Though mango is a seasonal fruit, it is considered the ‘king of all fruits’. Normally, mangoes will be available right from March of the year but this time, they are delayed and has just arrived in the market. People in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are so fond of mangoes that they have a grudge that the arrival of this fruit is delayed this year. Irrespective of age, people will normally love to eat mangoes for the taste which is why it is deemed as the first and foremost fruit among three primary fruits.
How many varieties are there! Banganapalli, neelam, alphonsa, sendhura, malgova etc! Its benefits are multifarious. It contains antioxidants in abundance. The medical experts confirm that the benefits are aplenty like prevention of heart disease, anti-ageing, cancer etc.
Despite its various benefits, it is still a big question in the medical arena whether mango is good for diabetic patients or bad. Siddha medical practitioner Shylaja mentions lot of information on this as under:-
In general, mangoes are good for health. It contains fibre which will clear the bowels regularly. It will cure liver diseases and also prevent cancer.
Besides this, vitamin C is more in mangoes. It offers folic acid required for pregnant women. Pregnant women will love to eat mangoes but too much will be bad to consume. According to Agathiyar the great saint, it will affect the eyes of the babies if pregnant women take more.
Similarly, those who are comparatively very lean and those who are anaemic can take one or two mangoes daily to gain more strength and health. The general caution to be always observed is the quantity. If more is consumed, it will increase the bile and give room for heat boils and also eye disease.
It is still not conclusive as to whether diabetic patients can consume mangoes or not. However, diabetic patients should avoid eating mangoes along with their food. Those who have sugar less than 160, 170 mg/dl, can take mangoes instead of iddlies or food during lunch time. The quantity should not exceed 100 gms.
Dr.Shylaja opines that, for that matter, any fruit should be eaten raw instead of mixing it with milk or curd. Taste-wise, it may be better but the actual good effect will be gone if taken with milk or curd. The fibre content will be intact.
General Physician, Dr.R.Sundararaman confirms that mango is the king of all other fruits. However, it is restricted based on the glycemic index that the diabetic patients should not consume liberally.
Thailand is another nation where mangoes are available in plenty. What is interesting to note is that in Thailand the researches have confirmed that the glycemic index is minimal only in mangoes and hence there is no bar that the diabetic patients should not consume mangoes. Such and similar researches have not been conducted in India and hence it is recommended that the diabetic patients should keep away from mangoes, for all practical purposes.
It is also true that even 10 to 15 years ago it was advocated that the diabetic patients should not eat mangoes. However, it is suggested that mangoes can be taken by duly reducing the intake of other fruits. Mangoes should again be taken with a pinch of salt because it contains more calories and sucrose. Otherwise, mangoes contain magnesium, potassium, sodium, vitamins, minerals and fibre etc. It has plenty of benefits in reality.
It is the version of Dr.Sundararaman that a cup of mango contains 100 calories. It has fibre content that will do away with constipation. The beta keratin available in this will prevent cancer. He is of strong view that while mangoes have lot of benefits in reality, necessary researches must be conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition so that people will become aware of all its benefits.
Mango will be the most favourite fruit of many if more favourable benefits are declared by the research centres.
(This article written in Tamil by M Maria Belsin has been transcreated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)