The name of this fruit comes from the Malay word for hair, rambut. It is a particularly apt description, for the rambutan looks like a bright red golf ball covered with flexible hair. The Chinese call it ang mo tan or red hair fruit.
The flavour of a good ripe rambutan is sweet with a mere hint of acid, and it is juicy and delicious.
Rambutan fruit is rich in sugar, mostly fructose and sucrose, but less calories, only around 60 in a fruit. Rambutan fruit is abundant with vitamin C and has potassium, iron, beta carotene or vitamin A, and a little calcium, magnesium zinc, sodium, niacin, fiber and protein.
The rambutan is rich in vitamin C. 10-12 rambutans provide 75-90 mg ascorbic acid, more than double the amount recommended to take daily. An essential antioxidant, vitamin C prevents body cells from being damaged by free radicals and helps the absorption of iron.
The fruit also has small quantities of copper, necessary for the creation of white and red blood cells, and also manganese, which our body needs to produce and activate some enzymes.
Additionally, you will obtain 4.3% of the daily recommended intake of phosphorus when you have a serving of rambutan. Phosphorus helps remove waste in your kidneys and is essential for the development, repair and maintenance of tissues and body cells. Rambutan also has a small amount of calcium; both phosphorus and calcium work together to fortify your teeth and bones.