Considered the ‘king of the fruits’, mangoes are loved by people of all age groups. Apart from being tasty, mangoes also offer a number of health benefits. The sweet and aromatic taste of mangoes can refresh the mind and make you feel happy. But have you tried to eat unripe mangoes? Well, a recent study shows that an unripe mango yields as much Vitamin C as 35 apples, 18 bananas, nine lemons and three oranges.
Native to Southeast Asia and India, the mango is the most widely consumed fresh fruit in the world, with worldwide production exceeding 17 million metric tonnes a year. The mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family which includes poison ivy, cashews, and pistachios. It is also known as manga, mangga, mangot, mangou, and mangue in other parts of the world.
Cultivated for over 6,000 years, the mango comes in over 50 varieties, ranging in colour from greenish, yellowish, to reddish, often tinged with purple, pink, orange-yellow, or red.
Alexis Mucumbitsi, the in charge of nutrition at the Ministry of Health, explains that mangoes are important in the prevention of diseases because they are rich in various vitamins.
He says that the fruit is rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and 82% of magnesium which is vital for the extraction of wastes in the body.
“Raw mangoes contain an acid which helps ease digestion and control constipation. They also help the skin soften and breathe making it healthy. Mangoes also help in the fight against diabetes by reducing sugar levels in the body,” Mucumbitsi says.
“We encourage people to also grow other fruits like pineapples and jackfruit so that what they can’t get from mangoes, they can find in others.”
Health benefits of unripe mangoes
l Treat blood disorders: Raw mangoes are extremely beneficial in treating blood disorders because of their high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C increases the elasticity of the blood vessels and boosts the formation of new blood cells. It also aids the absorption of iron and prevents bleeding tendencies besides increasing body resistance against TB, anaemia, cholera and dysentery.
l Treatment of Scurvy: Dried mango powder is highly beneficial in treating Scurvy.
l Indigestion and constipation: Raw mangoes are good for hormonal health.
They contain Vitamin B that helps you retain good health. They also help with indigestion and constipation problems. Furthermore, they cleanse the intestine and clear off many other infections. Raw mango contains vitamin A and Vitamin E that enhances one’s hormonal system.
l Prevent dehydration
Eating unripe mangoes with salt prevents the excessive loss of water from the body, and helps to quench thirst. In addition, it also protects one from the negative effects of very high temperature. Drinking unripe mango juice prevents the excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron to excessive sweating.
l Treats gastro-intestinal disorders
Unripe mangoes are a rich source of pectin, which if mixed with honey and salt, is highly beneficial in treating gastro-intestinal disorders. It is also considered as very effective medicine for diarrhea, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation.
l Treat liver disorders
Unripe mangoes help in treating liver disorders because they increase the secretion of bile acids and clean the intestines of bacterial infections.
They also have more Antioxidants and Vitamin C than ripe mangoes. These antioxidant properties protect the body against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.