has ten times the antioxidants of red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins (antioxidant flavonoids that protect many systems in your body) of red wine.1

    Additionally, acai has an excellent amino acid profile, is rich in fiber and has valuable trace minerals, essential fatty acids and phytosterols making it a powerhouse for digestive health, anti-aging and the health of your cells, muscles, hormones and neurotransmitters (brain chemical messengers).2

    Where to get acai: Acai is found as a juice in health food stores or online.

    Body Ecology says: The good news? Acai is a sour fruit, so like the pomegranate, you can enjoy some acai without the dangers of feeding the systemic fungal infection, candida.

    However, buyer beware! Due to the natural sour taste of acai juice, many manufacturers add a lot of sugar or combine it with other sweet fruits to give it a sweeter taste. To avoid the dangers of sugar, look carefully at the ingredients before you buy acai juice. Choose the sour version and make it taste delicious by following our recipe, below.

    Or, if you want to drink a juice like MonaVie, our recipe below will help you avoid the too-sweet fruits added to the juice, while still getting all the antioxidant benefits.

  • Goji Berries – Also known as the wolfberry Lycium barbarum, goji berries are getting a lot of attention for their health benefits. Goji berries are small red berried that come dried, like raisins.

    What all the fuss is about:
    Goji berries contain:3 

    • Rich antioxidants (especially carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin).
    • Betaine (for liver health).
    • Amino acids (contains 18 amino acids, including all essential amino acids)
    • Minerals (including including calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, germanium, and phosphorus), polysaccharides (for immunity).
    • Vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, and E.
    • Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Chiefly grown in the subtropical regions of the Tibetan Himalayas, China and Mongolia, goji berries have long been used in Chinese medicine for liver health, fertility, immunity, improved eyesight, appetite suppression, circulation, organ strength, emotional balance and longevity. While about 50 studies have been done to confirm the beneficial effects of goji berries, more research is needed to show scientific evidence of all the benefits.

    Where to get goji berries:
    You can get goji berries online or at your health food store. Organic Tibetan goji berries are typically recommended.

    Body Ecology says: Goji berries are too sweet! But you can still get the benefits of goji berries if you ferment them in young coconut kefir. Just make your young coconut kefir as usual and add goji berries into the liquid. The microflora from the Kefir Starter will “eat” the harmful sugars from the goji berries so that you can enjoy their benefits without the added sweetness that can create acidic blood and candida.

    If you are considering goji juice, beware of the ingredients. Given that it’s already sweet, adding other sweet fruits and sugar can put it over the top. Choose a juice without added sugar and follow our recipe below to remove the damaging effects of the sugars.


    Make everything from mangosteen to maca healthier (and safer!) with InnergyBiotic.The probiotics in InnergyBiotic can “eat” the harmful sugars in the superfoods you love AND continue to reduce sugars in your intestines. Just add 2 oz. of your favorite superfood juice to 4 oz. of InnergyBiotic and let it ferment for 2 days. Now you can have your superfruits and super-roots without the worries of detrimental health affects. Learn more about InnergyBiotic and try some today!

  • Mangosteen – Not to be confused with the mango, Mangosteen is a tree fruit in the same family as St. John’s wort.  Mangosteen is mainly cultivated in Thailand, Burma, Singapore, Malaya, India, the Philippines, parts of the Caribbean and southern Vietnam.  Mangosteen has been used for dysentery and diarrhea (dried rind); thrush and urinary disorders (leaves and bark); and to regulate menstruation (root).4Mangosteen is the size of an apple, purple in color and tastes like something between a pineapple and a peach.

    What all the fuss is about: While the mangosteen fruit is highly prized, it is the special benefits of the rind that make it a true superfood. The rind (called the pericap) is rich in xanthones and a polyhydroxy-xanthone derivative termed mangostin, which are currently being studied for their medicinal benefits such as improved immunity and gastrointestinal health and slowing the progression of tumor growth and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Animal studies have shown that panaxanthone (approximately 80% alpha-mangostin and 20% gamma-mangostin) may have aprotective effect in breast cancer.5

    Other studies have found that the mangosteen rind has phenolics and tannins that promoted free radical scavenging activity (the young rind has the higher amounts) and anti-acne producing bacteria (the ripe rind has higher amounts).6

    If you suffer from chronic pain or arthritis, the xanthone extract, garcinol, in the rind of mangosteen may also provide a pain-relief component because garcinol blocks COX enzymes (your body’s pain pathways) and has anti-inflammatory properties.7

    While studies on mangosteen and xanthones are still relatively recent and more need to be done, the healthful properties of this xanthones rich fruit are promising.

    Where to get mangosteen: Unless you are in one of the countries where mangosteen grows, chances are you will only have the option of mangosteen juice.

    Body Ecology says: XanGo is a popular mangosteen juice option, but before you start drinking XanGo or any mangosteen juice, here’s something to keep in mind:

    Most fruit juices, even nutrient-packed superfruit juices are too sweet and can create an acidic condition in your blood and feed candida. Mangosteen juice is no exception, but there IS a way you can benefit from superfruit juices like XanGo: Add them to your favorite probiotic liquid!

    Stay tuned for part 2 of this article, where we feature more superfoods AND a healthy, delicious recipe from Donna Gates that will have you enjoying the benefits of your favorite superfruit juices without the dangers of consuming too-sweet juices.


    [1] Dr. Perricone’s 10 Superfoods. http://www.oprah.com/article/health/nutrition/life_acai/1

    2 ibid.

    3 Kim, Ben, Dr. Authentic Tibetan Goji Berries:Nature’s Most Nutritious Fruit and a Super Healthy Snack Food. http://drbenkim.com/organic-goji-berries.htm.

    4 Morton, J. Mangosteen. p. 301–304. In: Fruits of warm climates. 1987. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mangosteen.html

    5 Doi, H et. al. Panaxanthone isolated from pericarp of Garcinia mangostana L. suppresses tumor growth and metastasis of a mouse model of mammary cancer. Anticancer Res. 2009 Jul;29(7):2485-95.

    6 Pothitirat, W. et. al. Comparison of bioactive compounds content, free radical scavenging and anti-acne inducing bacteria activities of extracts from the mangosteen fruit rind at two stages of maturity. Fitoterapia. 2009 Jun 12.
    7 Liao CH, Sang S, Liang YC, Ho CT, Lin JK. Suppression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 in downregulating nuclear factor-kappa B pathway by Garcinol. Mol Carcinog. 2004 Nov;41(3):140-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15390082

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