Mangos taste so good that people forget they are also healthy! Discover how the “king of fruits” can help you, plus learn fascinating trivia facts and a few mango cautions and concerns.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
1. Prevents Cancer: Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.
2. Lowers Cholesterol: The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff)
3. Clears the Skin: Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples. (Read more on page 5.)
4. Eye Health: One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
5. Alkalizes the Whole Body: The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
6. Helps in Diabetes: Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
7. Improved Sex: Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (as from whole food) does help in this area.
8. Improves Digestion: Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.
9. Remedy for Heat Stroke: Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm to the body. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.
10. Boosts Immune System: The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Facts and Trivia
- According to some, more mangos are eaten fresh than any other fruit in the world.
- Originated 4,000 plus years ago.
- Biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like cashew and pistachio.
- Originated in sub-Himalayan plains.
- In India where they are most heavily grown and eaten, mangos are known as “safeda.”
- There are more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos.
Nutrition by the Numbers
One cup (225 gms contain) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.
- 105 calories
- 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
- 25 percent vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
- 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
- 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
- 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
- 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
- 4 percent magnesium
How to Prepare a Raw Mango Fancy Style
1. Hold the mango on its side and cut down on either side of the central seed. You will end with two big “halves” plus the central seed.
2. Place each half on the cutting board with peel facing down and cut the exposed flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern, taking care not to cut deep through skin.
3 Then invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo above.
Mangos for the Skin
Externally: Just blending up the mango and applying to the face is fast and easy. Mangos contain beta-carotene, which is converted by your body to vitamin A. That and vitamin C are crucial to skin self-repair.
Follow this link to see a more complete recipe: Mango Mud Mask. This has all the benefits of mango plus the exfoliating benefits of oatmeal and almonds.
For a less serious treatment of this mud mask, you can watch me making my own at … Randy’s Homemade Mango Mud Mast
Internally: When eaten, mangos help resolve all skin problems including pimples. Extract the large pit or seed from green mangoes. You can eat this seed raw or cooked, or try a recipe like this Cucumber-Mint-Mango Lightness.
Do Monkeys Know Something We Don’t?
Monkeys choose to eat the seed from the green mango. Ayurvedic healers suggest that it is the seed that gives the monkey its energy and powerful strength to jump in the tress.
- If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos and particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid.
- Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac that can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
- Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic). If you do have inorganic mangos, do wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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