There is really no time like the summertime! The cool sea breezes, blue clear skies above, the long daytime hours, the barbecues, fetes , friends and of course the reggae music blasting outdoors. Ah…. It’s worth looking forward to all winter long. But with summer comes the amazing MANGO – just the thought lifts my spirit and I can wait to refresh my taste buds with a bite.
Mangoes are one of the most nutritional fruits grown in Jamaica, and we Jamaicans are passionate about our mangoes. We often over indulge, often using mangoes to replace a meal. Mango season starts around April or May and ends in July, but with one exception – the Tommy Atkins which comes in around September or October.
When mangoes are in season everyone finds a long stick and helps themselves to what the trees offer. It’s also likely for those who have a mango tree at home to find “someone in a yuh yad a raid it”.
Blackie, Bastard, Bombay, East Indian, Graham, Greengage, Haden, Julie , Hairy, Kent, Long, Millie, Number 7, Number 11, Red Jaw, Robin, Rose, Sweetie Come Brush Me, Tommy Atkins, and Turpentine are just some of the crazy names we Jamaicans have for mangoes.
Mangoes are an awesome fruit for so many reasons. Not only are they a sweet treat that won’t kill your diet – one cup of diced mango contains around 100 calories – they have some amazing health benefits.
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, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff)
Clears the Skin:
Mangoes can be used both internally and externally for the skin. it clears 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.
Alkalizes the Whole Body:
The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body
Helps in Diabetes:
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 have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (as from whole food) does help in this area.
Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.
Remedy for Heat Stroke
Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm to the body. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.
Boosts Immune system
The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.