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natural health | SMART FRUIT

Nutritious, delicious

The health benef its of mangos are many. They are rich in essent ial vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin A. They are especially high in beta carotene from which the mango gets its lovely orange color. Beta carotene is also an antioxidant, and research has shown that it can help stave off cancer. For example, recent studies from the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre in Lucknow, India, suggest that mangos may help fight prostate cancer. When researchers gave mango pulp to cancer-carrying mice, they found that the pulp reduced tumor cel ls. Mangos are del icious devoured fresh, but you’ll also find them in jellies, jams and preserves; sliced, frozen, pickled and pureed; in chutneys, pies, milkshakes and breads. Basically anything you do with a pear or peach you can do with a mango. This nutritious treat has about 100 calories per cup of diced mango and its sweet satisfying fl avor goes a long way.

Eating a raw mango

In tropical places such as the Caribbean, people enjoy eating mangos in the sea because this juicy fruit drips down your chin and arms. Kids toss mangos into the sea and make a game of diving to find them. Some parents teach their kids to swim in this way. As delicious as mangos may be, many variet ies (there are more than 1,000) have fi brous threads that catch and cling in your teeth. So have that dental fl oss at the ready! There are some varieties without threads, most, however do have them. Here are two ways to avoid this thready peril: suck out the juice or dice the fruit. To enjoy it as a juice, roll the mango round and round in your hands. Mash it up until it feels soft and juicy. Then peel back a sliver of the skin and suck out the juice. Secondly, cut off a mango “cheek,” carefully score the fruit (careful not to

Cinco De Mango Salsa Ingredients:

1 medium jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced cup diced red bell pepper cup diced red onion

2/3 1/3

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

cut into the skin), then peel back the skin and eat the diced pieces.

Selection and storage

Mangos come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and color. The colors range from yellow to green to orange or red. Some are small and delicate, weighing just a few ounces, where others can weigh a couple of pounds. A widely available mango variety is Haden, known for its bright red skin with green and yellow tones. It is lush and fragrant with fi rm fl esh and fi ne fi bers. Ataulfos are prized for having no threads. They have a very small seed, so there is a high fl esh to seed ratio. It’s a vibrant yellow color and tastes sweet and creamy. In Chicago, go to an Asian, Caribbean or Mexican market to fi nd the best variety, selection and price. Don’t be surprised if different mangos have different prices. Like apples, all have their own distinct fl avors, textures and values. At these ethnic markets, you’ll likely also fi nd frozen mango chunks any time of the year. When selecting a fresh mango, give it a gentle squeeze, the skin should be taut and just tender to the touch. It should also smell sweet. Don’t refrigerate. Mangos ripen quickly so don’t be afraid to buy them while still a bit hard and green. Just place the fruit in a brown paper bag and let sit at room temperature. In a couple of days, the aroma of sweet-smelling mango will fi ll your kitchen. And you’ll be ready to indulge in this sweet tropical treat.

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced


Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl.

Mango Yogurt Smoothie Ingredients:

1 cup mango, peeled and diced 1 cup plain or vanilla non-fat yogurt

½ cup crushed ice

Preparation: Place mango, yogurt and ice in a blender and puree until smooth.

Courtesy: National Mango Board

midwest health+wellness issue 1, 2014 39


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