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GlobePreneurs Love: Rambutan Fruits (Asia)

The GlobePreneur lifestyle can be very challenging. But we have the opportunity to savor exotic foods around the world. Our GlobePreneurs Love series brings you a ‘taste’ of some of the amazing experiences, fruits and cuisines from different corners of the globe.

I like to travel to Asia to enjoy the tropical fruits, while undertaking business and travels. What are your favorite tropical fruits? One of my favorite fruits is the rambutan (‘Nephelium Lappaceumis’), which is native to many countries in Asia, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. It has also been grown in Australia, the Americas and in places of warm weather.

 

Rambutan season generally occurs twice a year, usually from approximately June to August and December to January. In Vietnam, rambutans cost approximately USD$1.50 – 2.00/kg when in season.

They are also available in Asian markets in the U.S., Australia and other Western countries (for approximately USD$2-5/LB, depending on your location). We can also purchase them as canned fruits, which may be convenient, cost effective when they are not in season, especially in their non-native countries.

The Difference Rambutan, Lychee and Logan Fruits

The rambutan is similar to its ‘close relatives,’ the lychee and the longan fruit, especially with its transparent-whitish flesh and the seed in the middle. While they are similar, the outer cover or shell sets these three fruits apart.

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The rambutan fruit can be easily identified because of its green and red spikes that resemble hair. In fact, the name “Rambutan” comes from the Malay word for “hair.” There are also difference in nutritional values, which will be discussed in later articles.

How to Eat Rambutans

Rambutan fruits are usually eaten raw, sometimes freshly picked from the tree. Simply remove the skin by lightly pinching the fruit until the peel breaks in the middle. Discard the peel and eat around the seed in the middle. You can also use a knife to separate the flesh from the seed.

Rambutans are used to make smoothies, curry, crumbles, salads, cocktails, soup and many more. Some information can be found here and recipes and be found here.

Health Benefits of Rambutans

The rambutan fruit is a conglomeration of vitamins and minerals, all encased in a sweet and juicy little package.

Rambutan fruit benefits include:

  1. High Vitamin C Content – The fruit’s high Vitamin C content helps keep our immune systems healthy.
  2. High Fiber Content – The high fiber content of rambutan aids the digestive system in food metabolism, preventing constipation. It is also low in calories, which helps promote weight loss and restrain sudden hunger pains.
  3. Antiseptic Qualities – Rambutan is famous for its antiseptic properties that help the body fight off infections. The fruit also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which makes it both antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic.
  4. Alleviates Intestinal Parasites – According to traditional Chinese medicine, rambutan can help expel parasites in the gut because of its anti-fungal properties. 
  5. Contains Phosphorus – Rambutan is a good source of phosphorus, which helps in bone formation and the maintenance of your bones and teeth.
  6. Contains Gallic Acid – The rambutan rind contains a high amount of gallic acid, which functions as a free radical scavenger. This compound helps prevent cancer and oxidative damage.
  7. Good Source of Copper – Even though the body needs only a limited amount of it in the system, copper works together with iron in keeping your blood vessels, immune system, bones and the production of red blood cells at peak condition. 
  8. Good Source of Iron– This is useful for the maintenance and the production of red blood cells.

Uses of the Rambutan Fruit and Plant

Different parts of the rambutan tree/plant can be used in lots of ways. Here are some examples:

•Rambutan leaves can be used for basic hair care.

The leaves can be used to treat fever as well.

 

•Rambutan seeds can be used to uplift your skin.

The seeds can also be used to help patients with diabetes – it helps maintain your blood sugar at healthy levels.

What are your favorite fruits from Asia? Are you a rambutan fan?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, & Twitter !

 

Interesting Dining Experiences in Saigon, Vietnam

In recent years Vietnam has become a popular tourist and business destination. Its largest city, Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City, population estimated at 9 million including surrounding areas), is becoming a dynamic and colorful city. Its dining scene is diverse and alluring.

Many people have asked us what are some great dining experiences. While we are not experts in this area, the following are some interesting dining experiences in Saigon.

The Deck Saigon

The Deck is perfect for romantic dinners or for brunch with family and friends. Its location is unique as it is the only restaurant of its kind to sit on the banks of the Saigon River. 

It is 15 minutes away from downtown Saigon, and can be reached by land or by boat (the restaurant can organize for a boat to come and pick up guests from the city center). Visitors can dine on the elegant and cozy outdoor wooden deck.

The Deck has been praised and awarded as one of Asia’s finest restaurants.

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The Chefs have designed a menu featuring contemporary pan-Asian fusion cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity. The best local and imported produce is sourced, including meat from New Zealand, seafood flown in from Phu Quoc Island and vegetables from Da Lat.

The staff and executives were very friendly and gracious. They supported our photoshoot at their location. The photos turned out beautifully.

Info: The Deck, 38 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, An Phu, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   +84 8 3 744 6632

Cuc Gach Quan

Cuc Gach Quan is a unique dining experience – good ambience, authentic and comprehensive Vietnamese food, and friendly. It is located in a historical building, approximately ten minutes from the city center.

Cuc Gach is well known for its home-made, family style culinary tradition, with unique flavors and sauces.

Info: Cuc Gach Quan, 9, 10 Dang Tat, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, + 84 838480144

Monsoon Restaurant & Bar Saigon

Monsoon is interesting as it serves five authentic regional cuisines – Cambodian, Vietnamese, Thai, Laos and Myanmar.

Owned by a Thai national, who has lived and traveled extensively in the five countries, Monsoon started from a passion to bring to the aromas and flavors of each unique tradition to Vietnam.

The menu is divided by country. It includes an affordable set lunch option, and recently a Thai buffet has become available on Sundays.

Monsoon is more than just a restaurant. It hosts art exhibitions featuring emerging and established Thai artists, with the desire to create a platform for creative minds from both countries to meet and exchange ideas.

Thai cooking classes will also be available in the near future. The restaurant is set in a French colonial villa  with a charming courtyard, where food, history and art blend.

Info: Monsoon Restaurant & Bar Saigon, No.1, Cao Ba Nha, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, + 84 8 6290 8899

Air 360 Skybar

Air 360 Skybar is one of the coolest rooftop bars in Saigon with 360 degree views of the city, a lovely party atmosphere, a large swimming pool to cool off in and good drinks. The terrace has both dining and seatings in the bar.

If you like magnificent views, good party and modern atmosphere, then this will probably be a great experience for coffee, drink, events etc.

Info: 136, 138 Le Thi Hong Gam, Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, Saigon, Vietnam+84 974 587788

Chill Skybar

Saigon Chill Skybar offers both a high energy club experience in an open air skybar and a chill out lounge areas and world class cocktail bars. They are recognized internationally via London International Property Award – in 2013 they were awarded with three separate accolades for Best Leisure Interior in Vietnam, Asia Pacific and International.

 The 27 Grill restaurant that is located one floor above and includes an open kitchen, VIP room with private balcony, glass enclosed wine cellar and a completely open air dining area on the rooftop of the building. Chill’s employees include award winning Danish Chefs as well as Vietnam’s best bartender for 2013 and 2014 in the Diageo World Class Reserve Competition.

   
Chill has stunning view of Ho Chi Minh City mixed with stylish red tables and vibrant feature lighting scattered throughout. Chill hosts some of the biggest events in the country and claims to be the place to be for models, celebrities, local elites, international luxury travelers and businessmen. It has hosted a variety of events for brands such as Mercedes, Porsche, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Christian Louboutin.

So if you want fun, prestige and stunning views, Chill may the place to go. However, the prices may be on the higher side. A cocktail costs close to US$20, although there is an excellent happy hour from 17:30 to 20:00 when all cocktails, long drinks and beers, and some wines and snacks are half price. There appears to be a cocktail dress code.

Info: 76A Le Lai Rooftop of AB Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam +84 838 272 372

Do you have great dining experiences in Saigon, Vietnam to share with us? What are your favorite Vietnamese dishes?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, &Twitter !

 

GlobePreneurs Love: Custard Apples

Custard apples, also known as chermoyas and atis, and are native to South America, West Indies and some parts of Asia. The flesh is white in color and has a creamy texture. The pulp coats black shiny seeds that are not consumed. Custard apple, with its high calories and natural sugars, are great as a dessert and as a nutritious snack.

The fruit can be consumed just by itself or as shakes, smoothies, deserts, parfaits, crumbles and ice cream. Moreover, this tasty fruit is an excellent alternative to dairy products, making it perfect for those who are allergic to dairy products.

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Custard Apple Nutritional Value

Custard apples are rich in anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, which helps get rid of free radicals from the body. The fruit is also rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin B6. It contains 35 grams of Vitamin V, amounting to 40% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. It also contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, copper, and dietary fiber.

Benefits Of Custard Apple

There are many health benefits of custard apples. They help with:

1. Healthy Skin and Hair:

With high-levels of vitamin A, custard apples are great for healthy skin, healthy hair and better eyesight. It plays a role in moisturizing and anti-aging. The creamy flesh or pulp can be used as a balm to treat boils and ulcers. The outer skin of custard apple is helpful in combating against tooth decay and gum pain (1).

2. Healthy Weight:

Custard apples are good for those who need to gain weight. A mixture of honey and custard apple when consumed regularly will help add on the required weight and those much required calories. All in the healthy way (2)

3. Pregnancy:

Custard apples essentially help develop the brain, nervous system and immune system of a fetus. Regular consumption of custard apples also reduces the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy and minimizes the extent of labor pain during childbirth. The pregnancy-friendly fruit also helps the expectant mother to cope with morning sickness, nausea, numbness and mood swings. Regular consumption during pregnancy is excellent for production of breast milk. It also supports healthy weight gain and lowers the risk of constipation during pregnancy.

4. Prevents Asthma:

Custard apple is rich in vitamin B6, which help reduce the bronchial inflammation and help prevent asthmatic attacks.

5. Prevents Heart Attacks:

The magnesium content in custard apples helps defend the heart from cardiac attack and can help relax the muscles. Moreover, vitamin B6 in custard apples help prevent homocystein collection which also minimize the risk of heart diseases.

6. Aids Digestion:

Custard apple is rich in copper and dietary fibre, which helps assist digestion, help ease bowel movement and relives from constipation. Sun dried custard apple pulp can be crushed into powder and consumption of the powder with water will help heal diarrhea.

7. Diabetes:

Having custard apple for diabetes is considered very effective. The abundance of dietary fiber in custard apple helps slow down the absorption of sugar and reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

8. Blood Pressure:

Custard apples are good sources of potassium and magnesium which help keep the blood pressure levels in control. For those with fluctuating blood pressure levels, it has been suggested that a custard apple a day will help keep them in control.

9. Reduces Cholesterol:

Custard apples contain high levels of niacin and dietary fiber, which help lower cholesterol levels effectively.

10. Anemia:

Custard apples serve as a stimulant, coolant, expectorant and haematnic. This rich iron source is also useful in treating anemia.

Other Benefits Of Custard Apple:

  • A decoction made of custard apple leaves promote healthy blood flow during menstruation.
  • The decoction can also be used to relieve dysentery, cold and fever.
  • The juice of unripe custard apple is useful for treating insect bites.
  • A paste made of custard apple leaves applied is said to the wound helps in healing.
  • A decoction of custard apple leaves in your bath water helps to alleviate rheumatic pains.

Side Effects Of Custard Apples:

  • It may be a good idea to consume custard apples in moderation (if consumed in excess amounts as it can make one sick).
  • The seeds of custard apple fruit are poisonous. Do not consume it.
  • Since these fleshy, creamy fruits are rich in sugar, diabetes patients are advised to not consume custard apple in high amounts.

Are you a custard apple fan?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, & Twitter!

 

GlobePreneurs Love: The Jackfruit

The GlobePreneur lifestyle can be very stressful. But we have the opportunity to savor exotic foods around the world. Our GlobePreneurs Love series brings you a ‘taste’ of some of the amazing experiences, fruits and cuisines from different corners of the globe.

What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a relative of figs and breadfruit, and grows in tropical areas of Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. While it is a fruit, its consistency is similar to that of chicken or pork. It has a fairly neutral taste when young, so it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair it with. It has a stringy consistency that works especially well with tangy BBQ sauce to make a vegan BBQ pulled ‘pork’ sandwich. Jackfruit is a healthy and sustainable vegan meat replacement and one of the big trends of 2017.

Unlike animal sources of protein, jackfruit contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, is light on sodium, and is also low in calories. Additionally, jackfruit contains fiber and potassium, both heart-healthy nutrients that we need. It’s sustainably sourced – something that today’s consumers care about and are willing to pay for.

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How to prepare jackfruit: Young vs. ripe

When Jackfruit is “young,” “green” or unripe, it has an entirely different consistency and usage than when it’s ripe. Ripe jackfruit is eaten like any fresh fruit — the only difference is that it’s an extremely large fruit. An average jackfruit weighs between 30 and 50 pounds. Once you cut through the thick, green coral reef-like skin, you’ll find a creamy white interior filled with fibrous fruit and large pits.

The flavor of ripe jackfruit is sweet and it’s typically eaten raw on its own or as part of a dessert. Young, unripe jackfruit can be found canned and also in pouches in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. This is the type that is gaining so much attention as a meat alternative. You’ll see it in tacos, burritos, curries, bowls, salads, desserts and stir-fries.

What to do with Jackfruit?

In many parts of Southeast Asia, jackfruit is served in dozens of ways: jackfruit curry, stir fry, juice/smoothies, chips, ice cream, tacos, carnitas, desserts, decor, sandwiches/burger and even baking flour. These are just a few examples of jackfruit’s remarkable versatility in the kitchen.

Young jackfruit is generally packed with some amount of water, and sometimes also salt, so give it a rinse with cold water and let it drain in a colander before using it in recipes. Then you can literally do anything with it! It works especially well with bold and spicy flavors. Add it to chilis and stews, or sauté it with onions and peppers and throw it in a pita with some za’atar. Rub it with a Mexican spice blend, sear it in a pan and then wrap it up with brown rice and avocado for a filling burrito.

Jackfruit Benefits

Jackfruit is high in magnesium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants while offering a low-carb snack or even the perfect vegan “pulled-pork” sandwich. It can be found dried and roasted, and it can be added to soups, used in chips, jams, juices and even ice cream, in addition to simply eating fresh and raw. The seeds, containing a ton of nutritional benefits, can be boiled, roasted or ground into flour. All this nutrition gives jackfruit some truly remarkable benefits, which will be discussed below.

1. Enhances Immunity and May Help Fight Cancer

Jackfruit is a vitamin C food that contains many other antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytonutrients, including lignans, isoflavones and saponins. Additionally, we need to fight those damaging free radicals that enter the body daily. (1) According to Penn State University, by consuming antioxidants, we can neutralize the free radicals, which helps fight some forms of cancer and can give the immune system the support it needs to continue to manage it. In addition, a study published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis found that vitamin C increased activity of an important antioxidant enzyme that helps prevent breast cancer. (2) Combined, all this makes jackfruit a potential cancer-fighting food.

2. Boosts Magnesium Levels

Magnesium is crucial for the structure of our bones. Women are especially at risk for magnesium deficiency, and it’s common for African-Americans and the elderly to suffer from low magnesium levels too.

One cup of jackfruit contains 15 percent of the daily recommended value of magnesium, making it a great choice to add to your diet, especially since magnesium can help reduce the risk of many diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, in addition to helping provide strong bones. (3)

3. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

This robust fruit contains a healthy dose of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 falls into a category along with folic acid and vitamin B12 that may help reduce heart disease. This occurs due to lower levels of homocysteine, which is an amino acid and important building block of protein.

A clinical trial known as the the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation 2 including more than 5,500 adults with known cardiovascular disease learned that supplementation of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid for a period of five years reduced homocysteine levels, which decreased both heart disease risk and stroke risk by about 25 percent. (4) And while it’s uncertain as to how this affects the body, studies indicate that there may be a relationship to homocysteine and the arteries. (5)

4. Improves Digestion

Jackfruit may be a great choice for anyone suffering from constipation or issues with digestion, and it’s the seeds of the jackfruit that come in handy. The seeds contain a good portion of dietary fiber, and as we know, high-fiber foods are great because they not only help with constipation, but they help fill you up, which may contribute to weight loss.

5. Aids in Preventing Osteoporosis

In addition to bone-building magnesium, jackfruit contains calcium, which may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, or even osteopenia, which is the onset of osteoporosis.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that our bones and teeth compile about 99 percent of the calcium found in our bodies. However, we lose calcium through our skin, nails and even our sweat on a daily basis. The problem is that our bodies cannot produce new calcium, which means we have to get it through the foods we eat. When we don’t do that, the body goes to our bones to get the calcium it needs. This is when osteopenia, which leads to osteoporosis, can occur. A serving of jackfruit contains about 6 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium, making it a strong source to help stave off osteoporosis. (6)

Conclusion

Jackfruit is a versatile fruit which can be eaten as a fruit, or in the preparation of meals as a meat replacement. It tastes great and has many health benefits too. Furthermore it is a sustainable fruit and a big trend setter for 2017! Are you a jackfruit fan?

Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook LinkedInInstagram, Twitter & Pinterest!

Practical Resources For Becoming an Entrepreneur

Many people around the globe ask me ‘How do I become an entrepreneur?’ or ‘What resources are there for becoming an entrepreneur?’ Some people are just starting out, while others want to transition from their current careers and situations.

Being and entrepreneur can be fun, but it is also risky and challenging. Big changes are like an adventure. Massive changes are very challenging. It takes a lot of time and effort to do well in one discipline or field. It takes a different level of dedication to be able to build more layers on top of that and juggle many disciplines well.

My entrepreneurial journey is quite a co-incidence. While working as a lawyer and undertaking other roles in many countries, I participated in my own and family international businesses. En route to becoming a law professor, I realized that more entrepreneurship experience was required on my part to fully assist bright law students reach their full potential. My explorations lead to many exciting paths from real estate, venture capital to technology. These natural increments progressed to innovation, new product development and globalization.

Today we have many products and innovations in progress and incubated in different areas of the globe. While I am still learning and transforming as an entrepreneur every day, I just wanted to share some experiences before we launch into our GlobePreneurs Win Interview Series, per the request of many people around the world.

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The following are some (basic) practical resources and suggestions for becoming an entrepreneur:

1. Successful People: I learn a lot from successful people, especially when they share their words of wisdom, techniques, experiences online, in print etc. e.g. Richard Branson, Elon Musk etc.

2. Interviews: Many startup and company owners like to share their journey and wisdom. Hopefully our GlobePreneurs Win Interview Series will provide some great insights, advice and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and GlobePreneurs.

3. Entrepreneurship Magazines: There are usually lots of helpful materials available on entrepreneurship and business magazines such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc., Entrepreneur etc.

4. Formal Programs: There are many Startup accelerators and programs that help you with startups. e.g. The Founder Institute http://fi.co

5. Events: There are on-going conferences, seminars, networking events etc. There are also online events like hangouts and live chats/streams etc. You never know who you may meet online or otherwise!

6. Books – Some suggestions of recommended reading include:

‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand – Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban states that ‘this book is required reading for every entrepreneur.’

‘Business Adventures’ by John Brooks – This became Bill Gates’ all-time favorite business book after Warren Buffett recommended it to him in 1991.

‘Benjamin Franklin’ by Walter Isaacson – Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, says this book is one of his all-time favorites.

‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill – Daymond John, cofounder of clothing business FUBU and investor on ABC’s hit pitch show ‘Shark Tank,’ indicated that this book changed his life.

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7. Networking: This is a continuous process to build relationships, which may open doors for collaboration, introductions, exposure etc.

8. Experience: It is good to try a diverse range of projects. That will help you work out your passions, strengths, weaknesses etc. If you ‘fail’ or have some imperfections, that is ‘perfect as it is.’ Failure is essential for success in entrepreneurship. If we have not failed we have not been innovative enough. It is easier to be safe and not try new things. Most entrepreneurs who are successful e.g. Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs etc. have had their fair share of ‘failures.’ It is what we learn and how we carry on from failure that is important. I would not worry about ‘failures’ in entrepreneurship but rather see them as part of the journey to success!

Best wishes for a successful entrepreneurial journey! Please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts. Thank you for joining this amazing journey with us!

What aspects of this article did you find helpful? What are your suggestions for future interviews and features? Please feel free to send suggestions to and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

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