Saturday 31 March 2018

A Mango a day......

Summers are here and at peak – a perfect season for enjoying mangoes. I am sure you all must be fond of mangoes, the king of fruits and our national fruit. In our sacred Upanishads, mangoes have been regarded as the “Food of Gods”. Mangoes are grown almost all over India and remain the prime delicacy of this hot season. 

Mangoes are being cultivated in India since times immemorial. This tropical fruit finds its mention in certain poetries of Kalidas. Amir Khusro, the great urdu poet commented “Aam meethe hone chahiye aur khoob saare hone chahiye”. So mangoes are being loved since ages. Also, the fruit is available in more than 100 varieties, with each variety having its unique and characteristic flavour.
Mangoes are not only great in taste but also they are great nutritionally. In fact this king of fruits is a package of several nutrients.

Mangoes offer a host of nutritional benefits and thus the old age saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” can well be used for mangoes also. The fruit is so full of goodness that it serves as a perfect breakfast, snack and dessert for this hot season.

100 gm of mangoes provides approximately 60-70 kcals, is high in sugar, low in fats and proteins.
Mangoes are a very rich source of prebiotic fiber. Probiotics are non functional food ingredients which promote the growth of bacteria beneficial for the intestines. In this way, the king offers protection against colon cancer and intestinal diseases.

The fruit is very rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds which provide protection against various types of cancer.

Talking of vitamins, mangoes are a very rich source of beta-carotene which is a precursor of Vitamin A. 100 gm of the fresh fruit provides approximately 25%  of the recommended daily levels of Vitamin A. The vitamin is required by the human body for the maintenance for healthy skin and eyes and most importantly for normal vision.

Another important vitamin that this fruit provides in ample is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant which helps the body to fight against infection as well as delay aging by removing the free toxic radicals from the body. These antioxidant properties are further enhanced by the presence of Vitamin E, which itself is an antioxidant.

With regards to minerals, mangoes present the ideal combination. Its a low sodium and a high potassium fruit. So this is the good news for people with high blood pressure; however, patients with kidney diseases need to avoid mangoes.

The peel of mangoes is rich in insoluble fibre whereby making it helpful for our gastrointestinal tract.
However, the goodness of mangoes is not meant for diabetics. However, the fruit is an incredible source of vitamins and minerals, its high glycemic index (attributed to the high sugar content of the fruit) makes it unsuitable for people with diabetes. The response of blood sugar to the sugar of the fruit is very high so its advisable for diabetics to consume the fruit in moderate quantity.

Almost every part of the fruit is used for edible purposes. In some northern parts of the country, even the peel is consumed. Raw mangoes are used for making beverage commonly known as “Panna” and for making pickles. Ripe mangoes may be eaten raw and fresh and are also used for making desserts and puddings, the most famous being “Aamras”.

So for knowing about the goodness of mangoes, get a dozen of them and enjoy them......if nothing else, they are superb in taste at least!!!!!!