Your summer’s favourite mangoes, are they actually healthy?

What is a summer without mangoes? What is a hot day without some of the juice running down the side of your forearm? What is happiness but gobbling down mangoes until your heart’s content? Summers aren’t summers if you don’t eat mangoes.
They are inextricably linked and are a part of our culture and tradition such that numerous varieties are grown in the subcontinent ranging from Alphonso in Maharashtra to Kishan Bhog in West Bengal and from Dassehri in Uttar Pradesh to Badami in Karnataka. Around thousand varieties are scattered all over India and each tastes different, characteristic of the environment and soil it grew in.But, But. Are mangoes healthy? Yes, they are moderately healthy especially since they have a lot of sugar. However, fruit sugar or fructose is different from processed and added sugar, it is balanced out by fibre and a host of nutrients for the body. So, yes you should rather eat mangoes than junk food.One cup of sliced mango, around 165 grams contains 3g of fiber, 24g of sugar, 1g of protein and around 75% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, 25% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A and 257mg of potassiumLet’s look at some of the most famous varieties and what makes them stand out!
  1. Alphonso: Undoubtedly and unanimously declared as the tastiest variety of the king of fruits, Alphonso Mangoes tumult in the exotic hotspot of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra and garner international appeal due to their sunshine appearance and mouth-watering taste. With a 150g serving size, it stands at 135 calories; rich in carbs containing 30g of sugar and 3g of fibre. Traces of calcium, iron, sodium and protein can also be found along with a sizeable portion of potassium. Alphonso mangoes are completely cholesterol-free.
  2. Dasheri: Dasheri like other mango varieties, are an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre that strengthen the immune system and regulate the digestive tract respectively. It also contains a healthy amount of vitamin A which is paramount to the maintenance of healthy organ functioning and other amounts of zinc, vitamin E, iron, and calcium. In addition to vitamins and minerals, Dasheri mangoes contain phytochemicals in the skin that may have antioxidant-like properties to reduce inflammation.
  3. Badami: Grown extensively in North Karnataka, Badami mangoes are comparatively less calorie dense and pack more amount of Vitamin A than Vitamin C. High in fructose and fibre, Badami Mangoes are like any other variety but enriched with Vitamin E and K, with lots of potassium and traces of micros such as iron, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. This variety contains several macros and micros in moderate amounts and is an overall healthier choice when compared to the popular varieties.
  4. Totapuri: The electronic city of India, Bengaluru, is famous for its Totapuri mangoes. Totapuri is also one of the significant varieties of mangoes in our country with a distinct taste and aroma. Coming in at 112 calories per 140g serving, it constitutes 27g of carbs, good chunks of Vitamin A and C and traces of iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus. Just like other varieties, it contains a negligent amount of protein and fat.
  5. Banganapalli: A mango variety grown in the Banganapalle district of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the most widely grown varieties in South India and packs tons of nutrients. With its pleasant aroma, thin blemish-free skin and fibre-free sweet yellow pulp, the Banganapalli is certainly the choice for those who don’t like fibrous textures in their fruit. Additionally, it is blessed with the coveted Geographical Indication Tag for Andhra Pradesh.
  6. Mallika: The Mallika is a hybrid of Neelam and Dussehri which arrives a little later in the summer but has a better yield. Mallika produces high quality, fiberless orange fruit. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and much larger in size than either of its parent fruits. Mallika is a very underrated variety often hiding in the shadows of its burgeoning counterparts- Alphonso and Dussehri.
  7. Kesar: Dubbed as the Queen of Mangoes, this variety hails from Junagadh, Gujrat. It has beautiful orange flesh and is extremely delicious.
  8. Malgova: A giant among all mango varieties, each piece weighs between 1-1.5kg. Grown in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, it is very sweet in taste with the slightest undercurrent of tartness. Given its size, Malgova packs a lot of calories in the form of natural sugar. So, it is not exactly apt for weight-watchers.
  9. Sindhu: The Sindhu is a cross between mango varieties Ratna and Alphonso and is famous for its relatively light and small seed that accounts for only 10%of the fruit’s weight. The sindhu variety packs anti-oxidants and some fibre which aids in digestion.
  10. Imam Pasand: A lesser known variety grown in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Imam Pasand is known as the King of Mangoes in Trichy and has a very rewarding aftertaste of coconut and lime. It has very soft skin, one that can be bitten through.
  11. Lalbagh: Popularly known as Rajgira in Karnataka, the soft and juicy fleshed fruit has a distinct appearance with shades of green and red. It is also known as ‘Honey Mango’ because of its exceptional flavour and sweetness. It is rich in probiotic dietary fibre and has a lavish supply of Vitamin B6,A,C,K
  12. Neelam: Neelam mangoes are perfectly shaped- large, oblong with a pointed base. It has a golden-yellow skin with a floral aroma and an acidic-sweet taste. It is a good source of vitamin A, C and Potassium and lowers cholesterol.
As much as we love mangoes, it also has a bad rep for causing obesity because of its high-calorie content. However, this is a very superficial understanding of nutrition. Yes, mangoes are calorie-dense given the fructose frenzy but they are also enriched with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the overall functioning of the body. It is high in beta-carotene, which is an excellent antioxidant source for our body. Mangoes have also been proved to aid digestion, improve eye-sight and boost immunity.
This summer, enjoy delicious, mouth-watering mangoes with your family!

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