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Mangos

Most people don't realize that mangos are the most popular and most often consumed fruit on the planet. There are reasons for this beyond taste and availability.

Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels. They are also a great source of vitamin E.

Mangos help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

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.

The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.

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 has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.

The fiber in mangos contains enzymes for breaking down protein and also helps digestion and elimination.

The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

One cup (225 grams) 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

If you've never tried a mango, or haven't eaten one recently, you might want to put one in your cart the next time you're buying produce.

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© 2015 by JP Van Hulle for Michael Educational Foundation