A mango, also known as Mangifera Indica, is a delicious fruit with a unique smell, taste and surprising health benefits. First cultivated in India, the Mango has been farmed across the world, with its season lasting four months, April to August in the Caribbean.
One cup of mango sums up to 105-110 calories and contains vitamins (C, A, B), potassium, copper, magnesium and probiotic fiber. There are many types of mangoes within the Caribbean, such as Julie, East Indian, Bombay, Blackie, and Keitt. Un-ripe mangoes are green but during season they turn golden yellow, crimson red, yellow or orange.
Are mangoes filling or fattening? Well, everything should be done in moderation. In one sitting an individual can feel like they have eaten a full meal, but with a bad diet, mangoes can in fact add to weight gain.
Health Benefits of Mangoes
- Improves Digestion
Mangoes are one of the many fruits (including papaya) which contain enzymes for breaking down protein. The fiber in mango also aids in digestion and elimination of waste.
- Prevents Cancer
Mangoes have antioxidant properties and compounds which have been found to protect against cancer. Cancers such as cancers of the colon, prostate and breast and also leukemia can be prevented by the daily intake of mangoes. Compounds in this super fruit include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.
- Alkalizes the Whole Body
Mangoes contain acids tartaric, citric and malic acids which aids in maintains the alkali reserve of the body.
- Lowers Cholesterol
Mangoes help lower serum cholesterol levels with their fiber, pectin and vitamin C components. Cholesterol can be extremely damaging to one’s body if it is in high levels and a balance is not maintained.
- Clears the Skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body and the face is the most sensitive, prone to trapping the most dirt and clogging of pores which promote the development of pimples and acne. Mangoes can be eaten and used topically on the face for skin rejuvenation, elimination of pimples and promotion of clear healthy beautiful skin.
- Helps in Diabetes
The fruit has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities is adequate for intake and will not increase sugar levels. The leaves of the mango however aids in the normalization of insulin levels in the blood, so diabetics can benefit from this home remedy. The leaves are boiled in water overnight and then the filtered decoction is consumed in the morning.
- Remedy for Heat Stroke
Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm to the body. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.
- Boosts Immune system
The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes, plus twenty five different kinds of carotenoids help to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
As a result of mangoes being high in fiber, they leave one feeling full, so there is no need to snack in between meals, and their sugar content substitutes for biscuits and other candy. Therefore, mangoes are not fattening fruits by themselves. In keeping with the daily calorie intake for a particular day, persons are able to maintain their weight and eating over the calorie limit, even if it is a mango, will add to weight gain. When mangoes are in season they make delicious and nutritious alternates to a snack or meal, as they are fat, cholesterol and salt free. People can incorporate mangoes into their diet and enjoy the many health benefits of the super fruit, especially on a hot summer’s day.
By: Alexandra Daley
What’s your favorite mango?