One of the pleasures of childhood was saving some part of your feeding money to buy something to munch on after school, on your way home. Mango season was one of the sweetest of those pleasures. It was also one of the most challenging because of the dozens of flies that you had to contend with for a chance of [your own] juicy fruit. Maneuvering the fruit into your mouth away from the insects was a skill perfected after many episodes of watching helplessly as your half-eaten mango lay in the sand, completely covered by flies. Unlike many other childhood shenanigans, munching on mangoes is fully expert recommended.
Mangoes are very rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients. A 225 gram cup of mangoes contains 105 calories, and 25% of those are vitamin A, 76% vitamin C, 9% copper, 7% potassium and 9% healthy probiotic fibre. Little wonder it is dubbed the “king of fruits”.
The health benefits of mango include that it
- boosts the immune system
- aids digestion
- helps with diaetes
- controls cholesterol
- fights cancer
- takes care of the eye
- helps to promote brain health
- is a skin cleanser
There are many hundreds of named mango varieties. in India alone, there are around 283 types of mangoes, while the United States records about 400. In Nigeria, common types are Dasheri, Cotonou, Opioro, Benue and others. Mango season starts in late March till sometime in June. They are useful for night time and in-between meal snacking. One per day can almost guarantee to keep the doctor away. Mangoes are also used in a variety of cuisines, from juices, smoothies, ice cream to fruit bars, pies, and a host of other forms.
Note though because of their high fiber content that aid bowel movement, it is recommended to not eat too much at once as it may lead to a mild case of diarrhea, especially in children.