Health Benefits of Mango
When you savor the delicious, succulent mangoes every reason, little do you think about the immense health benefits coming with every bite. A proverb goes, saying mango 'the king of fruits'. Beyond the sweet, luscious taste of mangoes, it also contains abundant of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that assures you optimum health.
Since decades, mango has been a stomach soother; alike papayas, mangoes also have an enzyme with stomach comforting properties. As the popularity of mangoes is widespread, many food manufacturers have introduced their jellies, jam, squash, pickles, marinades and spices with pure mango flavor.
Mango is rich in fiber, thus if you have at least one mango everyday in your diet you are sure to stay miles away from constipation, piles and spastic colon. Researchers and studies published at Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety have proved that dietary fiber has a positive effect on eliminating degenerative diseases, such as those of cancers and heart ailments. So, you get more reasons to include the delicious fruit in your everyday diet. The more you are on strenuous activities, you lose the bodily potassium, here again mangoes replenish this loss.
Origin of Mango
Mango belongs to the same family as that of pistachio, gandaria, mombin and cashew. Some common names of mango are mangot, manga, and mangou.
The mango originated in southern Asia, especially Burma and eastern India almost 4,000 years back. Many stories in Indian mythologies have the mention of mango plant; Lord Buddha is known to meditate in a mango grove. Mango cultivation spread first to Malaya, eastern Asia and eastern Africa and then they were introduced to California in around 1880. Mango was introduced to Africa and Brazil by the Portuguese explorers. Mango cultivation started in Hawaii and Florida in around 19th century.
According to Indian concept, mango symbolizes life (it is the national fruit of India) and is used in every pious ritual. Mango leaves are used for festival and wedding decorations. The ‘chutney’ made by Indian mangoes is the original chutney that has become popular universally. Today India is the world’s major producer of mangoes; Thailand, China, Brazil and Mexico are the other producing countries.
Health Benefits of Mango
Mango is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6, and a very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium and copper. Mangoes are one of the best sources of quercetin, betacarotene, and astragalin. These powerful antioxidants have the power to neutralize the free radicals. Ailments like heart disease, premature aging, cancer and degenerative diseases are due to these free radicals which damage the cells.
In China, mangoes are sweet and sour and offer a cooling energy. The tonic made from mangoes in Chinese medicine is known as yin tonic, which is used to treat bleeding gums, anemia, cough, constipation, nausea, fever, sea sickness and cures weak digestion.
Keeps blood pressure in control
Mangoes have ultimate vitamin content that assures an overall good health. Rich in potassium (4% in 156 mg) and magnesium (2% in 9 mg), mangoes are great natural remedies for high blood pressure patients. It also contains selenium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Mangoes are said to be vitamin powerhouse as its rich in riboflavin, vitamin B6, A,C,E,K, niacin, folate, thiamin and panthothenic acid. This helps you to stay away from a host of diseases that can come with the deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E content in mango helps to boost up sex life by triggering the sex hormones.
Pectin content reduces cancer hazards & lowers cholesterol levels -
Mango has high amounts of pectin, a soluble dietary fibre that efficiently contributes to lower blood cholesterol levels. Pectin also prevents you from having prostate cancer. Lately, the studies at The Institute for Food Research discovered that a portion originating from pectin combines with galectin 3 (a protein playing significant role in all stages of cancer). The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer also has come up with a strong association between eating mango and lowering the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Helps gain weight
Mango consumption can be probably the easiest way to gain weight. 150g of mangoes has around 86 calories which can be absorbed easily by the body. Moreover, mangoes also contain starch that transforms into sugar, which in turn aids in gaining weight. So people striving hard for some extra pounds, mango is your real treat. Mango milkshakes will accelerate the process of gaining weight since they contain milk also.
Helps in digestion
Mango has a prominent role in eliminating problems like indigestion and acidity. The digestive enzymes in mango help in digestion naturally. The bio-active ingredients in mango like esters, terpenes and aldehydes contribute in enhancing appetite and also improve digestion.
Cures anemia & helps in pregnancy
Mangoes are rich in iron, thus they are beneficial for people suffering from anemia. Regular and adequate intake of mangoes helps to take care of anemia by increasing the blood count in the body.
Mangoes are also very beneficial for pregnant woman as the iron requirement in such situations is extremely essential. Doctors often prescribe iron tablets during pregnancy. Instead you can enjoy a healthy iron rich diet with the juicy mangoes. The taste buds during pregnancy usually goes bland, mangoes will surely prove to be the delight of the day along with its ultimate benefits.
You must be surprised to know that mangoes are closely related with skin enhancements. Other than bringing a glow to your face, this fruit also helps to lighten skin color. You can easily enhance your beauty by including this tasty fruit in your diet regularly.
Mangoes treat acne effectively as they open the clogged pores of the skin. Once these pores are opened, acne formation eventually stops. Unclogging the pores of the skin can be an effective way to get rid of acne. To enjoy this benefit, there is no need to eat mangoes regularly, but all you need to do is remove the mango pulp and apply it on the skin for around 10 minutes and then wash it off.
Mangoes contain high amounts of vitamins A and vitamin C, which helps to produce collagen protein inside the body. Collagens again help to preserve the blood vessels and body connective tissues, thereby slowing down the skin aging process. Thus, mangoes can be rightly called anti ageing food. You can now restore your youth in a much natural, tasty and delicious method.
Promotes brain health
Mangoes have abundant quantities of vitamin B-6, which is vital for maintaining and improving the brain functions. These vitamins aid in the amalgamation of the major neurotransmitters that contributes in determining the mood and modification of sleeping patterns. Mangoes provide adequate quantities of this vitamin naturally. Thereby you can be assured of a sound brain and healthy nerve functioning throughout with regular mango intake and by avoiding medicinal supplements; you can stay away from its high doses that might cause nerve damage. The Glutamine acid content in mango improves concentration and memory power.
Boosts body immunity
As said earlier, alike carrots, mangoes are also rich in high quantities of beta-carotene a carotenoid. This element of mango helps in enhancing the immune system of the body and makes it strong. Beta-carotene gets transformed into vitamin A eventually inside the body. Vitamin A again is an antioxidant vitamin and assures you protection against the innumerable free radicals that can harm your internal system. Thus, mangoes are great choice amongst the varied food items in your regular diet that not only assures you a disease free life but enchants you with its magnificent taste.
Further researches are still on, however some studies have already revealed that mango is a great natural remedy for diabetes. It was a myth that diabetic patients should compulsorily avoid mangoes for its sweet taste; but now it is being proved that other than the fruit, the mango leaves are also helpful in curing diabetes. Put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with a lid before going to bed. Drink the water in empty stomach the next day after filtering the leaves. Regular practice of this method has shown positive results in diabetic patients.
What are mango allergies?
You may often come across with complaints regarding mango allergies. Some people can be sensitive to to mangos as they belong to the Anacardiaceae family and therefore can be said as relative of poison ivy. Mangoes contain a substance called urushinol, which is a toxic resin often causing dermatitis. The severity of this skin allergy varies with individual. However, the peel and juice are more responsible for this allergy; the flesh has relatively low chances of bringing this allergy.
How to buy and store mangoes?
Some varieties of mangoes do not turn red, orange or yellow. If you prefer to buy these green varieties, try to look for other signs of ripeness like the nice sweet aroma. Green mangos are loved in many dishes from Thailand, India, and Malaysia. In Indian markets, you will find dried green mangos that are processed into mango powder or amchoor or amchur, which is an admired East Indian seasoning.
The ripe mangoes should succumb nicely to a light press with the fingertip and you will see a slight depression on the surface. Even if you buy them unripe, keep them in a paper bag in a warm place and they will ripen within two days. If you keep the unripe mangoes at room temperature, it may take up to 1 week to ripe.
You will be able to recognize fresh mangos with the size; it is about 4 inches in length and the weight often ranges from 9 ounces to 4 pounds. The larger the fruit, the higher will be the fruit to seed ratio. The mango season is from May through September, but there are many markets that import mangoes from warm climates year-round.
You can store ripe mangoes in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks, or they can be dried, frozen, cooked in syrup or puréed. In the commercial market, you get mangos in canned, fresh, and dried forms. If you buy dry mangoes, ensure to rehydrate them in warm water for about four hours and then you can add them to your recipe.
If you want to freeze uncooked mangos, just sprinkle sugar over the seeded, peeled, sliced fruit. Stir lightly with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts in the juice of the mango itself. Make sure the pieces are well sugar coated. Seal them in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Few facts about the mango plant
Mangoes are found in two varieties, one from India and the other from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Indian mangoes have bright yellow – red color, while Philippine race has pale green color. The mango plant requires a frost-free climate, the flowers and fruits will be damaged if the temperatures drop below 40° F. The fruits are favored in a warm, dry weather.
The mango trees make a scenic landscape and grow up to 65 feet. Mango trees are known for their longevity; in fact some trees are known to live more than 300 years old and still fruiting. The leaves of mango tree are usually pale green in color, which darkens as they move upwards. The young leaves are usually red in color. The flowers appear on a mango tree at the branch terminals. The reddish flowers are borne in dense panicles of up to 2000 minute flowers. These flowers emit a volatile substance that may sometimes prove to be allergic, thereby causing respiratory troubles.
Fruits of a mango tree grow at the rear end of the stringlike stem (the former panicle). The size of the fruits is usually 2 to 9 inches long and shape may vary from being kidney shaped, oval or round. The flesh of mango is peachlike and it’s excessively juicy that radiates from the husk of a singular oval shaped seed. Mango fruit takes 100 to 150 days after flowering to get matured.
Proper growth of mango trees is possible only in dense shade and good air drainage in winter. Mango trees grow in any well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. The plant needs a deep soil to spread its extensive root network. The tree requires frost protection at tender age. Bacterial spots, pests and other plant diseases can develop, thus proper protective measures should be needed.
Mangoes are mainly grown all across the tropical countries; however California, Florida, Central America and Mexico have developed their mango cultivation greatly and have become a major supplier to U.S. markets.
Source of photos: PhotoXpress.com