Summer is here and with it we herald the arrival of the coveted mango season! The yellow, pulpy and sweet fruit has a long history in the Indian sub-continent. Scientific fossil evidence indicates that the mango made its first appearance even earlier – 25 to 30 million years ago in Northeast India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, from where it traveled down to southern India.
The tropical stone fruits are a low-calorie fruit that is high in fibre and is a great source of vitamins A and C. Mangoes also contain folate, B6, iron and a little calcium, zinc and vitamin E. A good source of antioxidants, mangoes have a number of health benefits.
Here are a few health benefits of mangoes:
1. Lowers cholesterol: Mango has high levels of fibre, pectin and vitamin C to lower serum cholesterol levels in the body.
2. Prevents cancer: Antioxidant compounds in mango have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. The antioxidant compounds in mango include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid, and methyl gallate, as well as the abundant enzymes.
3. Improves eye health: Experts say one cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
4. Clears skin: Mangoes help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.
5. Alkalizes body: The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
6. Fights heat stroke: Juicing the pulp from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent overheating.
7. Boosts immune system: Mango has generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A along with 25 different kinds of carotenoids that help keep the immune system healthy and strong.