Health

Mangoes are awesome

... in the correct portion

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, April 22, 2018

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THIS week we will be looking at the benefits of the favourite fruit of many: Mangoes.

These sweet, succulent, ancient tropical fruits bear on trees, some of which can grow up to almost 100 feet. They have a history dating back 4,000 years, throughout lands such as India, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, and more.

Mangoes are undoubtedly delicious, but the one uncertainty that often lingers in relation to eating the fruit is whether or not they are good for you.

The answer is a resounding yes, with one condition.

As stated by the World Health Organization, taking in any quantity of sugar above 25 grams per day will put you at risk for sugar-related illnesses. The sugars in mangoes can exceed that 25 grams of sugar per day, however, they are safe to eat in reasonable quantities, are nutritiously dense, and are very healthy for you.

Nutritional density is the holy grail of modern nutrition. Those of us who are health conscious aspire to eat foods which will give us the energy required to get us through our daily activities, while giving us all the micronutrients, macronutrients and fibre we need to live optimally without giving us excessive calories.

Many food products are heavy on calories while light on most nutrients. However, many fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other such natural foods are nutritionally dense and, taken in the right proportions, can lead to a very healthy life that is free from illness and free from pain.

So, how healthy can one mango be per day?

When we think of the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables we are looking at micronutrients, and the answer is in the name micronutrients. Our bodies absolutely require the vitamins and minerals, but only milligrams in terms of quantity.

What is in mango and how is it good for us?

Benefit 1: Maintains connective tissue including bones, blood vessels, and skin.

Contains: Vitamin C

Note: Contains 100 per cent (or more) of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.

Benefit 2: Helps with bone strength

Contains: Vitamin K

Note: Improves calcium absorption

Benefit 3: May reduce the risk of vision loss

Contains: Zeaxanthin

Note: Antioxidant, filters out harmful blue light rays

Benefit 4: Reduces the risk for prostate cancer

Contains: Beta-carotene

Note: Precursor to vitamin A

Benefit 5: Reduces the risk of colon cancer

Contains: Beta-carotene

Note: Precursor to vitamin A

Benefit 6: Improves blood sugar levels, helps to control the risk of type 2 diabetes

Contains: Fibre

Note: One cup of mango contains 3 grams of fibre

Benefit 7: Healthy skin, good eyesight, healthy mucus membranes and immune system

Contains: Beta-carotene

Note: Precursor to vitamin A

Benefit 8: Aids in digestion and constipation

Contains: Fibre

Note: Did I mention the three wonderful grams of fibre per cup?

Mangoes also contribute copper, calcium and iron to the diet, as well as additional antioxidants, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and potassium.

It is clear that in correct portions the mango is a nutritious and amazingly healthy food choice but, I have to repeat, in the correct portions. We can only win with fruits and vegetables but with fruit in particular, we have to be aware of the sugar content.

When you were young and eating buckets of mangoes, you may have got away with it. However, you will not get away with that forever, so temper your enjoyment and appreciation to the correct, healthy portions.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 968-8238, or visit their website at

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