Here in Miami, I feel like there are mangoes falling from every tree in the city. Everywhere I turn, there are mangoes on the floor, mangoes at the store, mangoes for sale on a street corner, or in a give away bag by those generous mango tree owners.
I happen to LOVE mangoes. They are by far my favorite fruit. Problem is that I’ve always heard that they’re super fattening. They definitely taste sweet enough to feel fattening!!!!
I decided to do some research on the pros and cons of this delicious sweet fruit and this is what I found:
- About 40% of the fiber in mangoes is soluble, mainly pectin.
- It is an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin B6. It also contains a wide variety of carotenoids, including beta carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and other phytonutrients, including quercetin. These substances can protect cells from damage, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and provide other health benefits. Together; these compounds have been known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also a very good source of vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production within the brain. It also controls homocystiene levels within the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in CAD, and stroke.
- According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
- Fresh mango is a good source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- It composes moderate amounts of copper. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
In addition to the health benefits, I found that Mangoes score a 51 in the glycemic index but score under a 5 in the glycemic load and are a high carbohydrate food but a low calorie food.
What does this all mean? In my opinion, what it means is that mangoes are a WHOLE FOOD. Exactly the kind of food we should be eating in our diets. We are supposed to have fiber and carbs and vitamins and phytonutrients in our food. Sure they are higher in the glycemic index than berries for example, but that does not mean they need to be avoided.
If you are trying to lose weight and are counting calories, look up the nutrition facts for a mango and take that into account for your daily caloric intake. Otherwise, eat it in moderation like all other whole foods should be eaten. We need carbohydrates and fiber in our diets….mangoes are a great way to get our fill assuming we are not eating excess carbs in addition to the mangoes.
I personally have been eating and feeding my children a couple of mangoes a day. It is a pleasure to enjoy a seasonal, locally grown fruit. I will take full advantage until the season ends! Stay tuned for some mango recipes coming up this week!