By Isaiah Ogunrinola:
Mango is one of the favorite fruits of many Nigerians. Just like most tropical fruits, it usually falls off the tree once it is ripe. One does not have to harvest it, it just falls and our part is to pick and eat, saving none for tomorrow just like the Biblical Manna. Mango is cheap to buy in the Nigerian market whether urban or rural.
I deem myself the number one lover of Mangoes, as I always look forward to enjoying it every season. When it is Mango season, my mouth gets busy with eating it every day. This fruit is not only delicious but also boasts an impressive nutritional profile. No wonder some people refer to the Mango fruit as the King of all fruits. Here is the good news! Mango is out and we can enjoy it while it lasts.
SOME NUTRIENTS IN MANGO
One cup of mango contains:
1 gram protein
0.5 grams of fat
25 grams of carbohydrate (24 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fibers)
100 percent of the daily need for vitamin C
35 percent of vitamin A
20 percent of foliate
10 percent of vitamin B-6
8 percent of vitamin K and potassium
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MANGO
1. Mangoes lower Cholesterol: Mangoes are high in pectin, which helps lower high cholesterol levels in your blood.
2. Mangoes are skin-friendly: Mangoes also contain Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, which according to studies, clear and cleanse the skin, because it reduces fatty oils build-up, reduces chances of pimples, acne or wrinkles and helps unclog your pores and naturally add freshness to your skin.
3. Mangoes are good for eyes: The Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene present in Mangoes does not only benefit the skin, but it also improves eye vision.
4. Mangoes help with Weight loss and digestion: Mangoes also contain fibers, which have the ability to decrease our food intake; hence, it’s a natural weight loss aid. If you are in the habit of eating the peel as well as the fruit itself, you are actually doing yourself a huge favor. Mango peels, according to recent studies, contains high polyphenol content, which makes it a good antioxidant and also helps you to lose weight.
5. Mangoes help with Brain function: Mangoes also help in improving memory and brain function, because it is a very good source of iron and vitamin B6. Iron helps with the normal functioning of your brain and vitamin B6 supports your brain’s cognitive development.
6. Mangoes also boost the immune system: The high amount of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes, plus the different kinds of carotenoids contained in it, keeps the immune system healthy and strong.
7. Prevent Heart disease: Mangoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that cause heart disease
8. Mangoes are Anti Cancer: Mango’s 76% Vitamin C content, carotenoids (organic pigment produced by plants) and Poly-phenols (micronutrients) actually give it its cancer-preventing properties; reducing the chances of getting stricken with cancer and helps prevent cancer, especially colon and prostate cancer.
9. Mangoes help treat Diabetes: Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
10. Promotes Healthy Sex: Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (from whole foods) does help.
11. Help Prevent Asthma: Asthma, though common, can have serious repercussions. But with a bowl of mangoes on your kitchen counter, you probably don’t have to worry much. Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Though most studies have prompted further research on the link between vitamin C and asthma treatment, they do state that vitamin C might have beneficial effects in certain cases.
12. Mangoes are rich in vitamin B6, and as per an American study, this vitamin might reduce urinary oxalate (the oxalate stones). The potassium in mangoes is also found to lower the risk of kidney stones.
13. Boost Bone Health. The presence of vitamin A is what makes mangoes one of the good foods for bone health. An article published by Pomona College also supports the role of vitamin A in bone development. The vitamin C in mangoes aids the formation of collagen, which has a role to play in the making of bones and connective tissues. Mangoes also contain lupeol, a compound that exhibits beneficial activity against inflammation and arthritis. :
Conclusion, make mangoes part of your meal this season; you would be glad you did.