Nutritionist AVANTI DESHPANDE shows us how to enjoy the mango without losing our health
Summers means mango, mango and health troubles if you do not know how to eat it. Citadel columnist & nutritionist AVANTI DESHPANDE tells you how to enjoy the king of fruits without losing your health.
It has finally arrived! Yes, I’m talking about king of fruits, mango. When you gorge into that luscious rich slice of pure deliciousness, you know it is the king indeed. With that succulent bite of the mango, also come several health benefits, which we might not know. Beyond its sweet taste, mango also contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that assure your optimum health. Here are the many benefits of mangoes:
In ancient times, mangoes have been used to soothe the stomach. Similar to papayas, they contain certain enzymes with stomach comforting properties. Also, mango is rich in fibres, especially soluble fibre, so it is good for a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. Fibre also keeps us full for long. It keeps our colon clean and allows it to work optimally.
POWERHOUSE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants can fight against free radicals. Free radicals are such free flowing components in the body that can attack any healthy cell of the body to satisfy their valency, because of which many diseases like cancers, diabetes, heart diseases can occur. Mangoes are rich in vitamin A and C, which are powerful antioxidants. They combine with free radicals and neutralize them.
RICHEST SOURCE OF VITAMIN A
Vitamin A from mangoes is known as beta-carotene. It is a powerful carotenoid that also given the luscious yellow-orange colour to the mango. This beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A or retinol inside our bodies. Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and vision in darkness as well. It is also involved in making of RBCs and haemoglobin structure. Hence, lack of Vitamin A can cause Vitamin A induced anaemia. Mangoes are also rich in iron, so they can protect from the disease. Betacarotene helps to enhance the immune system and make it impervious to bacteria and toxins.
Mangoes contain pectin, found to decrease serum cholesterol levels. Pectin is a soluble fibre. These molecules bind with cholesterol molecules and discard them. In a study conducted by the University of Madras, mangiferin (one
of the primary compounds in mangoes) lowered the cholesterol levels in lab rats. It was also found to increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol.
Mangoes effectively treat acne by opening the clogged pores of the skin. Once these pores are opened, acne formation will eventually stop. Unclogging the pores of the skin is the most effective way to eliminate acne. To enjoy this benefit, there is no need to eat them every day; you need to remove the pulp and apply it on the skin for around 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
There are many studies done, which show a strong connection between mango consumption and low risks of GI tract cancers. Mango contains a soluble fibre called pectin, which binds with cholesterol and discards it. This pectin can also help prevent prostate cancer.
Yes, people with diabetes can eat mangoes. Since it’s a debatable issue,
there are several studies done which prove that eating mango can help lower the blood sugar levels and does not spike it up. However, diabetics should eat one mango at a time in the day. Eating too much can obviously spike the sugar levels, since mango has good amount of natural sugars. Eating mango leaves have also shown to reduce the BSL levels. One can simply put 8-10 mango leaves in hot water at bedtime and drink it next morning removing the leaves.
MAINTAINS ALKALINITY OF THE BODY
Many diseases in the body start building up due to its acidic state. It happens when junk food consumption is high or stress levels are high. As mangoes are enriched with tartaric and malic acid, and contain traces of citric acid, it helps in maintaining the alkali reserve of our body. The one thing we also worry about is if the mangoes would be the reason for weight gain. But if we are able to consume the mangoes in the following manner, usually weight gain will not be much of a concern: G Have mango on an empty stomach as it provides Vitamin C, A and other important vitamins, which can be absorbed more efficiently on empty stomach. G Relish the mango at the time of breakfast either as a whole fruit or then making yummy parfait. Mangoes will work as a source of carbs, so see that there is some protein food to lower the sugar spike in the body. So you can team up the mango with nuts, or have aamras with a tablespoon of ghee. Avoid eating mangoes or aamras along with or post the meals, e.g. lunch or dinner. G Relish only one mango per day. Go beyond only on special occasions and combine them with ghee or nuts as mentioned.
Now all of us love mango just to eat by itself. But many of us don’t know the different recipes to prepare with mangoes other than shakes or ice creams. Here are two interesting recipes using mango in a unique way: