By CHIOMA OBINNA
Another season of mangoes is here again and most people relish this seasonal fruit but how many of these people know the health benefits of eating mangoes? Mango fruit is known as the king of fruits and one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavour, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities making it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called “super fruits”. Mangoes are perfect to replenish salts, vitamins and energy after physical exercise.
The enzymes of the mango, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase and lactase, clean the bowel of the “filth” within and are an ideal antidote for all toxic effects inside the body. They provide also sufficient resistance to fight any germs and afflictions.
Hartwell claims in his book “Plants Against Cancer,” that the phenols in mangoes, such as quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes, have healing and cancer-preventing capacities. In gall bladder cancer a protective effect of mango consume has been proven.
Mangoes contain also a lot of tryptophan, precursor of the “happiness-hormone” serotonin. It meets the vitamin and energy requirements of children of 6-24 months of age at three servings a day.
The bark of the mango tree contains 16 – 20 percent vitamin and also mangiferine. It acts as stringent and is believed to possess a tonic action on the mucous membrane. It is anathematic, useful in hemoptysis, hemorrhage, nasal catarrh, diarrhea, ulcers, diphtheria, rheumatism and for lumbrici. It is also used in diphtheria and rheumatism.
Mango is said to be an excellent natural source for pro-vitamin A; the content rises even after being picked before ripening.
Improving the consumption of mangoes would cover the needs of the population in third world countries like Nigeria. The content of carotenes is very high also in the dried fruit, and retains high levels over at least six months after harvest.
Further investigations have shown that eating mango slices with the skin on could help keep the weight off. A study by Australian researchers showed that mangoes could help you lose weight and stay slim – but only if you eat the skin you would normally throw away, a study suggests.
Experts find that in tests, extracts from mango skin appeared to “inhibit development of human fat cells.” According to them, the secret is in phytochemicals that act as natural fat busters and are found only on the outside of the fruit.
Mangoes have many excellent nutritional properties but more work needs to be done to understand the complex natural compounds. A similar study also found that eating mangoes may help lower blood sugar and cancer risk. Consumption of mangoes may potentially have positive effect on blood sugar in obese individuals and help limit inflammation, according to research at Oklahoma State University.