Every time summer comes it’s time to rejoice: It’s mango time. With its versatile flavour, it has many fans all around the globe. Every bite of this juicy fruit leaves a sumptuous and delicious taste in your mouth. Did you know that in some countries, it’s called the king of fruits? And did you know that this king of fruits can make you look like a queen?
What is mango?
Mango is a tropical fruit belonging to the cashew and pistachio family. The fruit is oval and about the size of a grapefruit. Its skin has colours ranging from yellow to green and green-red. The colour depends on the variety. The soft and yellow (if ripe) flesh surrounds a hard pit.
Not only do ripe mangoes taste delicious but peeled green mango with salt and red chilli powder sprinkled on top is like DYI gum drops and totally addictive. You can eat it raw, as chutney, sorbet, in a salad, in a curry – it seems almost endless how you can eat it. No matter which variety or how you eat it, it provides you with amazing wholesome benefits.
Low in calories but high in fibres, mango is an abundant source of vitamins, including A, C, and K. It’s also a rich source of vitamin B6, B9, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. It also contains, antioxidants and polyphenols such as gallotannins, mangiferin, catechins, anthocyanins, quercetin, kaempferol, and rhamnetin.
Raw mangoes make a very refreshing and delicious juice that prevents heat strokes. It prevents dehydration by limiting the excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron from the body.
Eating raw mango improves digestion because of its high content but also because it contains enzymes. Its also used as a natural remedy for acidity and morning sickness.
As a natural source of vitamin C, it eating mango boosts your immune system. Other nutrients such as carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin play a vital role in your immune system.
How can mango enhance your skin health and quality?
All the nutrients are important not only for your skin but also for hair health. With its vibrant yellow pulp, it belongs to one of the rainbow fruits and veggies in your diet.
Boost collagen production
Whenever healthy skin is mentioned, it doesn’t take long and then the word collagen pops up. That’s because it’s the collagen that gives your skin its firmness. As one of the most important antioxidants, vitamin C is involved in several things that keep your skin healthy.
For one, it’s important in collagen production. With age, the levels of collagen decrease, and then your skin starts to sage. While ageing is normal and unavoidable, vitamin C slows down the process. Your hair also needs vitamin C both for collagen formation as well as with the absorption of iron which is needed for hair growth.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects your skin against environmental damage. This means, it neutralises free radicals caused by UV rays and so relieves inflammation. It helps your body and skin both by stimulating collagen formation while protecting existing collagen.
Protects against signs of ageing
All your cells need vitamin A to grow. This includes both your skin and hair. Vitamin A has many parts to play for skin and hair health. As an antioxidant, it helps protect against free radical-induced damage. Its other role in skin and hair is that it helps the sebaceous glands around your hair follicles to work, so that they can make sebum, the natural oils that moisturises both your skin and scalp.
Vitamin A normalise how cells function. This means it can “tell” cells to behave in a younger way. It also ups the cell turnover rate.
To reduce signs of ageing, vitamin A normalises the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase so that your skin cells don’t overproduce the pigment melanin.
Vitamin A is also involved when your body makes collagen and elastin. With already talked about how collagen is responsible for the structure of your skin. Elastin, on the other hand, is responsible for how fast your skin snaps back when pulled.
All the carotenoids, mangiferin, and other antioxidants help to ease the inflammation produced by acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Why shouldn’t you take inflammation lightly?
In normal aka ideal conditions, inflammation is your body’s reaction to external aggressors and pollutants such as invading bacteria and viruses. It’s also the defense mechanism when you’re hurt or injured. After the infection is fought off or your sprained ankle is healed, the inflammation should go away.
But sometimes, that’s not the case and it can turn chronic. If your skin is often inflamed, it can take a toll in many ways including breakouts and visible signs of ageing (like sagging).
Mango pulp is great to remove dead skin cells and exfoliate your skin as it not only contains vitamin C and AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) but also enzymes. It helps to separate the connection holding the dry skin cells so that it eliminates dull, dry, skin to reveal new and young skin underneath.
How is mango used in skin care?
Normally, when mango is prepared, it’s peeled and only the flesh is eaten. But the skin is edible too. A lot of its nutrients like fibre, vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals are in the skin.
So, next time you buy a mango, eat the pulp and keep the skin to make amazing DYI masks. Of course, you can also use the pulp, but it seems a pity not to first taste its tarty, sweet flavour and then reap its health benefits.
The pit, the hard seed itself is used to make mango seed butter, powder, or oil, depending on how it’s processed. If you cold-press the seed, you get butter. It’s solid in cool temperatures and turns into oil in contact with the warmth of your skin.
As you’d expect, it has a slightly different nutrient profile, mainly because it contains essential fatty acids like oleic acid and stearic acid that are a wonderful emollient for your skin. It also contains vitamins A and E, making mango seed butter a wonderful natural oil for your skin and hair.
Tell me in the comments below if you want to have a more detailed look into how mango seed butter can help your skin. In essence, it’s a white creamy butter that doesn’t have a scent. And perhaps the best, it’s non-comedogenic.
Even the leaves of the mango tree have shown great potential as a cosmetic ingredient. The antioxidant levels are high so that the leaves show antioxidant, anti-ageing, and lightening properties.
There’s a myth going around about mangoes. It’s that they’re high in sugar and people with diabetes and this trying to lose weight should better abstain. This is not true, even if (ripe) mangoes are indeed sweet.
But since they’re high in dietary fibre, they can regulate blood sugar levels. And, it fills your stomach and curbs your hunger.
So, is there a difference between dried and fresh mango? Are they both as healthy? In the winter season, it’s difficult to get fresh mango and dry mango is a more convenient alternative. But, it has a much higher sugar content and therefore much more calories. Still, dried mango has retained its fibre content.
If you know you’re allergic to cashew nuts or pistachios, or react sensitive in general, it’s best to avoid mango.
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