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Why I Love Mangoes
In South Asia, Mangoes have been known as the “king of fruit” for centuries, yet many of us in the Western hemisphere have yet to succumb to their charms. That’s a pity, because not only are mangoes full of fabulous antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, they are also incredibly luscious and versatile.
One cup of sliced mango supplies 100% of your daily vitamin C requirement, 35% of your daily vitamin A, numerous other antioxidants known as polyphenols, and a healthy 3 grams of fiber, all for just 100 calories. The riper the fruit, the more nutrients and antioxidants.
Funnily enough, mangoes are distantly related to cashews and pistachios. They are also remotely connected to poison ivy. This is important because a small percentage of people will have an allergic reaction with skin sensitivity to the mango peel, although rarely to the fruit itself.
Cutting up a mango may be a little intimidating for some. To take the mystery out of the process, the National Mango Board offers a great little video tutorial. Their website also includes some terrific recipes, including Baja Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and Mango and Watermelon Salad, and some easy tips for kids (and time-challenged adults).
As a quick, healthy snack, I love dried mangoes, but be careful not to choose products with added sugar. Like all dried fruit, it can be easy to overindulge, so don’t snack mindlessly. One good sized slice of unsweetened dried mango has about 30 calories.
Now that summer’s almost here, think of mangoes as a cool way to bring a healthy taste of the tropics home.