Why Mango and Fig called as Superfruits?
Mango is among the most popular fruit in the world, it ranks first in Paul Gross twenty super fruits, followed by fig, and eighteen other fruits (1).
The origin of mango is believed to be in Indian subcontinent and Asia and have been spreading to other regions since 1500 years ago. It accounts for about half of all tropical fruits produced in the world.
Mango can be eaten directly or made into juice. In fact, Mango is not only delicious and tastes refreshing, it also has nutrients that are good to our health. This delicious fruit contains beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, and other minerals that can even improve your immunity, in turn improving your quality of life. Undoubtedly, we could call mango a super fruit. Of course, you will only be able to get these benefits if you are consuming this fruit on a regular basis or even daily.
There are a variety of mango cultivars in the world (list of mango cultivars in the world). It comes in a variety of colors such as yellow, orange, green, red, or a combination. Even though raw mangoes are usually green, the coloring is not an indication of the ripeness. It comes in different shapes too. Alphonso, Altaufo, Palmer, and Tommy Atkins are the four popular varieties of mango which are rich in flavor too.
Why mangos are considered super?
It is high in vitamin C, dietery fiber, polyphenols and carotenoids. Mango also contains considerable levels of vitamin B6, other B vitamins aminoacids, omega fatty acids, and essential minerals. These essential nutrients are needed for our body's diverse biological processes, hence are vital for our overall health. Hence mango provides a comprehensive nutrition along with taste and flavor to people all around the world. Even the peel or the outer skin is edible and contains carotenoids and polyphenols which are beneficial for our health (2).
Researchers found lupeol, a natural terpene found in mango, acts against arthritis, inflammation and DNA damage (3). In India, toothpaste made with an ingredient called mangiferin which is extracted from mango leaves, has showed anti microbial activity against dental bacteria.(4)
You could find everyday use of this marvelous fruit in your fruit dishes and smoothies. Though fresh whole mango is favored and popular, dried mango slices are also used as snacks on the go.
Figs originated in the Middle East, considered a healthy staple in different parts of the world, are now cultivated extensively in the Mediterranean basin and are widely distributed in other parts of the world.
Its medicinal properties has been recognized since early days as it is found in folk medicine remedies for skin and digestive disorders.
Why Figs are considered super?
Since figs have a density of essential nutrients, they are considered a wholesome food. Food manufactures recognize this fact as well, as fresh and dried fig can be found as an ingredient in snack bars and various other products. Essential nutrients found in fig include vitamins A, B, and K, dietary fiber, omega fatty acids in their chewable seeds and minerals. These antioxidant vitamins and other nutrients help in metabolism, blood coagulation and vascular functions all contribute to heart health.
The darker fig varieties like the black mission fig are most favored, since it contains greater amount of phytocompounds. Dry figs are more convenient since they have a longer shelf life and can be cooking and baking recipes. They can be eaten as snacks, or used in cakes, salads, cereals, and desserts.
According to Heinermans Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs , figs can be made into a soothing drink for sore throats. The scientists also found a compound called benzaldehyde in figs which has a promising use in cancer treatment; it acts against tumors cells resulting in higher chances of recovery in cancer patients.(5)
Considerable research in the recent years has been done and are still undergoing for exploring the uses of these super fruits against bacterial and viral infections, skin disorders, inflammation, cardiovascular, and digestive problems, malnutrition, and even cancer.
A product that can be eaten having mango and fig in it which is named as Natures Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bar and sold on amazon.com
Buy on Amazon 240 page book based on 75 Simple and Delicious Recipes made from superfruits.
1. Gross, P. M. Superfruits, McGraw-Hill; ISBN-13: 978-0071633871
3. Prasad S, Kalra N, Shukla Y. Hepatoprotective effects of lupeol and mango pulp extract of carcinogen induced alteration in Swiss albino mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Mar;51(3):352-9. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2764818/)
5. Heinerman, J. Heinermans Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs .p.14. Parker Publishing Company ISBN-13: 978-0133858570
Written By: Anila J., United States (A postgraduate in Biology).
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )