Aside from being a sweet, tasty and delicious fruit, the mango is packed with health benefits that you need to know about! Botanically, the mango belongs to the Anacardiaceous family which interestingly enough also includes numerous species of tropical-fruiting trees and flowering plants such as the cashew and pistachio. This exotic fruit varies greatly in size and character with the smallest being about the size of an average plum and the largest ranging from almost 4 or 5 pounds in weight. This fruit can be found either oval, or round, heart/ kidney-shaped, or even long and slender. The skin is smooth but thicker than that of a peach and often a yellowy crimson hue similar to that of some tropical sunsets. There are also some varieties that come in an unattractive green shade even when ripe. It seems that the color depends to some degree on the climate in which the fruit is grown. Inside, the flesh is often orange in color and the seed is large and flattened with a tough, woody husk or outer shell. The mangos aroma is often spicy and alluring and the flavor resembles some combination of apricots and pineapples. Mangoes taste so good that sometimes I forget how healthy they are! Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, and chutneys or just eat them by the plateful!
High Antioxidant Content and Enzymes
Research has shown that the antioxidant compounds in the mango can protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These antioxidant compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallatall of which help combat oxidative stress on our cells which often leads to the aforementioned conditions. Mangos are also abundant in enzymes needed for effective digestion.
Contains Vitamins A & C and is Effective for Skin Care, Eye Health and More
Mangoes are rich in beta carotene, a strong antioxidant which is converted to vitamin A in the skin. Taken internally or used externally, vitamin A helps clear and reduce clogged pores and virtually eliminate pimples! Vitamin A also promotes good eyesight and helps prevent night blindness and dry eyes so start eating more of them if you have hit your 40s! In addition, Mangoes contain vitamin C which helps the body produce collagen. Unfortunately, as we age, we may be losing collagen which leads to wrinkles. Vitamin C will help this effect since it aids the body in combating free radicals. These free radicals seek to steal electrons from other skin molecules breaking them down as the process continues. Is this manner, our cells begin to fail causing our skin to sag, get wrinkled, lose its structure and jettison us into old age!
Helps Lower Cholesterol
The mango contains high levels of fiber, pectin (and vitamin C) to help to lower cholesterol levels, specifically the bad stuff–Low-Density Lipoprotein.
Helps Alkalize the Body
Maintaining an alkaline environment in the body will keep you healthy for the long run. Disease and illness simply cannot survive in an alkaline rich environment and need an acidic base in which to thrive and proliferate. The tartaric acid, malic acid, and some citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserves of the body keeping you free of sickness if you eat enough of it!
Mango fruit has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels. This is a tasty satiating fruit that diabetics can enjoy guilt free on a daily basis.
Helps Improve Sex Life
Mangoes are a great source of vitamin E which research has shown to be helpful in this area if derived from a whole food. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 400IU per day of vitamin E to prevent or treat sexual dysfunction like depressed sex drive that may result from hormonal imbalances, and the Men’s fitness website reports that eating foods with vitamin E may help raise the testosterone levels in your body. Without enough testosterone in your body, your sexual stamina and sexual interest may wane and we dont want that!
Helps Improve Digestion
Healthy digestion avoids you many discomforts ranging from gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux and more. These conditions have plagued millions of people around the world on a daily basis. Fortunately enough, healthy digestion is directly associated with dietary choices. Eating foods such as mangoes is beneficial for healthy digestion not only because it contains special enzymes which have the power to break down proteins, but also because the fiber content in mangoes helps proper digestion and easy elimination. When consumed, fiber will saturate the stomach and the intestines which stimulate the muscle contractions that move food and nutrients from one digestive chamber to the other. It will then gather your waste material in the intestines and absorb the water needed to create a stool consistency allowing frequent and healthy elimination.
Helps Boost the Immune system
Copper, potassium and magnesium plus the generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes keep your immune system functioning healthfully and strong. The copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus the production of red blood cells. The potassium is useful in balancing out our high sodium intake, and the magnesium has a world of health benefits on its own. To begin with, Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and keeps muscle and nerve functioning normally while keeping bones strong. Magnesium is also successful in regulating blood sugar levels and it has a positive effect on the treatment of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Eating mangoes ads more magnesium to your diet which will help boost your energy production and activate the enzymes which produce cellular energy.
How to Incorporate Mango Into Your Diet
Head to the tropics! Make a tropical smoothie for breakfast. Use frozen organic bananas, mango chunks, kiwi and pineapple for a thirst quenching and refreshing start to your day. Add mint, cilantro or basil and give an added hint of freshness to this tasty frozen drink.
Head to the South West! Prepare a mango salsa that will go perfectly with any fish or chicken dishes. Use a large fresh mango, chili peppers, crushed garlic, sea salt, finely diced red pepper and onion and the juice of half of a lime. Just chop, toss and enjoy!
Make it a meal! Prepare a Mango Avocado Salad for lunch. For the dressing always use organic balsamic vinegar, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Then chop organic mangoes and avocados and toss into the mixture. Enjoy!
Use Mangoes Externally for the Skin
You can make a simple mango mud mask and add oatmeal and almonds. This has all the benefits of mango plus the exfoliating benefits of oatmeal and almonds. First blend the oatmeal and almonds into a fine powder for the mud base, then add the mango chunks and some water for the desired consistency. Voila, youve made an effective mango mud for shiny, supple and healthy skin! Use it daily and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.