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Don’t Be Afraid of Mangoes

Team Digestive Health Institute    21/5/2018   |   Monday

As much as everyone loves mangoes, the fruits also have a dubious reputation, thanks to many myths and misunderstandings.

First, we'd like to issue a disclaimer: All food - even fruits - should be eaten in moderation. Just as it is a bad idea to eat three slices of cake in one go, eating three mangoes is also harmful.

That said, as a fruit, the mango is full of nutritional value even for people with diabetes, or any kind of sugar imbalance when eaten in moderation.

Among other benefits, mangoes are high in:

  • Beta-Carotene
  • Fibre
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A, B6, C, E, K

They are low in:

  • Saturated fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium

All of this means that mangoes are good for digestion; can give you shiny hair and healthy skin; improve your eyesight; neutralize free radicals; boost immunity; lower blood pressure, and keep you healthy and energetic. 

Most importantly, they rank low on the glycemic index scale. This a scale used to measure how fast a food makes your blood sugar rise. Ideally, a food should have a low glycemic index, especially for those who have diabetes. A mango has a GI of 51, which is relatively low, so eating a single fruit will not have harmful side-effects ordinarily. (The American Diabetes Association recommends a quarter of a mango for those with diabetes as the ideal serving.)

So we have established that a mango has nutritional value and can, actually, be good for you. Then why is everyone so scared of eating it?

Because the average person eats much more than they should and adds sugar, milk, etc. to create desserts that don't do anyone any favours. Blending a mango with ice-cream and milk will, of course, make it very unhealthy. The same for pureeing it with sugar and eating it with deep-fried puris.

Here are five healthy ways to enjoy mangoes this summer:

  1. Puree a mango with a little water or milk (dairy, almond or soy). Don't add any sugar to it! Pour the puree into popsicle moulds and freeze. It makes a delicious and healthy snack or dessert.
  2. Chop up a mango, mix it with soaked and cooked black beans or chickpeas. Add lime juice, salt, green chillies and coriander to make a yummy salsa.
  3. For a delicious breakfast for the whole family, soak oatmeal in water overnight in the fridge. (A fistful of oatmeal per person will do.) You can add chopped nuts to the oatmeal before soaking it - a combination of almonds, cashews and walnuts is good. The next morning, add some orange juice to the oatmeal to loosen it up. Top it with a few tablespoons of chopped mangoes and serve.
  4. Add a mango to salads! A raw mango is a delicious addition to any kachumber. Ripe mangoes pair really well with greens, nuts and cooked noodles. Keep the dressing spicy to balance out the flavours - use a mixture of honey, olive oil and mustard.
  5. Blend together thick yogurt and mango - again, don't add any sugar - and freeze to create the best "ice-cream" ever.


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