Mangoes are often enjoyed around the world in different forms because of their well-known, sweet taste and creamy texture. From creating a tropical atmosphere in themed parties to serving classic fruit-based desserts, mangoes are used all around the world.
In addition to different forms of desserts and delicacies, there are over 120 types of mangoes which have their own distinctive taste and smell that can be used in various forms, or just eaten straight and raw.
The consumption of mangoes has increased over the years due to the rise in their popularity in the Western countries where mango-flavored products such as fruit juices, ice cream were more common than the fruit itself.
However, whereas the usage of mangoes is increasing, the fruit’s health benefits that can greatly benefit health because of the presence of various vitamins and enzymes are still known to a few numbers of people.
Mango, including its trees, leaves, bark and even the pit was used for numerous health benefits, specifically in the South Asian region in history.
In fact, the word ‘mango’ originated from an Indian Language known as Tamil and was originally called ‘Mangkay’ or ‘Mangay’ which later turned into modern day mango when Portuguese traders arrived in the Western region of India.
Thenceforward, mangoes spread to other countries and received the title of ‘King of Fruits’ because of its taste and nutritional value that offers a natural health boost.
What are Mangoes?
The mango is originally a drupe or what is more typically referred to as a ‘stone fruit’ which are fruits that have a hard seed in their core, covered by a soft, fleshy surface. Other drupes or stone fruits include dates, cherries, peaches, and plums.
Belonging to the evergreen fruit typology, mangoes are almost solely able to grow in tropical or sub-tropical regions in the world, which also describes the larger popularity of mango flavors over the fruit itself in some countries.
The taste of mangoes has been cited to be variable in accordance with the type. For example, the Malaysian red mangoes are more sour and tangy in comparison with the most consumed yellow-golden mango types in India and Pakistan.
Commonly, the taste is described as a cross between pineapple and peach as well as providing the benefits of both of the fruits such as the presence of over 20 vitamins in mangoes resembles the nutritional value of the former.
East Africa, South America, and the Middle East first cultivated mango seeds from Asia. Beginning in 300-400 AD with an abundance of traders traveling to uncommon continents, mangoes were firstly introduced by the Portuguese traders. Brazil was the first country to harvest mangoes after the Asian countries.
Today, mangoes are known as the most eaten fruits around the globe. In countries from where the mango seeds were taken, mangoes hold a lot of significance.
In Pakistan and India, exchanging of mangoes upon arrival of warm weather is a necessary gesture between families which highlights the maintenance of good relations between them.
Nutritional value of Mangoes
Mangoes are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fibers that provide excellent health and can be added to the daily diet. One cup of diced mangoes has the following:
- 100 Calories
- 3g of Fibers
- 8g Proteins
- 28g Carbohydrates
- 257mg of Potassium
- 8mg of Vitamin E
- 1262 IU Vitamin A
- 2mg Copper
- 2mg Vitamin B6
- 9mg Vitamin K
- 46mg Vitamin C
- 1mg Folate
In addition, mangoes possess powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, astragalin, and quercetin as well as iron, magnesium, and calcium.
How can Mangoes improve health?
Studies have shown that mangoes help the human body maintain its proper functioning as well as can improve certain health conditions such as Diabetes. Incorporating mangoes in the daily diet can offer multiple benefits such as:
- Maintain Blood-glucose levelsPatients with high sugar levels and diabetes, especially in older age groups who are more likely to be obese have more difficulty in controlling their levels. The more new researchers on mangoes are based on these patients who added mangoes in their diet.
Observation showed that although mango did not essentially help in weight loss, blood sugar level and glycemic index were effectively stabilized. Consequently, usage of mangoes in blood sugar maintenance has been recommended more often.
- Blood pressure stabilizationThe aforementioned nutritional value of mangoes shows that since mangoes are rich in magnesium and potassium, they can be used to maintain and lower blood pressure. Therefore, people who suffer from blood pressure fluctuations are suggested to add mangoes to their diet.
Another plus point of consuming mangoes is that these are one of the fruits with lowest levels of sodium, and hence are highly valuable for high blood pressure patients.
- Prevention of age-related Macular degenerationOne of the leading cause of vision loss and weakening in older people is age-related macular degeneration which is also caused by blue light rays This destroys the Macula, which is fundamental for concentration and sharp vision.
The antioxidant zeaxanthin in mangoes protects the eyes health by removing the blue light rays, thereby reducing the chances of age-related macular degeneration.
- Proper Brain Functioning
Vitamin B and B6 are necessary for proper functioning of the brain as they maintain healthy neurotransmitters. Disturbed sleep patterns, difficulty in concentration and constant mood swings are the typical symptoms of a diet lacking in these vitamins.Addition of mangoes to a daily intake of food provides a boost to brain health and reduces the chances of any such effects to the body or brain.
- Bone HealthVitamin K is cited as the bone-building vitamin, needed for better calcium absorption. A deficiency in Vitamin K has been linked to higher risk of bone breakage and fracture.
Whereas mangoes are rich in Vitamin K, it should be noted that they also provide a healthy dose of calcium, giving a well-balanced healthy boost to the bones.
- Lowers chances of Heart-related diseases
Pectin is a fiber useful for naturally lowering cholesterol levels in the body which is found in abundant quantity in mangoes.
In addition, the presence of magnesium and Vitamin B combined with Pectin can provide great health benefits for heart patients as well as lowering the risks of heart-related diseases upon being added to the daily diet.The low amount of Sodium is another advantage because heart diseases’ complications and risks are often linked to high blood pressures. Mangoes are therefore a safe option for patients with both problems.
- Enhance Immunity
Beta-carotene is important for a healthy immune system which can further protect the body from any potential foreign particles or diseases. Mangoes hold large quantities of beta-carotene that can sometimes be extra for the body.However, extra beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A to fight free radicals by the body, essentially giving an unparalleled improvement to the body’s immunity.
- Natural treatment of Anemia and ConstipationThe addition of mango to your daily diet can provide 40% of an adult’s daily fiber needs, hence acting as a natural remedy for constipation.
For anemia, since Iron deficiency is the main cause and can cause other health complications, mangoes can be eaten to minimize the effects.
Mangoes, especially for women, since a majority of women are iron-deficient and have more chances of being anemic, are a great source of daily need for iron.
How to Use Mangoes?
Mangoes are mostly consumed raw in the countries which produce the highest amount of them seasonally, but that does not mean that is the only way to enjoy them. Numerous recipes for smoothies, desserts are available which can be used to enjoy the fruit in various forms.
The quantity of mango needed in the daily diet can be checked and controlled in accordance with the person’s weight and body max index as well as any other health conditions. The nutritional value can differ keeping in mind that mangoes come in various sizes.
Avoid adding mangoes to diet in case of having a cashew or pistachio allergy since they are distant relatives.
Other people who should be cautious with mangoes are people sensitive to Latex, poison ivy, and urushiol as well as kidney patients who struggle with the removal of potassium because mangoes contain high levels of potassium.
If eating mangoes can trigger any sort of allergic reactions or pains in the body, see a doctor immediately and avoid any further intake of mangoes or any food containing them.