Rambutan Fruit: Nutrition, Health Benefits and How to Eat It

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
Rambutan Fruit: Nutrition, Health Benefits and How to Eat It
Rambutan is an exotic fruit that belongs to the Sapindaceae family and is native to Indonesia and Malaysia

Rambutan offers various health benefits that range from weight loss and improved digestion to boosted immune health.

Rambutan is an exotic fruit that belongs to the Sapindaceae family and is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Underneath the hairy shell, there is juicy flesh that has a sweet, creamy flavor.

Here are some facts about rambutan:

  • Size of a golf ball 
  • Shell is covered in reddish-orange spines, giving it a hairy appearance
  • Flesh inside is pale, sweet, and somewhat juicy
  • Often mistaken for lychee or longan
  • Commonly eaten raw and a favorite in many Asian countries
  • Popular in traditional medicine due to its diverse and unique nutrient content

What is the nutritional value of rambutan?

Rambutan is nutritious and has several health benefits.

  • Rich in the following nutrients:
    • Manganese
    • Zinc
    • Sodium
    • Potassium
    • Phosphorous
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
  • High levels of vitamins B and C
  • Contains unique organic compounds such as cinnamic acid, vanillin, and other antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress
  • Low in calories (roughly 75 grams per 100 grams of fruit)
  • Contains a small amount of protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates
  • Has a good amount of copper, which is necessary for the proper growth and maintenance of various cells in bones, brain, and heart
Table. Nutritional content in 100 grams of canned rambutan, syrup pack
Nutrient Value
Water (grams) 78.04
Energy 82
Energy (kJ) 343
Protein (grams) 0.65
Total fat (grams) 0.21
Ash (grams) 0.23
Carbohydrates, by difference (grams) 20.87
Fiber, total dietary (grams) 0.9
Calcium (mg) 22
Iron (mg) 0.35
Magnesium (mg) 7
Phosphorus (mg) 9
Potassium (mg) 42
Sodium (mg) 11
Zinc (mg) 0.08
Copper (mg) 0.07
Manganese (mg) 0.34
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid (mg) 4.9
Thiamin (mg) 0.01
Riboflavin (mg) 0.02
Niacin (mg) 1.35
Pantothenic acid (mg) 0.02
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.02
Folate, total (µg) 8
Carotene, beta (µg) 2
Vitamin A (International Units) 3

6 health benefits of rambutan

1. Promotes digestive health

Rambutan is rich in fiber, which adds bulk to stools and prevents digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea. Insoluble fiber feeds good bacteria in the gut, which helps the intestine break down more complex foods.

2. Boosts immune health

Rambutan promotes immune health due to its high vitamin C content, which encourages the production of white blood cells. Certain extracts from rambutan fruit may help fight infections and prevent viruses from replicating.

3. May aid weight loss

Rambutan is low in calories (100 grams provides only 75) and high in fiber, meaning that it can keep you feeling full for longer and reduce the risk of overeating. The soluble fiber in rambutan dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the gut. This gel-like substance helps slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients, leading to reduced appetite. Rambutan also has high water content, which also helps increase satiety.

4. Lowers diabetes risk

Rambutan is rich in potassium, which helps control sodium levels associated with hypertension. The peel or seeds of rambutan may reduce the diabetes risk in the following ways:

5. Prevents heart disease

Rambutan may help prevent heart disease due to the following nutrients:

  • Potassium, which lowers blood pressure
  • Fiber, which has cholesterol-reducing properties
  • Folate and other B vitamins, which lower inflammation
  • Vitamin C, which helps fight free radicals that damage arteries over time

6. May help prevent cancer

Rambutan has high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, and methanolic compounds.

Although there is not much evidence to support the claim, antioxidants are believed to help prevent cancer. Antioxidants reduce cellular damage, thereby potentially reducing the risk of cancer.

How to eat rambutan

Rambutan can be consumed fresh, canned, or as a juice or jam. For maximum health benefits, it is best to eat them fresh.

You can simply peel the skin, as the spines on the shell are soft and harmless. The core of the fruit has a bitter seed, which is inedible. You can either cut the fruit and remove the seeds or slowly suck the fruit to enjoy the juice and spit the seeds out.

You can include rambutan in your diet in the following ways:

  • Add rambutan fruits to a smoothie
  • Make a fruit salad with rambutan
  • Make rambutan sorbet
  • Use rambutans to make jam
  • Freeze rambutan and add to a cocktail
  • Add rambutans to ice cream


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 7/1/2022
Image Source: Getty image

WebMD. Health Benefits of Rambutan. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-rambutan

FoodData Central. Rambutan, canned, syrup pack. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168167/nutrients

Heal With Food. Rambutan Fruit: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Culinary Uses. https://www.healwithfood.org/nutrition-facts/rambutan-fruit-health-benefits.php