Summer is here, and with it of course comes those succulent and juicy mangoes. The “king of fruits” is not only full of irresistible flavour, but is low in calories and jam-packed with beneficial nutrients. Taste the tropics and discover how this wonderful can benefit you.
One cup of mangoes (225 gms) contains the following values and recommended daily percentages:
• 105 calories
• 76% vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
• 25% vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
• 11% vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
• 9% copper (a co-factor for many vital enzymes and for production of red blood cells)
• 7% potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
• 4% magnesium
This antioxidant-rich fruit contains quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid, methylgallat as well as an abundance of enzymes that have been found to protect the body against colon, breast, leukaemia and prostate cancers. Being rich in carotenes, mangoes are also believed to help protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
A single mango contains only 1% fat, 0% cholesterol and 0% sodium, and thus it’s a great choice to incorporate into a low-calorie diet. With its high beta carotene content, this versatile fruit keeps you full longer, and also curbs your sweet cravings. Being a rich source of dietary fibre – both soluble and insoluble – consuming mangoes will also aid digestion, help alleviate constipation and keep your digestive tract clean. Studies have shown that mangoes provide about 12% of the daily recommended intake of fibre. Various bio-active compounds like esters, terpenes and aldehydes make mangoes even more effective in preventing indigestion, and useful in normalising and maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels.
A single fruit is capable of providing of almost a day's supply of vitamin C to the body. This aids in the proper functioning of the immune system, since vitamin C stimulates white blood cells to work more efficiently, thereby destroying bacteria and germs. Vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen, which is critical for your skin, blood vessels and connective tissues. When applied directly on the body, the vitamin C present in mango can also help “de-tan” the skin by addressing hyper-pigmented areas.
Mango is also a great source of vitamin A which, like vitamin C, plays a key role in immunity and helps keep your eyes healthy. One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, and is a great source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, muscle contraction, and keep your bodily processes working smoothly. When the pulp of mango is rubbed over the face, the vitamin A helps brighten the complexion, maintains moisture and softens the skin.
There are many ways to incorporate the fruit in your daily diet. While eating it raw is the easiest way to enjoy the fruit, you can also add it to a grain or a vegetable salad for zesty flavour, or use it in a cold gazpacho soup. If you are craving something spicy, give Jalapeno mango salsa a try. The fruit can be added to your breakfast smoothies, granolas and oats, and can be an after-meal dessert. Mix a bit into cocktails or make a tea out of it. Sweet or savoury, whichever way you choose, rest assured that the mango is absolutely the “king of fruits”.