Sunday, May 26, 2013



Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Often called rambutan, it is regarded as Nephelium lappaceum botanically. The rambutan is a type of tropical tree that is from Sapindaceae family. Even though it is not very tall, it yields an ample crop. Rambutan is commonly marketed all over Malaysia, Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries and is recognized by different names in certain countries. For instance, in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, rambutan is known as mamon chino while people of Thailand refer to it as ngoh. In Malaysia, a different type of rambutan available is known as wild rambutan. While red is the typical color of rambutan, this fruit is yellowish. The skin of the rambutan has to be removed to obtain the pinky or whitish flesh. They usually taste sweet although some are sweet and sour.

Health Benefits of Eating Rambutan

  • 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 fruit has been employed in traditional medicine in Malaysia and Indonesia for hundreds of years as a treatment for diabetes, hypertension and various ailments. Besides the antioxidants obtained in its beta carotene and vitamin C, research workers at the Chiang Mai University in Thailand found that the rambutan pulp, seeds and skin have strong, plant based, antioxidants called flavonoids. Certain kinds of flavonoids are believed to reduce cholesterol and possess anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory attributes.
  • One of many organic compounds contained in the skin is Gallic acid. This compound behaves like a free radical scavenger as it helps protect against oxidative damage in our body and is regarded as a strong aid in the battle against cancer. Due to its extensive antioxidant activity, compared to other exotic fruits like pomegranate, rambutan skin extract may be promoted as a drug or health supplement product.
  • The rambutan is abundant with 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.
  • A single serving of rambutan functions as an excellent iron source. The iron in what you eat promotes the correct amount of oxygen inside you, which help stop the dizziness and fatigue due to anemia, an illness caused by low iron.

  • 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.
  • Besides nutritional benefits, rambutan also has therapeutic functions. Consuming the fruit can help kill intestinal parasites, while help relieve symptoms of diarrhea. Some traditional healers in Malaysia also employ parts of the fruit to cure fever. Talk to your doctor before using rambutan as a remedy for any ailment. 


Update - We are in Budva, Montenegro now. Sophie put her feet in the Adriatic Sea, and got a big kick out of it. Sophie continues to be a good traveler. She only gets a little cranky if we have kept her out too late, and even then she's not too bad. Everyone loves her....the waiters and shop clerks all treat her with special care. And she makes little friends everywhere she goes - we have a couple of pictures of the children she befriended along the way. She has not eaten much of the local food except salad, cheese, bacon, and bread, and she drinks plenty of liquids. Tonight we happened upon some local musicians practicing their music. Sophie and I watched them play for a little while. Dinner was waiting for us, so I had to take her away. She was very mad at me, and begged to be taken back to the music.

Tomorrow we are going to Bay of Kotar, also in Montenegro.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Hi, Mom and Craig.  We are all doing well.  Chris has a nice house nestled in the mountains.  Sophie loves their dog, Kenny.  She bosses him around (though he doesn't really listen).  And of course she loves her cousin Iva.  She tries to be helpful to her (pick up her toys if she drops them), and wants to hold her.  We went shopping at an outdoor market today, and Sophie just wanted to chase the pigeons away.  I think she was feeling protective of her cousin.  It was an hour plus drive to and from the market, and Iva didn't really like the long drive. She had a hard time taking a nap while we were out.  I'm a little nervous for Iva to travel by car with us to Montenegro and Croatia to visit some coastal towns.  Iva is not used to getting "off her routine", and our little day trip was hard on her.  So, we'll see.  Sophie, on the other hand, has been a good little traveler. Other than jet lag, she's been fine and having a lot of fun.

Love ya,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013