The Magic of Mango
The abundance of a variety of fruits is a permanent memory of my childhood, having grown up on the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to the climate much of it was locally grown, but mangoes were imported from Egypt, and dates from Saudi Arabia.
There are over a hundred varieties of mango! The mangoes from India are less fibrous and sweeter.
Like most people outside of India, which is the largest grower of mangoes, we ate mangoes at their perfect ripeness… orange flesh, juicy and fragrant. Like oranges, carrots and sweet potatoes, orange flesh in mangoes suggests the presence of healthful phytochemicals, the compounds that help prevent many chronic diseases, like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. The star phytochemical in mangoes is beta-carotene… but it is rich in several others as well.
Researchers from University of Florida measured the phytochemical content of 8 tropical fruits (it is Florida after all), and MANGO won First Place. One of the most unique and most powerful was LUPEOL which is also found in vegetables such as white cabbage, black pepper, show that Lupeol can block the mutation of DNA, one of the main reasons for tumor formation:
“Lupeol and Cancer: Recent studies have shown that diets rich in phytochemicals can significantly reduce cancer risk by as much as 20%.
Epidemiological data suggest that the phytosterols content of the diet is associated with a reduction in common cancers including cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate.
Data emanating from molecular studies with various tumorigenic models suggest that phytosterols modulate host systems potentially enabling more robust antitumor responses such as enhancing immune recognition of tumor cells, altering hormone-dependent growth of endocrine tumors and modulating sterol biosynthesis [32 and references therein]. Reports suggest that the decreased risk for various cancers associated with high olive oil consumption may be associated with its rich triterpene content. ” – Lupeol, A Novel Anti-inflammatory and Anti-cancer Dietary Triterpene by Mohammad Saleem (School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Eat it Green!
In India mangoes are enjoyed most when they are unripe, green, and tart. The spice AMCHUR, is a powder made from green mango. Like the whole fruit it is VERY GOOD for you. Amchur has a tart and tangy taste, reminiscent of powdered lime, and delivers a concentrated dose of a mango’s many health-promoting nutrients. It is used as a souring agent in Indian foods like curries and pickles. IT is used on Tandoori meats as a tenderizing agent. Mango chutney is made with little chunks of green mango.
I bought some Amchur recently, and it had a slightly tan color. I found out that this is due to a touch of Turmeric, another potent spice, that is mixed in to moderate the gray of the Amchur.
In addition to being a cancer inhibitor, mangoes have shown to be powerful at:
- Preventing Heart Disease
- Balancing Blood Sugar
- Reversing Gum Disease
- Thyroid Support
- Protecting Liver Cells from Effects of Pollution
Beneficial Health Effects of Lupeol
(Section of Molecular Chemoprevention and Therapeutics, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, MN, USA)
Sprinkle some on your veggies or fish as you would lemon, for a wonderful health-lifting boost.
~ In good health! ♥