sliced mango

Mangos are not only a delicious fruit, they are extremely healthy.  And with health benefits including being useful for treating heat stroke, they are a good fruit to have on hand during the summer months.

Believe it or not, mangos are in the same family of plants as cashews and pistachios.  I know, there is not really any visible resemblance! These tropical fruit bearing trees can grow up to 100 feet tall.

mangos
Delicious slices of fresh ripe mango in a small bowl

Choose a mango by its firmness. Push gently against the skin with your thumb. If it’s “squishy,” it’s too ripe; too hard and it’s not yet done. It’s perfect when it gives ever so slightly to gentle pressure.

Refrigerate mangos when they’re at optimum stage of “doneness.” Uncut, they can keep for around five days. Peeled and chopped, they’ll be fine in the freezer in an airtight container for six months or so.

One cup of mangos has 100 calories and over 20 different vitamins and minerals.  Mangos also contain flavonoids like betacarotene, alphacarotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which help vitamin A to impart antioxidant strength and vision-protecting properties, maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin.

Eating natural fruits rich in carotenes, like mangos, is known to help protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers. The potassium in mangos is an important cell and body fluid component to help control your heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 found in mangos is required for GABA hormone production within your brain.

One cup of mangos provide 12% of your daily dietary fiber which reduces the risk of colon cancer. In fact, mangos have been shown in clinical studies to protect against cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate, as well as leukemia.

Scientists tested mangos and found they prevent or stop certain colon and breast cancer cells in lab studies. They also showed some impact on lung, leukemia, and prostate cancers, but the most prominent effectiveness was against breast and colon cancers, which underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and the mango polyphenolics did not harm normal cells.

I’ll be quite abbreviated about the other named health benefits of eating mangos.  They can help lower cholesterol, clear the skin, protect eye health, alkalize the body (not that overly acidic conditions are now considered to be a precursor to many chronic illnesses), helps to normalize insulin levels, improves digestion, boosts the immune system and is used as a treatment in heat stroke.

Again, I try not to get too scientific in my health benefits articles.  I’m not a doctor and I don’t think any of us should “treat” ourselves with foods.  However, a message should be coming quite clear in these articles.  Most, if not all, natural, whole foods have the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-oxidants and other compounds that our bodies need to remain healthy.  It is only through over-processing, destructive farming methods (GMO modified foods, pesticides, etc), and food additives that the delicate nutrients our bodies need are stripped from the foods we eat and replaced with toxins.

My goal with these articles is simply to show how switching to more whole and natural foods, and home cooking are the best medicine and most economical we can obtain.

Be sure to share this with your friends so they can be healthier too!