Mangoes: To Eat or Not to Eat This Summer?

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It is that time of the year again when your senses are assailed by the sight of luscious golden mangoes. As the largest producer of mangoes in the world with each state producing its own special variety, it is no wonder that Indians have been obsessed with the fruit since time immemorial and consider it food as a special gift from gods. While it has been enjoyed by generations in the past without any worry about diabetes, calories etc., in the recent years there have several misconceptions about the fruit that has made some people worry about it.

So if you are one of those health conscious people that have been worried about reports in the media debating pros and cons of eating mangoes then this article will help clear all your queries related to mangoes. According to noted nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, we should eat mangoes when they are in the season simply for the reason that Indians are genetically compliant to the fruit. While this may not seem very convincing to some readers, let us now give convincing answers to specific questions that you may have to clear all doubts about “to eat or not to eat mangoes”.

Why you should eat mangoes ??

Mangoes contain several minerals and vitamins like A, C, E and B-6 all of which are extremely beneficial for eyes, skin, blood, bones and heart.

The presence of minerals helps in fighting anaemia, boosting concentration and immunity.

High fibre content of mangoes helps in prevention of digestive problems and controlling acidity.

People with cholesterol problems can also enjoy mangoes as it contains natural potassium that helps in maintaining fluids to control blood pressure.

As mangoes contain high levels of carbohydrates, they are ideally suited for growing children when mixed with milk as the combined mixture of protein and flavonoids can make a complete nutritious meal before a session of playground activities in the evening.

For all the naysayers out there! Mango is a super-fruit that is low on cholesterol and fat and in fact, one cup contains only 100 calories! This is another reason why people with low body weight are advised to eat mangoes to increase weight in a nutritious way!

Diabetes & Mangoes

Now let us explore the myth that people with diabetes should not eat mangoes. As every diabetic individual’s objective is to control glucose levels in the blood they are advised to eat foods that have low sugar content. Dieticians state that instead of cutting off fruits completely from the diet it is best to reduce the portions to ensure that their natural nutrients are not denied to the body. Mangoes do contain carbohydrates but they also contain essential vitamins, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, fibre and minerals it is best to take it in small portions as advised by your dietician or physician. Here is Diabetes Council research on this.

Mango increases heat levels in the body

This is another misconception among people that mangoes lead to an eruption of boils and pimples during summer. To combat this theory Rujuta Diwekar states that mangoes should always be immersed in water for a couple of hours or washed and stored in the refrigerator for some time before being consumed.

Other myths about mangoes 

  1. Mangoes lead to increase in weight: Mangoes have nutrients that lead to burning of fats as they are regional fruits.
  2. Mangoes should not be consumed during pregnancy: The health benefits of mangoes and nutrients present in it are reason enough to eat them during pregnancy along with the fact that it reduces cravings for synthetic sugars.

 Selecting mangoes 

Nutritionists and health experts state that one should be very careful while purchasing mangoes as sometimes sellers use artificial ripening agents like calcium carbide which can cause skin allergies and even cancer in the long run.

As it is difficult to distinguish artificially ripened mangoes from naturally ripened ones it is best to wash the fruits well before consumption. To be on the safer side always remove the skin before giving mangoes to children or pregnant women.

Since this year the sale of mangoes has reduced tremendously, what farmers are doing now is that they are using calcium carbide to ripen the mangoes. This chemical is extremely harmful to the body as it can cause cancer. Hence all mango lovers should be cautious while buying mangoes and ensuring that they soak the mangoes in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes before consuming it.

On this note, we end the argument of “To eat or not to eat mangoes” to the fact that you should eat mangoes when they are in season but in moderation. So go ahead and enjoy your mango variety this season in its natural form with traditional preparations instead of consuming it in the form of fruit drinks as these tend to contain artificial sweeteners.

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