Mangoes: Nutrition, Benefits, Dos and Don’ts

Come summer, and we start waiting for this brightly coloured, royal-looking fruit that is an amazing combination of taste, fragrance and texture. In its ripe as well as raw forms, it has multiple culinary uses. It can be eaten raw or savoured ripe. Extract its juice, drink it; cut the fruit and eat it, or extract its pulp and enjoy it along with your meals. This delish drupe has been crowned as the king of fruits and correctly so! Mango. Here we will look at the nutritional facts and health benefits of mangoes and the dos and dont’s of eating them.

Nutritional Facts About Mangoes

  • Mangoes are packed with many essential nutrients and thus prove to be one of the healthiest fruits.
  • They are an excellent source of folate, vitamins A, C, K, beta-carotene, choline and important minerals like potassium and magnesium.
  • Apart from being a good source of folate, mangoes also contain good amounts of copper.
  • You will be surprised to know that about 165 gms of fresh mango provides you with 67% of the daily value of vitamin C.
  • 165 gms of fresh mangoes provides you with 10% of the daily value of vitamin A.
  • Mangoes are a rich source of antioxidants. They have different types of polyphenols and one of them is mangiferin which is known as a super-antioxidant.

A medium-sized mango consists of:

  • 202 calories
  • 3 gms of protein
  • 1 gm of fat
  • 50 gms of carbohydrates
  • 5 gms of fiber
  • 45 gms of sugar

(sourced from WebMD)

Health Benefits of Mangoes

Health Benefits Mangoes

  • Mangoes are low in calories and high in nutrients. Isn’t that a blissful combination? Plus, they are so tasty and filling, which means starting your meal with a mango could stop you from overeating!
  • Fresh mangoes are relatively high in natural sugars but studies say that they cause no harm to people with diabetes. They may lower the risk of diabetes.
  • Minerals potassium and magnesium help in maintaining a good blood flow in the body and relax the blood vessels. Thus, mangoes can be useful in lowering the blood pressure. Mangiferin is good for heart health. Thus, mangoes are beneficial for cardiovascular health.
  • Mangoes help lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides, further promoting heart health.
  • As they are good sources of vitamins A and C, they are great immunity boosters. Nutrients like vitamins B, E, folate and copper present in mangoes, further help in building immunity.
  • Amylases contained in mangoes are found to be more active, which helps in the breaking down of complex carbs and thus helps digestion. Due to the content of water and dietary fibre in mangoes, they further promote digestive health.
  • Mangoes are a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre, and thus help in improving your gut health.
  • Vitamins A, C and E contained in mangoes are important for maintaining the health of your skin and hair.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, the antioxidants contained in mangoes are concentrated in the retina and serve to protect your eyes from harmful blue light. Mangoes are also a good source of vitamin A which is good for the eyes. So, mangoes promote eye health.
  • Polyphenols help in preventing oxidative stress which is linked to many cancers. Thus, eating mangoes can help in cancer prevention.
  • Among the benefits of mangoes for women, is that they contain some vitamins and minerals, and mainly folate which are good for prenatal development. So mangoes are beneficial for pregnant women.
  • The high percentage of water in mangoes is good to keep you hydrated.
  • Mangiferin present in mangoes protects your neurons and helps prevent damage to the blood vessels in your brain. Mangoes are said to be of use in preventing certain neurological disorders.
  • Mangoes contain tryptophan, due to which the consumption of this fruit boosts the feeling of happiness.

Dos and Don’ts of Eating Mangoes

  • Eat mangoes in moderation as they are high in sugar.
  • Avoid mango juice or shake, as the added sugar is harmful for your body.
  • Having a mango first thing in the morning, is said to keep you feeling hungry throughout the day. So have mangoes late in the morning or in the evenings and it is good to pair them with nuts.
  • If you are allergic to mangoes, stay away from them.
  • Eating them in excess can lead to diarrhea.
  • Consuming alcohol with mangoes leads to dehydration. So avoid this combination.
  • Do not combine mangoes with carbonated drinks, because the two are high in sugars and can collectively result in huge sugar spikes.
  • Combining mangoes with bitter gourd can lead to nausea and vomiting as per Ayurveda.
  • Eating mangoes and curd together can lead to stomach problems. Similarly, if mangoes and spicy foods are eaten together, it can badly affect digestion. So, these food combinations should be avoided.
  • Avoid eating mangoes post-sunset.
  • You should not eat a mango that has soft spots, brown marks or mold, as these are signs that the fruit is rotten or bad for consumption.
  • Mangoes may cross-react with fruits like plums, kiwis, peaches and apricots. So it is best to avoid combining them.
  • ‘Why do the lips burn after eating mangoes?’ or ‘why do you experience itching after eating a mango?’ are questions some people ask. The reason behind the itching or burning sensation on eating mangoes is the chemical urushiol present in this fruit. This chemical causes allergy and may lead to contact dermatitis. You may keep mangoes in water for around 10 minutes before consumption to avoid this condition.
  • If you get heat boils or skin breakouts after eating mangoes, know that it is your body’s way of eliminating toxins or detoxification.
  • ‘How many mangoes to eat in a day?’, is another commonly asked question. It is fine to eat one or two mangoes daily. They should be consumed in moderation, and you should consult your doctor if you have any underlying health condition.
  • If you wish to sweeten the mango, use organic jaggery, but strictly avoid sugar.
  • Mangoes may be sprayed with carbide. So, buy only organically grown mangoes from an authentic source.
  • It is advisable to soak mangoes in water for 1-2 hours before consuming them.

In summary, let’s answer a few common questions related to consuming mangoes. What is the correct way to eat mangoes? Cut the fruit and eat it, avoid juicing or pulping as the fiber content of mangoes is lost in this process. When to eat mangoes? Eat them in the evening or late morning, and not early in the day, and preferably do not eat them along with your meals. Are mangoes healthy? Indeed! What are you waiting for? Welcome the king of fruits into your diet, if you haven’t yet, and experience its majesty.

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