Mangoes are full packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and contain like all fruits very few proteins, fats and calories.
Mangoes are perfect to replenish salts, vitamins and energy after physical exercise.
The famous Unani physician Hakeen Hashmi teaches that mangoes strengthens and invigorates the nerve tissues in muscles, heart and brain and other parts of the body.
The enzymes of the Mango, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase and lactase, clean the bowel of the "filth" within and are an ideal antidote for all toxic effects inside the body. They provide also sufficient resistance to fight any germs and afflictions.
Hartwell claims in his book "Plants Against Cancer," that the phenols in mangoes, such as quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes, have healing and cancer-preventing capacities. In gall bladder cancer a protective effect of mango consume has been proven (Pandey).
Mangos contain also a lot of tryptophan, the precursor of the "happiness-hormone" serotonin.
A pap made of Finger millet (Eleusine coracana), kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), peanuts (Arachis hypogoea), and mango (Mangifera indica) has been proven to be a good complementary food for children of weaning age. It meets the vitamin and energy requirements of children of 6-24 months of age at three servings a day and at the FAO average breast-feeding frequency (Mbithi-Mwikya)
Mangiferin from the leaves has been reported to possess antiinflammatory, diuretic, chloretic and cardiotonic activities and displays a high antibacterial activity against gram positive bacteria. It has been recommended as a drug in preventing dental plaques.
Mangiferin shows antiviral effect against type I herpes simplex virus which could be useful in anti-herpes ointments (Unani Herbalist).
The bark of the mango tree contains 16 - 20% tannin and also mangiferine. It acts ad stringent and is believed to possess a tonic action on the mucous membrane. It is anathematic, useful in hemoptysis, hemorrhage, nasal catarrh, diarrhea, ulcers, diphtheria, rheumatism and for lumbrici. It is also used in diphtheria and rheumatism (Unani Herbalist).
The average content of one Mango (250 g) is (compared with other fruits):
1,5 g protein
1 g fat
30 g carbohydrates
3 g carotenes (only muskmelons have more). One Mango supplies more than the daily need of this precursor of Vitamin A
110 g vitamin B1
125 g vitamin B2 (only passion-fruit has more)
2 mg vitamin B3 (only passion-fruit and guava have more)
90g folic acid (only oranges and grapes have more)
90 mg vitamin C (only orange and papaya have more)
30 mg calcium (only mandarine and orange have more)
1 mg iron (granadilla, grapes, banana, guava and apricots have more)
295g zinc (muskmelon, watermelon, papaya, guava, granadilla and bananas have more)
0,5 g potassium (muskmelon, granadilla and banana have more)
Vitamin A deficiency
The FAO estimates, that about 250 Million people - mainly small children and pregnant women - are threatened by vitamin A deficiency. Lack of vitamin A is associated with malnutrition and leads to break down of body defense and partial or full blindness (Xerophthalmia). Dysenteria or measles complications and mortality decreases significantly when vitamin A is given. The WHO advices the supply of vitamin A in every case of measles.
Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of the placenta and the fetus. It influences the growth, the metabolism of skin, mucus membranes, teeth and retina.
Mango is an excellent natural source for pro-vitamin A; the content rises even after being picked before ripening (Aina). Improving the consumption of mangoes would cover the needs of the population in third world countries (Favaro). The content of carotenes is very high also in the dried fruit, and retains high levels over at least six months after harvest (Pott).
The FAO and the WHO use three strategies to fight lack of Vitamin A:
Food fortification - e.g. margarine containing vitamin A in the Philippines
Supplementation: Administration of high-dose vitamin A-capsules twice a year
Food based projects - e.g. in Bangladesh (vines, beans, pumpkins, bottle-gourds), in Thailand (ivy gourd) an in many African countries (dried mango slices).
Carotenes are a strong antioxidants and scavenges radicals which otherwise could lead to cancer.
Anemia from lack of iron
The following mango remedies are partially adopted from the Unani medicine system:
Taking Mango regularly makes the complexion fair and the skin soft and shining
Because of it's content in Vitamin C and Calcium the Mango tightens the capillary vessels and prevents oder cures bleedings of inner parts.
Burnt ashes of Mango leaves applied on the burnt parts give quick relief
Children's eating soil
Feeding the powder of dried kernel of Mango seeds with fresh water cures the habit of eating soil in kinds
Sun dried Mango leaves powdered, 2-3 x a day half a teaspoon with water
Roast a ripe Mango on hot sand in a pan. Draw out the the juice of this Mango eliminates all the bronchial congestion and gives relief in cough. According to Hakeem Hashmi sucking the juice and not eating cut mangos is better for health and some note of caution about Mango eating
Paste of Mango roots applied on palms & soles cures fever
Dried and powdered Mango leaves, 10g a day in water (kept overnight in a tumbler) helps throwing stones out
In India a decoction of the mango peel is given to people with inflammation of the stomach mucus membranes.
Mental Weakness over come with mango juice
Mango contains a lot of glutamine acid - an important protein for concentration and memory. Taking _ cup sweet Mango juice with 25 grams curd and tsp. Ginger juice 2 or 3 times a day controls loose motions. Boil 20 grams powder of Mango bark in a liter of water and reduce it to 250 gram. Taking this decoction with 1 gram of black salt cures diarrhea.
Dried Mango seeds is a good toothpaste, strengthens the gums and helps in curing dental problems foul smell pyorrhoea
Some say that the fruit which Eva picked from the tree of recognition was a mango. Couldn't it be like that?
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Ballot D, Baynes RD, Bothwell TH et al: The effects of fruit juices and fruits on the absorption of iron from a rice meal. Br J Nutr 1987, 57:331-43
Bloem MW, Huq N, Gorstein J, Burger S, Kahn T, Islam N, Baker S, Davidson F: Production of fruits and vegetables at the homestead is an important source of vitamin A among women in rural Bangladesh. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996, 50(3):62
FAO and International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI): Preventing Micronutrient Malnutrition: A Guide to Food-based Approaches. A manual for policy makers and porgramme planners. Washington DC 1997, ILSI Press
Favaro RM et al: Enrichment of the diet with synthetic and natural sources of provitamin A. Arch Latinoam Nutr 1999, 49:34-37
Hartwell J: Plants used against cancer. Lloydia, Massachusetts, 1960
Hashmi Herbs and Spices. www.hashmi.com/mango.html
Mbithi-Mwikya S, Van Camp J, Mamiro PR, Ooghe W, Kolsteren P, Huyghebaert A: : Evaluation of the nutritional characteristics of a finger millet based complementary food. J Agric Food Chem 2002 May 8;50(10):3030-6
Pandey M, Shukla VK: Diet and gallbladder cancer: a case-control study. Eur J Cancer Prev 2002 Aug;11(4):365-8
Pott I, Neidhart S, Muhlbauer W, Carle R: Preservation of essential micronutrients in mango (mangifera indica l.) and lychee fruits (litchi chinensis sonn.) by drying. International Symposium Sustaining Food Security and Managing Natural Resources in Southeast Asia - Challenges for the 21 st Century - January 8-11, 2002 at Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Simonsohn Barbara: The Mango - a divine fruit. The Sunfood diet and cuisine, 2000.