I have made no secret of the fact that I am a H.U.G.E Mango lover. Probably came from spending Easters in my village (Osumenyi, kwenu!). That is prime Mango season so my siblings, cousins and I would spend hours in and around the massive tree just outside my grandfather’s house. Hours of just picking mangoes and eating mangoes.
Mango is currently in season so I am particularly happy during this time. You should fill up on your mangoes. Apart from the fact that they are delicious, they are also good for you! Yes, this is one time you can eat your cake and have it, literally as there are many benefits to eating mangoes
The most common choices in Lagos, Nigeria are the
- “German” Mangoes usually found in Eastern Nigeria. Its local name is Opioro. (This is the “bestest” mango in the world!)
- Cherry Mangoes which are hard and yellow-green
- The very soft yellow ones with the red tops.
There are many many other ones, of course.
Benefits of eating mangoes
Mangoes lower Cholesterol
Mangoes are high in pectin, which helps lower high cholesterol levels in your blood. Along with the high potassium content, Vitamin B6 and other Vitamins also present in this sweet fruit, you have a lower risk of having heart problems.
Mangoes are skin friendly
Mangoes also contain Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, which according to studies, clears and cleanses the skin, because it reduces fatty oils to build up, reduces chances of pimples, acne or wrinkles and helps unclog your pores and naturally add freshness to your skin. Eating mangoes often result in a healthy, fresh skin but you can also apply mango pulp directly to your skin as a natural skin cleanser.
Quick Facial tip with Mangoes
Place thin slices of mango on your face for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash your face. You may also puree the mango and use a brush or your hands to spread it around your face, avoiding the eye areas.
The Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene present in Mangoes does not only benefit the skin, it also improves eye vision. Vitamin A is very important for the optimal functioning of the retina, which also helps prevent night blindness and dry eyes.
Mangoes can help with weight loss and even digestion
Mangoes also contain fiber, which has the ability to decrease our food intake, hence it’s a natural weight losing aid. If you are in the habit of eating the peel as well as the fruit itself, you are actually doing yourself a huge favour. Mango peels, according to recent studies, contains high polyphenol content, which makes it a good antioxidant and also helps you to lose weight.
Mangoes help with your digestion because it contains enzymes that help in breaking down protein. It is also rich in pre-biotic dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Mangoes help with Brain Function
Mangoes also help in improving memory and brain function, because it is a very good source of iron and vitamin B6. Iron helps with the normal functioning of your brain and vitamin B6 supports your brain’s cognitive development.
Mangoes boost immunity
Mangoes also boost the immune system. The high amount of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes, plus the different kinds of carotenoids contained in it, keeps the immune system healthy and strong.
Mangoes are anti-cancer
Mango’s 76% Vitamin C content, Carotenoids (organic pigment produced by plants) and Polyphenols (micronutrients) actually give it its cancer-preventing properties; reducing the chances of getting stricken with cancer and helps prevent cancer, especially colon and prostate cancer.
Opioro/German Mangoes are pictured above
Whether you eat it as a snack or as a drink (naturally juiced by yourself with no added sugar or chemicals), remember you are taking an essential health supplement.
SOURCES: Corrales-Bernal A et al, Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health US National Library of Medicine March, 2014 Josh Axe, Mango Nutrition Dr. Axe; Food Is Medicine C.M Ajila et al, Bioactive compounds and antioxidant potential of mango peel extract, Science Direct, April, 2007