In a world full of fruits, if there is one that enjoys an almost cult-like following, it has to be that oval-shaped wonder called mango. It's the undisputed king of fruits, and summer is the time when the markets are flooded with hundreds of varieties of this sinfully delicious fruit. India is obsessed with the mangoes and can have it in any form: make a smoothie or a shake with it or mix it in your oats porridge or fruit salad for breakfast, turn it into aam panna or aam papad for mid-morning or evening snack, and in the night relish it in your favourite mango rice. Ok, we are still left with the pan-India must-have, mango pickle or chutney! The bottomline: slice, chop, puree, or even roast a mango and you'll love it any form.
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Health benefits of mangoes
Mangoes are rich in minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial to our health, says Ashish Rani, Assistant Manager, Dietetics Nutrition and Dietetics, Aakash Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi. “They are high in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and fight off infections. Mangoes are also a good source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), which is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight and skin. They contain a range of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are important for proper bodily function,” says Ashish.
However, despite the numerous health benefits of mangoes, excessive consumption of this fruit can have adverse effects on the body.
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Side–effects of overeating mangoes
A mango generally weighs around 150-200 gm and as per the Indian Food Consumption Tables 2017 (NIN ICMR), 100 gm of mango contains about 8.2 gm of carbohydrates and approximately 45 calories. Hence, a healthy person should not have more than 300-350 gm of mangoes in a day, says Aman Puri, Founder, Steadfast Nutrition, India's leading sports nutrition company.
Digestive issue: One of the most common side effects of an overdose of mango is digestive problems, says Ashish. "Mangoes are high in fiber, which is good for the digestive system, but consuming too much fiber can cause bloating, constipation, and abdominal cramps. This can be particularly uncomfortable for those who have sensitive digestive systems," Ashish adds.
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Allergies: Another side effect of excessive mango consumption is an allergic reaction. Mangoes contain a substance called urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy and poison oak. Some people may have a sensitivity to this substance and develop a skin rash or hives after eating mangoes. In severe cases, an allergic reaction to mangoes can lead to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition.
Weight gain: While mangoes are low in calories, consuming too many can lead to an excessive calorie intake, which can cause weight gain. This can be particularly problematic for those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight.
How to keep a check on mango consumption
If you are diabetic, limit mango consumption to only between 100-150 gm at a time, 2-3 times a week, says Aman. The type of mango a diabetic individual can consume also plays an important role. For instance, the totapuri variety of mango contains 9.24 gm of total sugar, whereas its banganapalle form has 7.8 gm of total sugar. Diabetics, choose your mango wisely. When you combine mango or any other fruit with your breakfast, lunchor dinner, it can spike your blood glucose levels.
Have mango or any other seasonally fruit either as a first meal in the morning with nuts or as an in-between meal.
Soak mangoes in water for 30 minutes since they contain phytic acid: This naturally occurring compound is an anti-nutrient that hinders vitamin and mineral absorption. Soaking can significantly help remove the excess phytic acid from mangoes.
Mango peel extract contains mangiferin, a therapeutic compound with anti-diabetic properties that helps control sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. However, mango has a low-moderate glycemic index (51-56 depending on variety). Hence, health experts recommend a close watch on consumption if you have high blood sugar levels, says Aman Puri.