In some parts of the world, mango (Mangifera indica) is called the “king of fruits.”
It’s a drupe, or stone fruit, which means that it has a large seed in the middle.
Mango is native to India and Southeast Asia and has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. There are hundreds of types of mango, each with a unique taste, shape, size and color.
This fruit is not only delicious but also boasts an impressive nutritional profile.
In fact, studies link mango and its nutrients to health benefits, such as improved immunity, digestive health and eyesight, as well as a lower risk of certain cancers.
Here’s an overview of mango, its nutrition, benefits and some tips on how to enjoy it.
1. Helps in digestion
Mangoes could help facilitate healthy digestion. According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing, mangoes contain enzymes that aid the breakdown and digestion of protein, and also fibre, which keeps the digestive tract working efficiently. Dietary fibre helps lowering risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes. Green mangoes have more pectin fibre than ripe mangoes.
2. Promotes Healthy Gut
According to the book ‘Healing Foods’, mango flesh contains prebiotic dietary fibre, which helps feed good bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut is detrimental for a healthy state. Leaky gut, apart from poor digestion results in skin conditions like IBS, asthma, slow metabolism and other health issues.
3. Boosts Immunity
You would be surprised to know that an average sized mango contains upto two-third of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The powerful antioxidant helps boost immunity system and prevents cold/flu.
4. Promotes eye health
Including mangoes in the diet may also help promote your eye health. Mangoes are rich in beta-carotene that helps in the production of Vitamin A. The powerful antioxidant helps improve vision, boosts overall eye health and even prevents age-related macular degeneration or loss of vision.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Eating mangoes could help regulate your cholesterol levels too. The high levels of fibre pectin may help bring down the low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) which causes plaques in the vessels and blocks blood flow.
6. Clears the Skin
Mangoes are filled with skin-friendly vitamin C and Vitamin A, both of which are crucial for healthy skin and skin repair. Mangoes, eaten in moderation are also known to exfoliate and eliminate dead pores. According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND, “Mangoes are loaded with skin healing nutrients; for example, fibre in mangoes cleanses your gut that is overloaded with toxic substances”.
7. Even Diabetics Could Enjoy it
Yes it is sweet, and should be eaten sparingly, but that doesn’t make mangoes a strict no-no for diabetics. The glycemic index of mangoes ranges between 41 to 60, with an average of 51. The value of 51 is on the lower end of the glycemic index scale. Foods that are less than 55 are consider to be low glycemic food, which is safe for diabetics to consume. Foods with low glycemic index, makes sure the release of sugar in the blood is slow, and there is no sudden spike in the blood glucose levels. Besides that, mangoes are also rich in dietary fibres, which again helps regulate the blood sugar levels.
8. Aids Weight Loss
Mangoes when eaten in moderation could also help in weight loss. The phytochemicals in the mango skin act as natural fat busters. The mango flesh is filled with dietary fibres. Fibres induce a feeling of satiety. On eating high-fibre fruits or veggies you feel full for a longer time, which prevents you from tucking in other high fattening snacks.