Millions of people all over the world are fighting obesity and accompanying diseases at any given time and Indians are no exception.
Naturally, weight loss treatments of various kinds have sprung up like mushrooms, in Pune, like they have all over India and also all over the world!
Today self-styled slimming centres in Pune and all over India are selling their own brand of nutrition, dangerous diets, and injurious exercises, with absolute impunity!
Today so-called obesity clinics in Pune and all over India are selling rubbish diets, pretentious slimming medicines or machines, food replacement powders or shakes, with equal impunity.
Amongst the numerous foods that such weight loss treatments strictly prohibit you from eating, is the wonderful fruit, mango!
Naturally, this leads the obese people to fear that mango really makes them fat and stops eating them altogether!
Some ask if mangoes make them fat, or if mangoes can help in weight loss, or what is the best time to eat them, or can they eat mangoes and still lose weight?
Mango, like many other fruits, is a superfood. It is a rich source of Vitamin A and a very good source of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Vitamin A is essential for the health of our eyes, skin and mucous membranes.
Pyridoxine is essential for the production of GABA, a brain hormone and for controlling the blood levels of homocysteine, high levels of which lead to coronary artery disease and strokes.
Vitamin C keeps our gums and teeth healthy, helps our body fight infections and also scavenges harmful oxygen-free radicals.
It is rich in potassium (156 mg per 100 gm) and low in sodium (2 mg per 100 gm), helping regulate our heart rate and blood pressure.
Mango is also rich in flavonoids namely beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and alpha-cryptoxanthene. Together with Vitamin A, the carotenes help protect us against numerous cancers including breast, colon, oral cavity and prostate cancers and leukemia.
The fruit is also a moderate source of copper, which is required for the production of some enzymes and red blood cells.
In short, mango is a superfood that helps keep our vision, skin and mucous membranes healthy, protects us against infections, eliminates harmful oxygen-free radicals from our body, helps regulate out heart rate and blood pressure protects us against heart disease and strokes, and numerous cancers including breast and colon cancers and leukemia.
Other than these health benefits, mango is the most delicious of all fruits. Indian Alphonso or ‘Hapus’ from the Kokan area of coastal Maharashtra is the prized mango.
A hundred grams of the edible fruit gives you 60 calories and has only 15 gm carbohydrates, mostly sugar, little protein, and very little fat.
So a medium size (about 200 gm) fruit won’t give you much more than 90 calories. Healthy balanced nutrition should have three helpings of fruits every day. Even if you are looking to lose weight or keep your blood sugar under control, a mango a day is not going to dent your cause, if you eat healthy and the other two fruits are low-calorie fruits.
Like all other fruits, mangoes are best eaten on empty stomach and no other food should follow it at least for another twenty minutes.
Even then if you should want to offset the mango calories, you could shave off three fourth of a medium size chapati or better still, a bowl of rice from your daily food!
And you can always ‘brisk walk’ for fifteen or twenty more minutes to burn off a mango and also become more heart healthy in the process!
And then the best of the mango season barely lasts for two months!
Not too much to ask for, for the pleasure of eating a mango, the king of fruits, the world’s most delicious fruit for most Indians, and more so for Maharashtrians!
So the prohibitions imposed by these weight loss treatments not withstanding, you can go ahead and have a mango a day, without any guilty feeling! And you can also lose weight while eating them!