Monday, May 5, 2014

May Mango Madness

The Food of the Month for May is one of my favorite fruits - mangoes!  Mangoes are so delicious and are in season right now so it's likely you'll be able to find some really good deals on them in the grocery store right now.  (Buy a case at Whole Foods and receive a 10% discount).

How do you pick a good mango?
*Gently squeeze the mango; ripe mangoes have a slight give, similar to a ripe peach or avocado.
*As mangoes ripen, the skin turns from a green to a more golden hue.
*Ripening may be accelerated by placing the mango in a paper bag.
*Once ripe, mangoes may be stored in the refrigerator to prevent over-ripening.

How do you cut a mango?

Like all fruits, mangoes are super healthy for you.  One mango contains:

  • 124 calories
  • 1.7 g protein
  • <1 g fat
  • 31 g carbohydrates
  • 3.3 g fiber
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 23 mg calcium
  • 348 mg potassium
  • 2 mg sodium
  • 75 mg vitamin C
  • 89 mcg folate
  • 112 mcg vitamin A
Mangoes are also packed with phytonutrients called carotenoids.  Carotenoids are vitamin-A precursors that give foods their deep yellow/orange/red color.  They have anti-oxidant and protective effects in the body.  Some carotenoids found in mangos include:
  • beta-carotene - antioxidant & anti-cancer properties
  • lycopene - preventative against prostate cancer
  • cryptoxanthin - possible immune system booster
  • lutein - preventative against macular degeneration & cataracts
  • zeaxanthin - beneficial for eye health
Chopping, cooking, & pureeing caroteinoids increases bioavailabily (amount that is absorbed), so making smoothies out of frozen mangoes is an awesome way to eat this fruit.  Here is one of my favorite mango recipes from!

Mango Ice Cream (makes 2 servings)
2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2-4 pitted medjool dates (optional)

Blend ingredients in high-powered blender until smooth.  Top with cinnamon if desired. 

Come in to TOPS Athletics this month for more yummy mango recipes!

Acai bowl from SurfBerry with delicious mango!

Note:  The best source of carotenoids is food.  Don't take high-dose supplements of carotenoids (or anything for that matter) because the body cannot regulate absorption as well and consuming too much can be dangerous.  For example, studies have shown that taking extremely high doses of carotenoids in supplement form increased risk of lung cancer in smokers.  

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