Mango (mangifera indica) is rightly known as the King of Fruits. With over a thousand varieties available worldwide, it has something that appeals to every palate. The mango tree itself is evergreen and fast-growing, and every part of it – fruit, leaf, stem/bark – has nutraceutical or therapeutic properties. A tropical fruit that is green when unripe, it turns a golden yellow when fully ripe, and its pleasant flavor and sweet and mild tart taste make it highly sought-after. Mangoes are best eaten between the months of April and June. India’s love for the fruit is undying, and mango afficianados consume them almost everyday when in season. Little wonder then, that it is also the country’s National Fruit.
Considered a ‘Super Fruit’, the high-calorie mango boasts an impressive nutritional profile. It is packed with Vitamin A, betacarotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin b6, folate potassium, magnesium, copper, dietary fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols.
- High in antioxidants due to the presence of polyphenol compounds, pigments and vitamins, it protects from free radical damage which is responsible for aging and chronic diseases. It thus helps in combating degenerative diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
- It also has anti-inflammatory properties providing gastro protective effects in severe chronic disorders like inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis etc.
- Boosts immunity – because of high Vitamin C content. It strengthens the body’s defence mechanism against infections. Mangiferin found in mangoes helps in reducing inflammation and benefits the immune system.
- Mangoes are rich in vitamin A and flavonoids like b- carotene which are essential for vision. Some Research shows that mangoes are also rich in carotenoid, lutein which helps to promote eye health and presence of copper protects the eye from macular degeneration and age-related diseases.
- Good for digestion – Its high dietary fiber and water content ensures a healthy digestive tract. It is easy to digest and a good laxative.
- It has aphrodisiac properties
- Improves complexion
Ways of consuming mangoes
- Mangoes can be consumed in a variety of ways. The fruit can either be eaten fresh or processed into chutneys, pickles, purees fresh or frozen, sherbats etc. Apart from the pulp, its byproducts such as the seed and the peel are also nutritionally competitive. Full of health-enhancing compounds due to its high vitamin and mineral content, this golden fruit is a great nutraceutical.
- Mango peel is a rich source of dietary fiber and bio-active compounds such as carotenoids, vitamin C and vitamin E; Avoid discarding the peels as it can be used to make chutney, also dehydrated mango peels can be used in jams and marmalades.
- Mango can be had along with milk – mango can be blended with warm cardamom or saffron milk.
- Mango juice acts a laxative and is a great heart tonic.
- Mango slice is sweet, tasty and cooling.
- Mango can also be used in lassi, but it’s quite heavy and so should be taken occasionally.
- Aam Rass and Poori is one of the most favorite traditional combination across India and is made in every household atleast once when in season.
- Mangoes are preserved so that it can be consumed throughout the year in form of puree as well as sliced, but what takes the cake in preserving mango are “Pickles”. Practically very state of India has their own unique recipe of mango pickle and can be eaten in combination with parathas, dal rice, pooris, etc. There are varieties of mango pickle varying from sweet, sour to spicy
- So then, you certainly can’t do any better than have a luscious, juicy mango everyday in this hot, steamy weather. Besides filling your belly and refreshing your spirits, it’ll make sure you get all those vital nutrients that your body needs and also pumps up your immunity in these very tiring and trying times. GO ON …HAVE A BITE!
Disclaimer – If Anyone is suffering from Diabetes, hypertension, obesity or kidney issues, kindly consult your nutritionist to understand best ways to consume mangoes.