Monday 25 March, 2019

Botanical Roots: Why you should eat mangoes

Mangoes are a popular tropical fruit that is common in Jamaica and is enjoyed by many. Indeed, Jamaicans go crazy over this fruit that comes in many shapes and sizes.

Mango is low in calories but full of nutrients. One cup (165 grams) of sliced mango provides:

- Calories: 99

- Protein: 1.4 grams

- Carbs: 24.7 grams

- Fat: 0.6 grams

- Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams

- Vitamin C: 67% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)

- Copper: 20% of the RDI

- Folate: 18% of the RDI

- Vitamin B6: 11.6% of the RDI

- Vitamin A: 10% of the RDI

- Vitamin E: 9.7% of the RDI

- Vitamin B5: 6.5% of the RDI

- Vitamin K: 6% of the RDI

- Niacin: 7% of the RDI

- Potassium: 6% of the RDI

- Riboflavin: 5% of the RDI

- Manganese: 4.5% of the RDI

- Thiamine: 4% of the RDI

- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI

The mango also contains small amounts of phosphorus, pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium and iron.

Mango is packed with polyphenols — plant compounds that function as antioxidants.

It has over a dozen different types, including mangiferin, catechins, anthocyanins, quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and  benzoic acid. Antioxidants are important as they protect your cells against free radical damage. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that can bind to and damage your cells.

Research has linked free radical damage to signs of aging and chronic diseases.

Mango is also a good source of immune-boosting nutrients.

One cup (165 grams) of mango provides 10 per cent of your daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A is essential for a healthy immune system, as it helps fight infections. Not getting enough vitamin A is linked to a greater infection risk.

On top of this, the same amount of mango provides nearly three-quarters of your daily vitamin C needs. This vitamin can help your body produce more disease-fighting white blood cells, help these cells work more effectively and improve your skin's defenses.

Mango also contains folate, vitamin K, vitamin E and several B vitamins, which aid immunity as well

Mango contains nutrients that support a healthy heart. For instance, it offers magnesium and potassium, which help maintain a healthy pulse and your blood vessels relax, promoting lower blood pressure levels.

Mango also contains a unique antioxidant called mangiferin. Animal studies have found that mangiferin may protect heart cells against inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis (controlled cell death). In addition, it may lower blood cholesterol, triglycerides and free fatty acid levels.

It also has several qualities that make it excellent for digestive health. The fruit contains a group of digestive enzymes called amylases.These are digestive enzymes which break down large food molecules so that they can be easily absorbed.

Amylases break down complex carbs into sugars, such as glucose and maltose. These enzymes are more active in ripe mangoes, which is why they’re sweeter than unripe ones.

Moreover, since mango contains plenty of water and dietary fibre, it may help solve digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea.

One four-week study in adults with chronic constipation found that eating mango daily was more effective at relieving symptoms of the condition than a supplement containing a similar amount of soluble fibre (23). This indicates that mango has other components aside from dietary fibre that aid digestive health.

Mango is full of nutrients that help support healthy eyes. These accumulate in the retina of the eye — the part that converts light into brain signals so your brain can interpret what you’re seeing — especially at its core, the macula.

Inside the retina, lutein and zeaxanthin act as a natural sunblock, absorbing excess light. In addition, they appear to protect your eyes from harmful blue light.

Vitamin A - which mango is rich in - also supports eye health. A lack of dietary vitamin A has been linked to dry eyes and nighttime blindness. More severe deficiencies can cause more serious issues, such as corneal scarring. Vitamin A also encourages hair growth and the production of sebum — a liquid that helps moisturize your scalp to keep your hair healthy.

The fruit also promotes healthy hair and skin because of its vitamin C component, which is is essential for making collagen — a protein that gives structure to your skin and hair. Collagen gives your skin its bounce and combats sagging and wrinkles.

Some of this information has been taken from /www.healthline.com/nutrition/mango#bottom-line

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