With Modou N.S N’jie
The idea behind this column is to promote the culture of eating what we grow and growing what we eat. This column is proudly sponsored by FARM FRESH which is The Gambia’s first online Vegetables and Fruits Delivery service (www.farmfresh.gm) allowing anyone from within The Gambia or abroad to place orders online or via phone and have the items delivered to their doorsteps at home or at the office. All the vegetables are locally grown (organic).
It goes without saying that a healthy mind can only be found in a healthy body. There is also a saying which appears simple but is in fact deep in meaning, “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” -Ancient Earthian Ayurvedic Proverb
This week we will take a look at the benefits of eating Mangoes as we are now in the midst of the mango season in The Gambia and it is widely available and cheap or free!
Mango’s impressive health benefits include reducing cancer risk, enhancing the skin, reducing heart disease risk, improving sexual life, supporting brain health, slowing aging process, alkalization of the body, improving eye health, maintaining heart health, boosting bone health, supporting digestive system.
What are mangoes?
Rich with minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates, mangos are the juicy treat whether you eat them with some preliminary preparation or slice them into long or short pieces.
A mango is one of the fleshiest fruit you can find. Since it has hundreds of varieties, it can be small enough to fit into your palm or big enough to be heavier than a kilogram. India, China, Thailand, and the Philippines remain some of the biggest producers of a wide variety of mangos in the world. People in these countries would slice them, soften and suck them or make mouth-watering chutneys from them.
Interesting fact: The heaviest mango in the world that has won the Guinness World Record too is nearly 3.5kg and comes from the Philippines.
Mango nutrition facts
Mangos are a great source of carbohydrates, with an average sized mango containing up to 15g of them. If you eat a normal sized cup full of sliced mango, it will give you nearly 100% of your daily vitamin C value. The other abundant vitamin found in mango is vitamin A. The most abundant mineral is calcium followed by manganese, magnesium, and iron. There are traces of zinc and sodium as well. Other vitamins you obtain from eating a mango are thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K and vitamin E. You should never be worried about your cholesterol levels while eating mangos since they don’t have any cholesterol in them. Due to their diversified content of vitamins and minerals, people often call them the super foods or super fruits.
While sweet is the most predominant flavor in mangos, a little bit of sourness often accompanies the sweetness. Depending on the different varieties, some mangos can be very sweet and others very sour. Despite their taste and flavor, all mangos offer you some great health benefits.
11 Impressive health benefits of mango
1. Reduced cancer risk
You should make foods with lots of antioxidants a part of your daily diet because they reduce the risk of cancer. Mangos also have a ton of antioxidants in them that can reduce your risk of getting cancer. They are especially good for keeping away colon and breast cancer. The main contributor that gives mangos this quality is beta-carotene. Not only will this antioxidant fortify your body against breast and colon cancer but leukemia as well.
2. Fairer skin
The topical treatments to improve your skin can never give you great results until you are giving your body the healthy nutrients on the inside. Mangos have collagen in them. Collagen is the protein responsible for the elasticity and vibrancy of your skin. Eat mangos to look your best. Not only can you eat mango for skin but even apply any of the several mango masks for great results.
3. Reduced heart disease risk
Mangos can prove to be greatly benefitting for your body when it comes to controlling your body fat and cholesterol. First, you could eat them and feel full without adding any cholesterol to your body. The satiating quality of mangos will keep you from eating unnecessary foods that increase weight. Phytochemicals in mangos can also help you with a positive impact on your body’s fat. As a result of these effects, you can stay away and safe from heart-related diseases.
4. Improved sexual life
Vitamin E influences a person’s sex drive. The more balanced vitamin E you have in your body, the more improved your sexual drive will be. Studies have shown that beta-carotene along with vitamin E, which are both found in mango, can boost the health of sperm in men. You can also prevent oxidation damage on sperm membrane by eating mangos.
5. Better brain health
Nothing is more important for a healthy body than a healthy brain. Vitamin B6, which is found in mangos and is also known as pyridoxine, helps your brain in producing neurotransmitters. Not to mention, if you do not have enough vitamin B6, your cognitive abilities will take the damage. Vitamin B6 is also helpful in treating asthma and premenstrual syndrome.
6. Slowed ageing process
One of the scariest thoughts to enter someone’s mind is of aging. Once again, the collagen found in mango can help a great deal in preventing the wrinkles from appearing on your skin. Women would often slather mango pulp on their faces to get this amazing anti-aging benefit of mangos.
7. Alkalization of body
Mangos can be a great help in increasing the alkalinity of your body. Of course, you don’t want to increase the alkaline levels in the body too much, and so only eat mangos moderately but regularly. Potassium found in mangos can be a great way to alkalize your body. Keep in mind that your body’s ideal pH should be above seven, i.e., more alkaline. An alkalized body has reduced the risk of suffering from chronic pains and diseases.
8. Improvement of eye health
When a body has an extreme deficiency of vitamin A, the condition can lead to blindness. Vitamin A plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy and your eyesight safe. Since mangos have a lot of vitamin A, they should help you have healthy eyes.
9. A check on hypertension
It is hypertension that leads to several detrimental body conditions and diseases. Hypertension often serves as the presage to cardiovascular problems. Mangos have potassium, and this mineral is known for maintaining heart health and preventing hypertension.
10. A boost for bone health
Vitamin A and C contents of mangos make them the perfect foods for bone health. Collagen, which is central to skin health, is also the protein that makes bones healthy. The fibrous part of the bones is collagen. While vitamin A also plays an important role in bone health, you should avoid taking too much of it because its excess can cause bone damage too.
11. Uninterrupted digestive system
Mangos are great in keeping your digestive system working without interruptions. The terpenes and esters found in mango help reduce the acidity of the stomach. The high fiber content of mangos can also help people in keeping away from Crohn’s disease and any other disorders related to stomach and the whole digestive system.
Now you know mangos are not just delicious but amazingly healthy for your body too. Get your hands on a few different varieties, taste them and pick the one that tantalizes your taste buds the most.
Mangalorean ripe mango curry
· Prep Time: 10 minutes
· Cook Time: 30 minutes
· Yield: 6 –
· Category: main course
· Cuisine: indian
An authentic mangalorean style ripe mango curry which is a must try if you love combining sweet savoury flavours! This is a unique recipe from Southern India for every mango lover.
· 8 – 10 Mangoes (Small Ripe Wild)
· 2 tablespoons (Oil)
· A sprig Curry Leaves (of)
· ½ tsp Turmeric (Powder)
· 10 – 12 Peppercorns
· 1 teaspoon Fenugreek (Seeds)
· 5 Chillies (Whole Dried Red)
· 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
· 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
· 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
· 3 – 4 Cloves Garlic
· 1 inch Ginger (piece)
· 2 Onions (medium , sliced)
· 2 tablespoons Jaggery
· 2 tablespoons Tamarind (Juice)
· 1 cup water
· Salt (to taste)
1. Peel the mangoes and set aside. Squeeze the mango skins and collect all the juice in another bowl.
2. In a pan, dry roast peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds till a sweet, nutty aroma releases. This should take 3-4 minutes. Be careful to roast the spices on a slow flame, so as not to burn the spices.
3. Grind together the roasted spices, garlic, ginger and onions with a bit of water till smooth.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves. Once they start spluttering add the ground mixture along with turmeric. Saute this paste for 8-10 minutes till you start seeing drops of oil on the sides.
5. Add mangoes, juice from the skins, a cup of water, jaggery and salt. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes till the gravy thickens slightly. Taste and add more tamarind or jaggery as required.
6. Serve hot with some steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
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