What’s so great about mangoes?

What’s so great about mangoes?

Oh, just protection from cancer, increased immunity from viral infections and lowered risk of macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness). But quite possibly the best thing about mangos: they taste… wait… good. Think of last week’s sea vegetables as the East German gymnast of healthy foods. It has to be snuck into your child’s diet under cover of darkness with great subterfuge and outright lying. Mango: returning superhero who just saved the planet. Tickertape parade, key to the city. You can actually put it on a plate as is and your kids might. actually. eat. it. I know, right?!

Also known as the “fruit of India”, mangos are considered a “superfruit” due to their high antioxidant rating and concentration of nutrients. They are a great source of vitamins C, A and E and an excellent source of fibre. They’re one of the best food sources of beta carotene and high in lycopene, known to protect cells and suppress tumour growth. Mangos rates a very low 8 on the glycemic index, making them a good choice for kids to avoid the spikes in blood sugar and accompanying lows that occur with more refined foods.

And with the current concern over childhood (and adult) obesity, mortality rates and disease, mangos may be just about to shine. According to researchers in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, “While it may not get the publicity of some superfruits like blueberry and acai, the addition of mango to the diet may be part of a future solution for obesity and diabetes.” The study found that mango, perhaps better than other fruits “is effective in modulating hyperglycemia and reducing body fat in response to a high fat diet.” Lead researcher, Edralin Lucas said the findings demonstrated that the addition of mango to the diet may help prevent metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions like obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and high blood pressure that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.” A fruit that actually counteracts a high fat diet and helps overweight people lower body fat? Sounds great, although more human studies are needed. In the meantime, adding mango even just for the proven benefits is well worth it.

Got a super picky eater?  They may, as I did as a child, think mangos taste a little perfume-y. Try tempering the taste in a smoothie (call it a milkshake!) with other fruits or make homemade popsicles (creamsicle!). I bet they love it.

And in the category of “things that make you go hmm”, did you know mangos are of the same family as poison ivy? Allergies to mango are somewhat more common than to other fruits. The reaction is usually mild and most often exhibited in a skin rash after touching the outer skin of the fruit but a severe allergy can cause respiratory distress.

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1 Comment

  1. Krista
    May 29, 07:39 Reply

    Definitely delicious. And there are so many great ways to make them. I just saw a recipe on the Oh She Glows site for mango popsicles, so I think those are next on my list to try. Looked easy, which is half the battle for me!

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