The sunny summer brings with it the King of fruits, “The Mango”. This fruit is a favourite of most of us. This juicy, delicious yellow coloured mango fruit is relished upon by people across all ages. Nutritionally speaking, 1 small mango (175 g) gives about 350 calories, also the carbohydrate content of this fruit is majorly sugar with negligible amounts of dietary fibre. This makes most of us wonder what is the best way to enjoy this fruit without gaining weight or becoming fat. Hence, I am writing this blog to throw some more light on its other health benefits and some tips to keep in mind before eating a mango.
Summer season brings mango with it for a reason. Mango’s yellow color is due to the carotenoids, namely – Beta-carotene( a provitamin A), lutein, and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids not only give the mango its attractive yellow / mango colour but also offer various health benefits which are backed by many scientific studies.
Health benefits of eating a mango are:
- Carotenoids: Of the total carotenoids, major part is the beta- carotene, about 1808 mgs in 1 small mango (175 g). This B-carotene along with the mango’s vitamin C content (about 56 mgs/ 175 g); this duo forms a best combination for the body’s internal antioxidant system which offers :
- Protection against internal oxidative stress due to oxidants such as pollution, smoke, ultraviolet radiations; and reduce the lipid peroxidation and DNA damage.
- Protects, eyes, skin and hair in the hot sunny summers from the sun damage due to the harmful ultraviolet radiations, thus having antiaging and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- B-carotene (provitamin A) also play a major role in eye health and vision.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: They are also the carotenoids along with Beta-carotene, which play a crucial role in eye health, by protecting the retina and lens, improving visual range, reducing the discomfort from glare, enhance visual contrast, and reduced time to recover from the stress of bright lights. They also protect eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays, and fight or slow the progression of cataract, age related macular degeneration.
- The polyphenols in mango (mangiferin, catechins, quercetin, anthocyanins ) also reduce the lipid peroxidation and DNA damage have anti- inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
However its high sugar content, places mango under the high glycemic index (GI) category which means it raises the blood sugar level quickly and if the carbohydrate stores in our body are full, it may get converted to fat and stored in the fat depots of body. Hence, we need to keep certain things in mind to make the most of this mango without fretting about gaining weight. However, if eaten in the right way we can make the most out of this fruit.
Some clever ways to eat a mango are:
- Portion size : small to medium mango ideally one per day, more could be allowed based on the nutritional status of an individual.
- If you want to have a fresh mango, have it early in the morning, first thing after to wake up, since that time your fasting blood sugar in low This is not recommended for people suffering from diabetes. However, they can check with the dietitian about the mango allowance, which would be advised based on your blood sugar levels and history).
- Cutting down on portion size and addition of some fibre, protein and good fats could reduce the glycemic load and prevent the weight
- If you wish to have it later during the day then you can include it as a part of a recipe. I have shared some mango recipes on my Instagram posts – mango shake, mango chia pudding. You could also try adding mango slices to yoghurt, green salads, over cooked fish, or mix it into whole grains, like oats, daliya, quinoa, coconut milk based mango ice-cream, home-made mango kulfi.
Eat your mango in a right way and at the right time to make the most out of it!
Dr. Monal Velangi