Amazing Benefits of Mango
They say an apple a day will keep the doctor away. But what about mango? One of the healthiest fruits you can possibly have is the mango and the health benefits are quite overwhelming. Not only does a mango taste delicious but it helps to weight loss, prevent cancer, promote eye health, clear skin, lower cholesterol, diabetes, improve digestion, boosts your immune system, heat stroke, kidney stones, and even enhances sexual functions.
I personally love eating a fresh mango raw or having it in a smoothie but have learned not to ingest too much as it can cause minor stomach inflammation. If you are not interested in eating raw mango you could always search for some African Mango in supplement form. Regardless, adding mango to your daily diet will greatly improve the way you live and feel. Before we look at some of the amazing benefits a mango has to offer, let us first have a quick history lesson.
Quick History of Mango
Mangos have been around for thousands of years and can be used for several different occasions. Although the mango is native to southeast Asia and is the national fruit of India (largest producer), the world also gets its mangos from China, Thailand, Pakistan, and Philippines. Not only is the mango used for health benefits, but in many cultures the leaves are used as floral decorations for weddings, rituals, and other celebrations.
A mango tree can grow up to be around 130 feet (40 meters) and about 33 feet (10 meters) in diameter. Some mango trees are still producing fruit after 300 years. There are roughly 400 strains of mangos that we are familiar with, however some say there are many more. Mangos come in a variety of colors and blends of red, yellow, green, and orange along with an unique oblong pit.
Mangos are great to cook with and can be used to make oil, salsa, jelly, curry, beer, smoothies, ice cream, juice, and many more. Mango beer is quite rare unless you are in the Virgin Islands, in which case I highly recommend you try. Cooking with mango enhances flavor like you would never expect. And there are plenty of mango recipes all over the internet.
Health Benefits of Mango
-Great for those who want to lose weight and helps suppress appetite so you feel fuller, longer. Fiber from mango also kicks up your digestive system a bit to rid any unwanted waste. Be careful not to overeat mango as you will feel slight stomach inflammation.
Helps Prevent Cancer
-High amounts of antioxidants and enzymes help to prevent cancer especially in the prostate, colon, and breast region. Mangos also have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties which is why several universities are researching the health benefits of mango.
Improves Eye Health
-Vitamin A comes into play here to help improve eye sight, dryness, and night blindness. With just one cup (roughly half a mango) you can easily obtain a third of your daily vitamin A. Having vision is vital to us as humans and we often take it for granted.
Clears Up Skin
-Skin clears from the inside out so eating half a mango a day would be ideal for optimum skin health. Mango can also be mashed up and used as an exfoliator to easily eliminate pimples and acne. There are even facials scrubs with mango in them.
Lowers Cholesterol & Diabetes
-Helps to lower your low-density lipoprotein levels (the bad cholesterol). Mangos are absolutely perfect for those with diabetes. With a low glycemic index a diabetic can indulge in mango without having to worry about sugar levels getting too high.
-The amounts of fiber in mango will help your body digest better and in turn absorb nutrients more efficiently. A huge problem today is people do not even come close to their recommended daily intake of fiber. Even with half a mango a day you will notice a difference.
Boosts Immune System
-Roughly half of a mango accounts for over 75% of your daily vitamin C so ingesting some when feeling ill is a great start to get your immune system back on track. Along with other antioxidants like vitamins A and B, mango puts up a defense to aid against heart and brain disease.
-With summer weather just around the corner it could be beneficial knowing mango can cool your internal temperature and prevent heat stroke. One of the most efficient ways to get it into your system is juice the mango and add it 50/50 with water. So if you have 4oz. of mango juice, simply add 4oz. of water. This will help the mango absorb into your body faster as well as hydrating it with water.
-Break down kidney stones and aid in the prevention them forming simply by eating some mango a few times a week. With those that have had kidney stones before you should consider this.
-Improves sexual functions and sex drive especially in men due to the high amounts of vitamin E. Some people even call mango the ‘love fruit’. This reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld where George has a problem rising to the occasion and ultimately discovers how mangos help him.
How to Cut a Mango in 3 EASY Steps
*Be sure to thoroughly rinse the mango before cutting into it to avoid risk of pushing pesticides into the fruit. Simple tap water will work just fine.
Carefully cut down both sides of the mango to separate the pit. The pit is larger and more ovular shape then you may be use to.
Cut a grid pattern into the mango trying not to slice through the skin.
Invert the mango slice for an easy handheld version or simply spoon the pieces out into a bowl.
You could always use a mango slicer for easier use!
Mango Salsa Recipe
Total Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Serving Size: 4 to 6
- One mango (peeled and diced)
- 1/2 cup cucumber (peeled and diced)
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno (finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup red onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Directions: Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Recipe courtesy Ellie Krieger
Fritz, R. (2012). “10 Health Benefits of Mangos.” Accessed from Care2 on March 4th, 2015.
Ponce, N. (2014). “Research Studies Show Mango May Help Prevent Breast Cancer.” Accessed from Agriculture and Life Sciences on March 10th, 2015.
Krieger, E. (2008). “Mango Salsa.” Accessed from Food Network on March 11th, 2015.