Mango (aam in Hindi) is the national fruit of India. Also known as the king of fruits, Mango is one of the most popular fruits around the world. The fruit comes in many sizes, flavours and colours e.g. yellow, orange, red and green. It is a summer fruit and is consumed both raw and ripe. The ripe fruit is used as dessert, for preparing mango jelly, mango shake, and mango lassi. Unripe mangoes are green in colour. They are used in chutneys, pickles, salad and in making a drink called 'panna'.
The mango tree is a tropical evergreen tree that grows up to a height of 40 meters. It bears alternate leaves and terminal spikes of small five petal white flowers. India is the largest producer of mangoes. Mangoes also grow in China, Thailand, East Africa, Mexico, Pakistan, Bangladesh and several other countries.
Chemical composition: Mango is a rich source of vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains many minerals, proteins, natural sugars, antioxidants and fiber.
Mangoes can help treat kidney problems, constipation, and acidity.
Due to the abundance of Vitamin A, mangoes are beneficial for heart diseases, vision and the skin.
Antioxidants present in mangoes reduce the risk of lung and oral cancer.
The presence of potassium helps lower blood pressure and controls the heart rate.
Mangoes help treat anaemia due to presence of iron. Therefore, mangoes are beneficial for pregnant women, during menopause and for people suffering from anaemia.
Mangoes improve memory.
Due to the high fibre content, mangoes help reduce cholesterol and help treat constipation.
Keeping a mango slice on the face for 10-15 minutes helps treat acne.
Mango leaves also have many health benefits. Drinking water in which mango leaves have been soaked overnight reduces blood sugar levels and kidney stones. Burnt ashes obtained from the leaves can be applied to treat burns.
A paste obtained from mango roots applied on palms and feet reduces fever.
A powder made from dried mango seeds can be used as a toothpaste; it strengthens gums and teeth, reduces bad breath and pyorrhoea.
Contraindications: Excessive mango can cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems.