Mouthwatering mangoes may be difficult to peel and messy to eat, but the effort’s worth it – they are one of the few tropical fruits with a low GI (51) so they’ll deliver sustained energy without spiking those blood glucose levels (in modest portions). That’s not all. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, high in the soluble fibre pectin that helps in controlling blood cholesterol, a good source of vitamin E, rich in beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A, and loaded with compounds called polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties protecting against heart disease and cancer. So you really don’t need an excuse to grab one.
Some mango lovers suggest that the best way to eat them is in the shower! But there are easier ways to enjoy a mango without the chin drips and messy hands. Simply slice the unpeeled mango lengthways down each side of the stone with a sharp paring knife. Score the fleshy cheeks into cubes in a criss-cross or diamond pattern (don’t cut through the skin), flip inside out, slice the dice into a dish and go for it.
Dried mango and mango juice have many of the nutritional benefits of fresh, but you are entering ‘a very little goes a long way’ territory here as they are substantially more energy dense. Keep these for occasional foods. A serving is 1 cheek fresh mango; ½ cup (125 ml) mango juice (no added sugar) or 30 g dried mango.