If you had to guess which fruit is the most widely consumed fruit in the world, would you guess mangoes? Most likely not if you live in the United States where apples and bananas rule as the top two fruits consumed. But if you live in India, South Asia, China, or Latin America, this fruit is a staple in their diet. In fact, mangoes are consumed worldwide three to one over bananas and ten to one over apples.
Often referred to as “the king of the fruits,” mangoes have become more popular throughout the U.S. but are still looked upon as an exotic fruit. India is the largest producer of mangoes and are widely grown on mango trees in other areas throughout the tropics. There are over 2,000 different varieties of mangoes ranging in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. Mangoes golden yellow inner flesh has a sweet, creamy taste with a hint of an exotic flair.
Nutritional breakdown of mangoes
One cup of diced mangoes provides the following:
· 100 calories
· 1 gram protein
· 0.5 grams fat
· 46 milligrams of vitamin C
· 62 micrograms of vitamin A
· 22 micrograms of folate
· 256 milligrams of potassium
· 3 grams of fiber
Mangoes possible health benefits
Like all fruit, mangoes have been associated with reducing risks of numerous health conditions. Increasing intake of mangoes can and should be a mainstay of your diet if you are seeking to consume more forms and varieties of fruits that provide a host of health benefits. Here is a list of possible ways mangoes can make your health a whole lot better:
· Reduce diabetes
The more fiber you can consume, the better for beating back diabetes. Eating more mangoes makes a difference. One cup provides 3 grams of fiber which helps lower blood glucose levels while improving insulin levels. Women need around 25 grams of fiber daily while men need about 38 grams.
· Improves digestion
Ever have problems with constipation? Mangoes may help. Due to their fiber and high water content, mangoes make a difference in promoting regularity, softening stools while maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
· Reduces age-related macular degeneration
All fruits can help in decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (at least 3 servings each day) but mangoes contain the antioxidant zeaxanthin, which filters out harmful blue light rays. This filtering appears to protect eye health possibly reducing the risk of this serious eye condition.
· Curtails cancer
Mangoes contain a special substance called beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is the red-orange pigment found in fruits and vegetables which the human body converts it into vitamin A. Diets rich in beta-carotene may protect against numerous types of cancer, particularly prostate, breast, and colon cancers. Texas AgriLife Research food scientists tested mango polyphenol extracts in vitro on various cancers and found it to have the greatest impact on those types of cancer.
· Strengthens bones
Mangoes are a good source of vitamin K (6.9 mcg in one cup) which is important as low intakes of vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk for bone fractures. Adequate intake of vitamin K helps improve the absorption of calcium necessary for strengthening bones.
· Improves heart health
If you need to increase potassium, mangoes make a great start to do so. The mineral potassium is essential for reducing blood pressure and when combined with a reduction in sodium, this further enhances heart health.
· Beautiful skin and hair
Vitamins A and C are two nutrients mangoes have abundant supplies of which can improve skin texture and hair manageability. Vitamin A is necessary for sebum production keeping hair moisturized while stimulating growth of new skin cells and of hair and increases cell renewal rate. Vitamin C helps make collagen, an essential element providing structure to skin andhair. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps increase blood circulation stimulating hair follicles increasing hair growth. In addition, it acts as a barrier to free radicals such as cigarette smoking, pollution, and UV rays from the sun.
Make mangoes the king of fruits at your house by consuming them often. To learn about different varieties of mangoes, how to choose a mango and recipes using mangoes, visit mangoes.org.