No Indian summer is complete without Mangifera Indica commonly known as mango. From the famous safeda, dasheri, langra, chaunsa, alphonso to the lesser known mallika, amrapali, totapuri, kalmi, fazli, kishenbhog each species of mango is unique in taste and nutrition.
This delicious tropical fruit has been grown in India for over 4000 years and India contributes 56% of total mango production in the world.
But is there any connection between mango and nutrition? Yes, there is and loads of it. Here are some fascinating trivia on nutritional aspects of mango that will make you eat and treasure aam all the more.
Nutritional and Health Facts of Mango
The best part about each mango serving is that it is free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. It has about 20 different types of minerals – potassium, copper, iron, calcium; multiple vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E, K, B-6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin and Folate and antioxidants namely beta carotene and zeaxanthin. Of course, proteins and carbohydrates are there in mango to meet your body’s nutritional requirements.
Keeping aside the nutritional value of the fruit, even the mango plant has a surprising array of medical benefits.
The plant is of immense help when used as an astringent, antiseptic, laxative and diuretic. Mango treats everyday and monsoon-related ailments such as diarrhoea, dysentery, and also helps in giving you relief from asthma, anaemia, cough, bronchitis, sleeplessness, hypertension, toothache, haemorrhage and piles.
Mangoes – Healthily Yours!
This yummy fruit is blessed with countless health benefits:
- Reduces Cholesterol
When you eat a mango, it helps you keep your cholesterol levels in check. The high amount of vitamin, fiber and pectin in it lowers bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your bloodstream and increases the levels of good HDL cholesterol.
- Prevents Cancer
The antioxidants found in mango such as astragalin, quercetin, isoquercetin, fisetin, gallic acid and methyl gallate have the ability to protect you against various forms of cancer such as colon, breast, prostate, and leukemia. The anti-cancerous compounds present in mangoes eliminate harmful cancer cells, without putting normal healthy cells to any harm.
- Boosts Healthy Vision
A single cup of sliced mangoes offers you about 25% of the required daily input of vitamin A. This in turn enhances good eyesight and also prevents dry eyes and night blindness.
- Prevent Heat Stroke
Acute summers always bring you the risk factor of heat stroke. Since our body needs the required fluid intake every day, mango helps in replenishing your body with the right levels of sodium. This helps in controlling your body’s fluid level, thus protecting you from bouts of heat.
Make some mango juice, an excellent coolant in summer, with just one mango, a few quarts of water and 1 tbsp of honey. This juice will cool you down in the height of summer and prevent heat strokes.
- Alkalises the Body
Just as acidity in your body needs constant monitoring and control, same is the case with alkaline levels. Mangoes have citric acid, tartaric acid and malic acid that maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body.
- Improves Digestion
Mango, like Papaya, can break down proteins in foods. The fiber present in a mango piece immensely aids in food digestion. Mango not only prevents gastrointestinal disorder, it also provides ample relief from stomach ulcers and relief from constipation.
- Improves Memory
Mangoes have been known to contribute to brain health. This fruit has various components that decrease levels of oxidative stress, which in turn enhances memory. The glutamine acid in mango is also known to boost memory and helps in promoting mental alertness. The vitamin B6 in it also improves brain function.
- Boosts Body Immunity
Mango has more than normal levels of vitamin C, A and plenty of carotenoids that make your immune system strong and healthy.
- Mangoes (in Moderation) and Mango Leaves Can Help Diabetics
Good news for diabetic patients: Mangoes with their high fiber content can regularise blood sugar levels. But they should be taken in moderation with the consent and guidance of their doctor. A variety of sugar-free mangoes brought from Florida, USA, has been successfully cultivated in Uttar Pradesh. This mango is said to have 75% less sugar than Indian mangoes!
It is not only the fruit, even the mango leaves can help bring down your blood sugar levels. Boil 5 to 6 mango leaves in a vessel, let it soak through the night and next morning drink the filtered mango water. This technique would help in regulating your blood sugar levels.
- Improves Sex
Did you know that mango is called a ‘love fruit’? It is a great aphrodisiac that regulates sex hormones and boosts libido, thanks to the potassium and magnesium in it that produce sex hormones. Apart from this, mangoes pump up histamine production in men, which is required to achieve orgasm. Men and women suffering from low libido need to have 2-3 servings of mangoes on a daily basis.
- Skin Cleanser
Mangoes have the ability to unclog your skin pores and bring freshness to your face. The best part is mangoes match with any skin type – dry, oily or combination skin.
- High in Iron
With menstruation happening every month, ladies are bound to feel sapped of iron in their body. Since mango is rich in iron, it is of great help to women suffering from anaemia. Even post-menopausal women can take mango to boost their iron levels.
Mangoes are equally helpful for pregnant women since the iron content in the fruit helps meets the iron requirements during pregnancy. Though doctors suggest iron tablets during pregnancy, it is advisable to opt for a naturally iron-rich diet in the form of mangoes.
Mango Ice Cream Recipe
Buying and Storing Mangoes
Whenever you buy ‘unripe’ mangoes, store them in a paper bag and keep it for a few days in a warm place for them to get ripe.
If you want to buy a ‘ripe’ mango, apply slight pressure and see if it leaves a depression. This is indicative of the mango’s ripeness. Ripe mangoes can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks. They can also be dried, cooked in syrup, and even pureed.
When you buy dried mangoes, keep them in warm water for a couple of hours in order to rehydrate them, before transferring it into your recipe.
There are plenty of reasons to stock this all-time delicious fruit. Take mango to lunch as an after-meal fruit or drink it in the form of mango shake before leaving for work. In short, include mango in your daily diet and discover the natural way to good health.
Mango, as you can see, is a gift of nature and good health.