Why Should You Relish Seasonal Mangoes?Luke Coutinho
We’re right in the middle of the summer and it’s time to relish on those seasonal mangoes. We come across these common myths every year – “Will mangoes make me fat? “; “Will mangoes shoot my sugar levels high?”; “Will mangoes worsen my acne?” Well, it certainly will if you’re not eating it the right way.
Mangoes are often grown and seen in local markets of India during this time of the year due to the beauty and wisdom of nature. Mangoes are known to be summer fruit because they tend to have a cooling impact on the body. This is one strong reason as to why one must stick to eating local and seasonal produce always. Additionally, the nutritional profile of mangoes is so high that it can upscale our immune system and prepare our bodies for the upcoming monsoon.
Mango is often referred to as king of fruits and offers a nutrition powerhouse by providing macronutrients, micronutrients as well some polyphenols. Mangos contains structural carbohydrates such as pectins and cellulose. The major amino acids include lysine, leucine, cysteine, valine, arginine, phenylalanine, and methionine (some of these are essential amino acids and would be available to the body only with dietary sources). The lipid composition increases during ripening, particularly the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are also essential fatty acids needed for the body. Some of the micronutrients include vitamin E, vitamin C, β-carotene, potassium, Vitamin D, most B vitamins (excluding Vitamin B12). Polyphenols found in mangoes include mangiferin, gallic acid, gallotannins, quercetin, isoquercetin, ellagic acid, and β-glucogallin, lutein. Mangoes also contain chlorophylls. Owing to its rich nutritional profile, mangoes exhibit antidiabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory properties
With the rich nutrient profile that the mangoes offer, here’s an overview of how its beneficial for certain conditions:
- Diabetes: Fibers and antioxidants in mangoes don’t let the blood sugar levels rise too quickly. Mangifera present in mangoes impacts in making insulin resistance better. Also, in comparison with other tropical fruits, mango consumption has demonstrated beneficial effects on postprandial glucose and insulin response in type 2 diabetes.
- Weight management: Dietary fibre, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds found in mangoes aid in the reduction or prevention of obesity and its associated chronic inflammatory conditions. Mangoes lower oxidative stress in the body. Mangiferin has the ability to loosen and remove fatty deposits from our liver.
- Cancer: Mangoes are a rich source of immune boosting vitamins and thus known to exhibit anticancer and tumour suppression properties. Antitumoral effects of mangiferin are seen in various cancer cell lines such as breast, lung, ovary, brain, and cervix.
- Gastric Health: Mango has non digestible fibres which feed your good bacteria and improve gut health. Hence good for IBS, Crohns, ulcerative colitis as well. Mangoes are labelled as prebiotic because of their ability to feed good bacteria. Also, Mangoes stimulate digestive enzymes hence can be used as precursors to digestive enzymes.
- Cardiac health: Potassium helps control the heart rate and blood pressure, which helps keep your heart healthy. Also, high amounts of soluble dietary fibre known as pectin can help lower cholesterol.
- Anti-Aging: Vitamin A and vitamin C present in mangoes play an essential role in the production of collagen which is a protein that is necessary for keeping the skin cells healthy. It helps protect the body’s connective tissues and the blood vessels, thereby enhancing the glow of the skin, triggering elasticity, and slowing down the natural aging process.
Right ways to consume Mangoes:
- Eat your fruit but do not drink it, meaning you can cut pieces of fruit and relish it mindfully but you need to avoid pulping (aamras) it on a regular basis as that can lead to breakage of fibres.
- Always combine mangoes with a handful of soaked nuts so as to avoid spike in blood sugar levels and also to make the entire meal more nutritionally balanced. If you’re diabetic, you can also sprinkle about ¼ tsp of srilankan rolled cinnamon powder over it for further managing sugar levels better.
- Avoid eating mangoes with your main meals, it’s best to consume it as a separate meal for better absorption and reducing the carbohydrates overload of the main meals.
- Like any other fruit, avoid consuming mangoes post sunset.
- Despite the nutritional powerhouse, be mindful of your portions, 1-2 should be okay per day, however you need to first check with your health practitioner once before adding it to your daily meals.
- Avoid mixing sugar to mangoes / aamras, if needed you can use jaggery to sweeten it.
- Always wash and soak Mangoes for 2-4 hours in water before consuming it.
While we understand all the health benefits of ripe mango, we should not neglect the fact that even raw mangoes are equally nutritionally rich and offer an array of benefits, you can read more on them at : https://lukecoutinho.com/blog/recipe-corner/go-the-raw-mango-way/
While picking up your mangoes, always prefer organic or the ones grown in your known farms because these days they’re heavily sprayed with carbide and we certainly don’t want to add any extra chemical to the body which can affect the body negatively in the long run.
In closing, there is so much in a mango that we can blindly trust the goodness of nature and everything that grows and is a part of it. We mustn’t be scared of anything that’s available to us from nature. We rather be worried about all those foods made in plants, chemicals sprayed on the fruits, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep schedule, enormous stress levels, popping so many medications every single day but certainly not about this seasonal fruit available to us from nature. You need to keep your medical practitioner in loop before your plan to restart consuming these on a regular basis.