27Apr

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According to a Burmese legend, once a gardener presented a large fruit to Siddharth Gautama. Ananda, Buddha’s favorite disciple cut the fruit in half & gave it to Buddha. Having liked the fruit, Buddha asked Ananda to plant the seed of the fruit at a suitable place. In some Buddhist texts, a grove of this fruit’s trees is mentioned as having been presented by Amradharika to Lord Buddha as a place of repose. Another legend says that when Lord Shiva was separated from Parvati, he sat under this same fruit tree. Do you know which fruit was it?
It is our very own King of fruits, Mango or Aam or Amra. Cultivation of Mangoes in India dates back to 4000 years back. Our summer vacations & our childhood would feel incomplete without mangoes. We absolutely love mangoes. No wonder it is called the King of Fruits. But its royalty is not confined to our taste buds only, it transcends to nutrition also. So, without further ado, let’s find out health benefits of eating mangoes?

It’s an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C & copper. It is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & B vitamins like B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. It is a source of both soluble & insoluble fiber, but more of soluble fiber, the one which helps in reducing cholesterol. One mango provides around 135 calories.

Health benefits of mangoes

What are the health benefits of eating mangoes?

  1. Due to its rich antioxidant content, it helps in preventing cancer mainly leukemia, cancers of the breast, colon & prostate. Researchers have studied the anticancer properties of polyphenol extracts from mango & found that it inhibits the growth of cancerous cells.
  2. The high vitamin A content in mangoes makes it good for eyesight.
  3. Mangoes help clear complexion by reducing acne issues as it contains high Vitamin C.
  4. The malic & tartaric acid in Mangoes provides an alkaline environment in the body. Hence, it alleviates the symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, and is overall good for digestion.
  5. It has a high content of soluble fiber which helps in lowering bad cholesterol & thus essential in heart health.
  6. It helps in cleansing the body by eliminating toxins.

Will eating mango make me fat?

One mango daily won’t make you fat but 4-5 mangoes in a day surely will because they are high in calories. Moderation is key here. Any food has the potential of becoming toxic if consumed in higher amounts. Just because it is a powerhouse of nutrients doesn’t mean we should be generously eating it. So how much mangoes should we eat daily? You can safely eat 1 to 2 mangoes per day for a guilt-free experience.

What is the ideal time of the day to eat Mangoes?

The ideal time is to eat in the morning. You can eat it as a mid-morning snack. For weight watchers, do not consume mango or for that matter, any fruit during or after meals, have it in between meals. Avoid having it at night.

Can Diabetics eat Mangoes?

The king of fruits doesn’t seem to bless our population suffering from diabetes. Even a small slice of mango has the potential of spiking blood sugar levels.

But to eat or not to eat is dependent on several factors like age, physical activity, blood glucose control, HbA1C. If your blood glucose levels are under control, then you can consume but in smaller amounts in between meals before an activity & not with meals to reduce sugar spikes. Avoid drinking aamras, have only a slice of mango. Don’t eat any other high carbohydrate food with mango. If you control the portion size, it won’t pose any harm.

But still, practice caution while consuming this fruit if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic.

How to choose mangoes like a pro?

  1. Don’t choose the wrinkled variety.
  2. Mango should be slightly firm.
  3. The size and color do not indicate the juiciness of this fruit. Press it lightly, if it gives slightly, that means it’s ripe.
  4. Shouldn’t have any cuts anywhere.
  5. Buy the unripe variety, slightly greenish in color, store it for a day & enjoy the pulp.

How to clean & store a mango?

  1. Wash mangoes with running water thoroughly for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash them again in saltwater.
  3. Put the mangoes in water for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, wipe them with a clean cloth & store in the refrigerator.

Note: Due to the Coronavirus spread, it is advisable to consume mangoes after 24 hours.

If mangoes are available in your area amidst this pandemic, do enjoy them. In these gloomy days, it will definitely put a smile on your face.

 References:

  1. Shakti M. Gupta, Plant Myths and Traditions in India, Brill Archive, 1971
  2. GM Masud Parvez, Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2016; 5(3): 01-07
  3. Sheryl Salis, Diet In Diabetes Simplified: Your Personal Diabetes Nutrition Coach, Notion Press, 2020

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