April is here and that means it’s Mango Season! This is a great chance to try famous Khmer mangos which are known for their sweet taste and juiciness. The mango harvest season is typically during March to April and from October to November.
Mango trees have been cultivated in Cambodia thousands of years ago. It is a popular fruit usually eaten green or ripe with salt and chilli as a snack, shredded in a salad or with fish, and ripen with sticky rice as a dessert in Khmer cuisine.
Eat it green, try them ripe, these stone fruits are packed with nutrients and are perfect for the tropical heat of April. Here are nine healthy reasons why you should go out and get some mangoes right now!
Mangoes contain magnesium and potassium, two nutrients associated with lower blood pressure and regular heartbeat. In addition, they contain a compound known as mangiferin, which early studies suggest may help reduce inflammation in the heart. Extensive studies reveal that mangiferin reduces cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids, as well as protects heart tissue. This powerful antioxidant also keeps cells healthy by fighting against oxidative stress.
Improved Digestive Health
The fiber in mangoes stimulates your digestive system and helps regulate your blood sugar levels. One cup of mango contains 3 grams of fiber, which is roughly 10 percent of what you need. Fiber slows down sugar absorption and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Dietary fiber has been an important factor for digestive health for years. Mangoes have been found to help alleviate constipation and maintain regularity. People who consume the daily recommended amount of fiber have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, GERD, obesity, and hypertension.
Support Immune System.
Mangoes contains 20 valuable nutrients, including 50 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C, and 35 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin A. Vitamin C not only protects your body against oxidative stress, but it also protects your skin from sun damage. A single cup of mango also contains about 10% of our daily dose of vitamin A, another essential nutrient that supports the immune system.
Carrots aren’t the only thing to help eyesight. If you are craving something sweet or sour, try a mango. Like carrots, this yellow orangish tropical fruit also has carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin A, and beta carotene. These all help prevent eye damage and maintain eyesight, so you can see how green mangoes can ripen into their beautiful warm color.
Fight Diabetes and Cancer
The stone fruit is also a great source of protection from free radical damage. Free radicals are associated with many chronic diseases and aging in general. Mangoes contain high amounts of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C, which can protect cells from free radical damage. Mangoes have phenolic acids, mangiferin, carotenoids, and gallotannins, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and anti-cancer benefits.
Great for Skin
Eating mango is a great way to improve your skin from the inside out. Mangoes are rich in vitamin C, which plays a role in skin health and may even help reduce the signs of aging.
Mango is low in fat and only has about 100 calories per serving. One of the benefits of eating a green mango is that the energy to eat the fruit is more than the calories it contains. A one-cup serving of mango also has 2.6 grams of fiber, which can help you stay feeling full longer and can substitute for junk food! Remember, ripe mango is high in sugar, so stick to the green ones.
Craving mangoes while eating for two? Perfect! A serving of mango has many nutrients to support the healthy development of your baby. One cup of this fruit has significant amounts of vital vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, A, B6, and folate to help support the development of a baby and can keep mama happy too.
Feeling sleepless? Mango can help! The juicy fruit contains vitamin B6, which is known for producing serotonin – a chemical that helps with sleep and regulates our mood. Three-quarters of a cup of mango typically provides 8 percent of your daily B6 needs for a snooze.
Written by Sotheavy Nou