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The Health Benefits Of Mangoes

        Mangoes are in season, and although most Filipinos do not need an excuse to eat them, they will be glad to know that enjoying the fruit has health benefits, too.
        Diana Herrington, in a piece titled "10 Health Benefits of Mangoes" for the Care2 Healthy Living newsletter, gives several reasons why you should have a good, sweet, juicy mango every time you get the opportunity.
        Herrington says that, like many other fruits, mango can help prevent cancer. She says research shows the fruit has antioxidant compounds that can help protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. The fruit is also abundant in healthful enzymes.
        Mangoes' high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically low-density lipoprotein or the bad cholesterol.
        The skin can also benefit from the fruit, whether it is eaten or applied. Herrington says the fruit clears clogged pores and eliminates pimples. Mango may be processed in a blender and applied to the face easily and quickly. Mangoes contain beta-carotene that the body converts into vitamin A which, like vitamin C, is "crucial to skin self-repair," Herrington adds.
        "When eaten, mangoes help resolve all skin problems including pimples," Herrington says. Even the large pit or seed of green mangoes, eaten raw or cooked, is healthy.
        For eye health, Herrington says one cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
        Mango contains tartaric acid, malic acid and a trace of citric acid that alkalize the whole body and help maintain its alkali reserve. Mango leaves can help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night, and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mangoes also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60), so moderate quantities will not spike sugar levels.
        Mangoes, because they contain a lot of vitamin E, can boost the sex drive.
        Like papaya, mangoes contain enzymes for breaking down protein. The fiber in mangoes also helps digestion and elimination.
        Green mango is good for cooling off when temperatures rise. It may be juiced and mixed with water and a sweetener to cool down and prevent harm to the body.
        Mangoes can boost the immune system as, Herrington says, it has generous amounts of vitamins C and A, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids that can help keep the immune system healthy and strong.
        If you need new or replacement plants for your garden, you might want to mark this event in your calendar: The second National Bonsai, Suiseki and Zen Garden Landscaping Show will be held May 5-14 at Hardin ng mga Bulaklak, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City. Under the auspices of the Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines Inc. (BSAPI), the show has for its theme "Fun in Bonsai, Suiseki and Zen Gardening."
        Whether or not you are a fan of these plant arts, you may still want to visit the show because there is usually a commercial exhibition where a wide variety of plants are sold. I will certainly be there to find replacements for my dama de noche and dama del dia, both of which have white sweet-smelling flowers.