Medicinal Importance of Mango

(By Haris Latif*, Mujahid Ali**, Dr. Zahoor Hussain**)

(*Food Science, UOS: **Horticulture, UOS)

Health is wealth. Health is a great blessing of Allah. The people who enjoy good health, only those people can enjoy a good life. Good health depends on a balanced diet including all fruits, vegetables, meat, cereals etc. in appropriate quantities. Mango is one of the healthful and nourishing fruits for us. Mango is considered as the most appetizing and delicious fruit in all over the world. Mango is called the king of all fruits. It is considered the heart and soul of summer season’s cuisine. There are around 400 varieties of mangoes in the world today. There were 216 varieties of mango in the Multan Mango Festival. Mango is a vital component of our lunch and dinner in the summer season. Mostly, after eating mango, we drink milk because mango has heating effect internally. If we will not drink milk after eating mangoes, then it becomes our eyes yellowish and thus affects our eyes adversely.

In mango 250 kJ (60 kcal) is the energy per 100 g (3.5 oz.) and is slightly higher than Apple (330 kJ (79 kcal) per 100 g). Fresh mango holds a range of nutrients, but only Vitamin C and folate are in major quantities of the daily value as 44% and 11% respectively. Mangoes are helpful for proper digestion because of the existence of fiber that stops constipation. Mangoes have several digestive enzymes that break down proteins and support digestion. Mangoes contain abundant amounts of iron and vitamins A, C, and B6 – these all are advantageous for pregnant females. Mangoes consist of fiber, which plays role in a great contribution towards weight reduction. Mangoes are the tremendous source of vitamin C which has valuable impacts on Asthma cases. The vitamin A and beta-carotene in mangoes enable lift to eye wellbeing. The human eye has two significant carotenoids which are lutein and zeaxanthin. Mangoes are a reliable source of zeaxanthin and consistently help in the recovery of eye health. Mango, being a major source of iron and vitamin B6, is an ideal food for retaining an upright brain health. Iron assists the regular working of your brain and vitamin B6 provisions its intellectual growth. Mangoes are rich in potassium, a vital mineral that helps lower blood pressure and inhibits hypertension. Mangoes contain a large amount of beta-carotene and vitamin A which is proved to be beneficial to enrich skin health. Mangoes are rich sources of vitamin C, and hence stimulate the formation of collagen for making hair healthy and strong. Furthermore, mangoes are known to be responsible for the provision of nourishment to hair and treat dandruff. This credit goes to the manifestation of beta-carotene.

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Because of plenty of vitamin C in this fruit, mangoes play a remarkable role in fortifying one’s immunity. Aside from vitamin C, mangoes are a reliable source of zinc as well, which is essential for sustaining the overall health of the immune system. Mangoes are rich in vitamin B6 and potassium which are useful for the treatment of kidney stones. Mangoes are proved to be great aphrodisiacs. The fruit is rich in vitamin E, which is well-known to boost sex initiative. Mangoes could help decrease body fat and control blood sugar. Beta-carotene is a vital component present in mango, which is an antioxidant that helps fight heart disease-causing free radicals. The pulp of the mango fruit contains carotenoids, ascorbic acid, terpenoids, and polyphenols – all of these are liable for the cancer-preventing properties of this fruit. Mangiferin is also a great contributor to the anticancer properties of mango. This compound is predominately found in mangoes. It has also been found that mangiferin hinders the growth of colon, liver cancer cells and other tumor cells too. Mangoes help in reduction of body fat and control blood sugar. Mangoes contain pectin that losses the serum cholesterol levels. The extract of a mango peel has antidiabetic characteristics. Fully developed mangoes are considered energizing. The juice of the mango may be used as a recuperative tonic to combat heat stroke. Raw mangoes have also been found to be energizing, permitting us to cool off the heat. Mangoes also retain the body in good health, this is the best reason that these are favorite in hot summers. Since mangoes are a rich source of potassium, they help to maintain the intensity of sodium in the body. This adjusts the fluid level in the body and avoids heat stroke. The leaves of mangoes are a rich source of tannins and can be desiccated and used up for handling diarrhea. Mangoes exhibit anti-ulcer activity, given the presence of tannins, flavonoids, and saponins. The peel of mango is helpful to cure hangovers. Mangoes can recover liver health as well. Mango also keeps appropriate functioning of your thyroid gland.

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During harvesting as the temperatures of mangoes are high, so that it is compulsory for the mangoes to keep them cold at their optimum storage temperature. The storage temperature for mangoes ranges from 8 to 13°C, varying with their varieties and ripeness. Ripening of mangoes is suppressed by Controlled Atmosphere storage of them. CA storage declines the respiration rate as well as ethylene production in them. The optimum CA storage for mango ranges from 3 to 7% O2 and 5 to 8% CO2. Mangoes can be stored for 3-6 weeks in Cold Atmosphere (CA) Storage at 13°C. This duration and temperature vary with variety and stage of ripeness of mango. Mangoes must be packed in a single layer in fruit crates and cardboard boxes. As mangoes are so sensitive to pressure, these are sometimes wrapped in paper or padded with wood wool, straw or hay. The shelf life of mango can be enhanced by storing it at 15 to 18°C temperature and 85 to 90% relative humidity for 35 days. Pakistani mango is famous all over the world. But our storage conditions are poor. We should focus to improve its storage conditions and quality aspects.

Mujahid Ali

I am a Ph.D. scholar in Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF and Ex-Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture UOS, Ex-Research Fellow in ACIAR project on vegetables and Erx-Teaching Assitant in Horticulture UAF. Moreover, Ph.D. IRSIP done in the United States.

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