Mangoes — to Eat or Not to Eat for Diabetics & Others

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Right about this time of the year, my mailbox is flooded with innumerable questions pertaining to mangoes. “Can I eat mangoes if I have diabetes?” Wouldn’t mangoes raise my sugar levels?”. “ Oh! Mangoes are too much sugar.  Am I going to put on weight if I eat mangoes?”

Before we get into understanding how healthy a mango actually is, let’s get one thing straight.  You shouldn’t be scared of anything that grows naturally. No edible fruit given my nature can be unhealthy for us. Perhaps you should be scared of everything that’s packaged and processed. You should be scared of living a poor and sedentary lifestyle. You should be scared of overeating mangoes. You should be scared of the endless medications you pop in, not a fruit.

Mango is an extremely healthy fruit for everyone, including a diabetic.  It’s one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, A, E, K and most B vitamins (except B12). Its got traces of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and is loaded with minerals and fibre.  One ripe mango provides approximately 29-32 gms of sugar which is a fruit sugar and a glycaemic load of 10. Hence there is no point in fearing mangoes. We rather fear overeating them because overeating anything (even a fruit) creates a spike in our blood sugar levels.  Whereas , if you choose to have a bowl of mango chunks , a whole mango or half a mango and couple it with a handful of nuts and seeds either with the fruit or post the fruit  ,then it shouldn’t upset your sugar levels because mango in itself is a fibre –rich fruit . The fibre in it doesn’t allow blood sugar to rise too high.

Besides the chock full of vitamins found in mango , it also contains a substance called “Mangiferin” . Mangiferin has an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory impact on our body and also has the capacity to affect certain enzymes in our body that plays an important role in blood sugar management .  So there is really no connection between a mango and diabetes just because a fruit has a natural tendency to raise blood sugar levels . Additionally , mangiferin also has the ability to loosen and remove fatty deposits from our liver.

Most locals and Goans believe that mangoes grow at this particular time of the year because of the beauty and wisdom of nature . Mangoes are a summer fruit because they tend to have a cooling impact on the body . This is one strong reason as to why one must stick to eating local and seasonal produce always .

There are so many people who associate mangoes with skin breakouts and heat boils . The truth however is , if you are toxic and eat a fruit like mango , you shall certainly experience skin breakouts because of the detoxification process . This is similar to eliminating toxins from the body in the form of pimples and boils.  Its our body’s way of letting out heat and toxins in the form of pus . Unfortunately we , humans have become such a reactive community that instead of responding and trying to understand the working of our body , we choose to react .

Another thing to note about the king of fruits is the abundance of Vitamin C in them . Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immunity boosting vitamin . Our body’s are incapable of manufacturing Vitamin C , hence we rely on sources like fruits , vegetables , nuts and seeds to fulfil our daily requirement .  A 1000 mg of Vitamin C is what our body needs.

Just after the first monsoon showers, we see a drop in everyone’s immunity . Hence mangoes grow just before monsoon sets in our country so as to boost immunity and gain defence against monsoon related sickness .  This helps in a healthy transition from one season to another.  Most locals in Goa and the coastal region believe in this and it makes absolutely common sense.

Vitamin C tends to have a positive impact on weight management . It has the capacity to flush out fatty acids from our blood . It can also positively impact sugar levels.

Nature has an inbuilt mechanism of preparing everyone for the next season .  If you eat what grows in that particular region , your chances of falling sick drastically reduce .  Hence don’t be afraid of mangoes ,but eat in moderation at the same time .  There are people who eat 5-6 mangoes a day . Now ,thats certainly overdoing it.   There is a whole season lying in front of you to enjoy this divine fruit .  Eat one a day or maybe two , but avoid overdoing . If your diabetes it at a very advanced stage , you may want to have half a mango in the morning and enjoy the other half in the evening along with nuts and seeds if you feel that your sugar levels tend to rise too fast . Also remember , mangoes have nothing to do with weight gain . It has negligible fat .

There is so much in a mango that we can blindly trust the goodness of nature and everything that grows and is a part of it.  Of course not the poisonous things , but items like fruits  , vegetables , nuts and seeds . It can only be good for our health .

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