Anyone wanting to lose weight will be sweet on mangoes. This versatile fruit is packed with nutrients, so you can eat less per meal and still meet the daily requirements for nutrition. Mangoes are also famous for their fleshy, stringy fruit, which is full of fiber and is a snack guaranteed to keep your raging appetite satiated until dinnertime.
This "fruit of India," as it is sometimes called, is unique in its wealth of nutrients and richness of flavor. Its pungent flavor is loved by most but may be an acquired taste for some. It delivers a great one-two nutrition punch.
If you're limiting your calorie intake, eating concentrated sources of nutrients makes sense. And mangoes deliver. Mangoes are a superior source of beta-carotene. In fact, they are one of the top beta-carotene providers you can eat. Consuming large amounts of this antioxidant has been linked to a reduced risk of some forms of cancers.
Mangoes are rich in another carotenoid called lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant. Lycopene works to protect cells and suppress tumor growth.
Selection and Storage
There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes in every shape, size, and color. The color of mangoes ranges from yellow to red and will deepen as the fruit ripens, though some green may remain even in perfectly ripened fruits. When ripe, a mango has a sweet, perfumey smell. If it has a fermented aroma, then it's past its prime. Choose mangoes that feel firm, but yield to slight pressure. The skin should be unbroken, and the color should have begun to change from green to yellow, orange, or red. Though it's normal for mangoes to have some black spots, avoid those mottled with too many. It's a sign the fruit is overripe. Ditto for loose or shriveled skin. If you bring home a mango that isn't ripe, you can speed the process by placing it in a paper bag with a ripe mango. Check daily to avoid over-ripening.
Preparation and Serving Tips
Mangoes are very juicy. You can peel the fruit and eat it as you would a peach, but just be sure to have plenty of napkins or paper towels on hand to sop up the juice that runs down your chin.
The best way to prepare a mango is to first slice off the "cheeks." These are on both sides of the thin, elongated seed found in the middle of the mango. Once you have two halves, lay them skin-side down on the cutting board. Cut the flesh in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut through the skin. Then pick up the mango half and bend it backwards, so the cubes will pop up. Cut exposed cubes off of the skin.
Try eating chilled mangoes as dessert or as breakfast fruit. For extra zip, sprinkle them with a little lime juice. Mangoes are an indispensable ingredient in sauces and chutneys.
Complex carbohydrates, such as mangoes, help to jump-start your metabolism, so your body will burn more calories. When those midafternoon hunger pangs start to kick in, and they will, reach for that mango instead of that milk chocolate.
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