I’m now incorporating mangoes into my daily diet – here’s why you should too.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these ‘Reasons to eat more…’ kinda posts. And I’ve got to be honest with you – I have no idea why it’s been so long. But never fear, friends, it’s time for another one: 7 health benefits of mangoes!
I love mangoes. Okay, I start basically every blog post with “I love <insert name of delicious food here>” but with a blog title like Shivani Loves Food, I feel like its sort of acceptable. I mean, that’s why we are all here right? To share our love for FOOD!
Anyway, back to mangoes. (or is it mangos? okay, autocorrect is telling me it is not haha) I love mangoes around this time of year as they are so delightfully sweet and juicy. The ones featured here are exported from Pakistan (food miles, I know, but these mangoes are the BEST kind. Also, food miles don’t count for healthy food, right?) They are so different to the ‘Kent’ mangoes you can find in chain supermarkets as they have a sweeter taste, richer flavour and creamier texture.
It is worth visiting your local International Supermarket or Asian district Market to try these. They are sold in cardboard boxes, cradled in tissue paper or those paper strands which no one really knows the name of. Pick ones with a golden exterior, which are soft and tender to the touch. As they are exported from Asia and travel many miles to get to us, they will not stay at peak ripeness for long. If you love mangoes as much as I do, consuming the whole box quickly is not an issue, but if you want to enjoy them for longer, you could cube and freeze the mangoes ready for use in smoothies and juices.
I have grown up on these mangoes, and that first sweet bite every June reminds me of warm summer days at my Grandparent’s house eating my way through a box of these with my sister. It is safe to say our mango consumption has steadily been increasing since then. Or maybe exponentially…
Whilst I often consume mangoes, I rarely think about why they are so good for you. I guess I’m too busy enjoying their flavour. What can I say, I’m a foodie. However, I am also a scientist. And as I scientist, it is in my greatest interest to question the why. So, why are mangoes so good for you? Why should you eat more mangoes? In fact, there are a myriad of reasons.
WHY YOU SHOULD EAT MORE MANGOES
- They are high in Vitamin C. Yes, the humble orange is often praised for its abundance of Vitamin C, but you may not know that one mango contains 135% of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake, which is more than what’s in one large orange! What I’m hearing is MOVE ASIDE ORANGES. (Jk, we treat all fruits equally around here, this is a vitamin content-neutral environment) If you are wondering what Vitamin C does to the body, it does more than just “boost your immune system”. I mean, what does that really even translate to? The role Vitamin C has in the immune system is in the synthesis (formation) of collagen. Collagen is a protein which makes your skin tougher and therefore acts as a line of defence to protect against invading pathogens.
- High in antioxidants. If you want to know more about antioxidants and why they are so good for you, check out this post.
- It is alkaline. Mango has pH of about 5.8, so whilst it is still technically acidic, it is more alkaline than fruits such as lime which have a pH of 2.2. If you consume too many acidic foods you could get acid reflux.
- IT’S ORANGE. Any naturally bright coloured fruits contain pigments to make them so. The pigment which makes mango that gorgeous orange tone inside is called beta carotene, and is the same compound present in carrots. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body, which protects your eyes from exposure to UV light. Studies have also shown Vitamin A reduces your cataract risk.
- A healthy snack. Mangoes are low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. This means they make a healthier alternative to other snacks (ahem…crisps). If you are looking for more healthy snack ideas, how about this vegan chilli ‘cheese’ popcorn? It won’t disappoint!
- Promote Brain Health. Mangoes are abundant in Vitamin B6, which has many benefits for the brain.
- Good for the skin. Mangoes apparently open clogged pores of the skin.
HOW DO YOU SLICE MANGO?
Why is this such a common question? Since I have grown up feasting on mangoes, I guess you could say I’m a pro at the prep. Which is probably why I think it is so odd people ask this question – because it is actually so easy!
The first step is to hold it standing upright, and use a sharp knife to slice down the edge cutting about 1/3 of the way in from the right. Then repeat for the other side. With the remaining centre, slice off both sides leaving the inner stone. You can suck the remaining flesh off of the stone, which used to be my FAVOURITE thing to do as a child, most likely because it is such a sticky + messy task!
Now you are left with 2 mango ‘cheeks’ and 2 slices, and all you have to do is slice each cheek into 3/4 pieces resembling the other slices. Now serve it up! When eating this, simply bite the flesh off the skin. This is how I always eat mangoes as I find it less messy and more tasty. You can also eat the skin if you like, but nothing compares to the sweet creamy flesh of a ripe mango.
If you are really struggling, you could always use a mango slicer. (these actually look pretty cool)
Whilst there are no mango recipes on my blog yet, I certainly plan on adding some in the near future. I have not done much experimentation with mangoes in recipes actually, as I they taste so good raw that I eat them all before I can even think of making anything with them! I have purchased frozen mangoes before and incorporated them into my smoothies. For example, you could combine frozen banana, mango + pineapple with orange juice for a creamy tropical smoothie. Or you could add spinach to make a green smoothie. Or you could make a summer fruits smoothie (recipe on my Instagram page)
I think I have covered pretty much everything mango related by now! Make sure to save this post on Pinterest so you can easily access this mango shrine along with my other fruit + vegetable appreciation posts. Because fruit and vegetables are the best kind of food.