Queen of The Fruits: Mango is The New Diabetes and Cancer Buster
Posted by addisethiopia on May 21, 2013
The most popular fresh fruit in the world, mangoes are a whole lot more than just a delicious, refreshing treat produced by nature. As evidenced by copious scientific research, mangoes are a powerful medicinal food, and:
contain nutrients that can help clear up skin
promote eye health
stave off diabetes
prevent the formation and spread of cancer
Research recently presented at a meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), for instance, revealed that eating mangoes every day can help moderate and even lower blood sugar levels, despite their natural sugar content. This is good news for people with type 2 diabetes who may benefit from consuming mangoes regularly as part of a low-sugar diet.
For their study, researchers tested the effects of mangoes on a group of obese animals, some of whom were given 10 grams of freeze-dried mango every day for 12 weeks. At the end of three months, the blood sugar levels of those animals that consumed mango were compared to those that did not consume mango. Based on the data, mango consumption was found to result in a significant decline in blood sugar levels.
“Although the mechanism by which mango exerts its effects warrants further investigation, we do know that mangoes contain a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds,” says Dr. Edralin Lucas, Ph.D., author of the study.
Similar research out of Australia found back in 2006 that eating mango can also help decrease inflammation and resulting high cholesterol, as well as block the formation of various health conditions included under the banner of metabolic syndrome. In essence, mangoes actually work better than cholesterol drugs at naturally balancing and optimizing cellular function throughout the body.
“We don’t know yet how the whole thing’s going to play out but we know some of the individual components (of mango) activate these receptors and even inhibit them,” said a doctor from University of Queensland about the effects of mango consumption on cellular processes. “That could end up with positive nutritional health benefits for diabetes and high cholesterol.”
And again in 2011, researchers from Oklahoma State University found that mango consumption helps lower insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance in test mice. The same study also found that mangoes help normalize lipid levels throughout the blood, which in turn can help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.
Eating mangoes can also help you avoid cancer
But the health benefits of mango do not stop here. Science has identified more than 4,000 different antioxidant polyphenols in the plant kingdom, and many of these polyphenols are present in mangoes. The primary benefit of these polyphenols is that they scavenge damaging free radicals and protect cells against damage, which is believed to facilitate and even promote cancer.
“If you look at [mango] from the physiological and nutritional standpoint, taking everything together, it would be a high-ranking superfood,” says Dr. Susanne Talcott, who together with her husband discovered back in 2010 that mango compounds target both colon and breast cancer cells.
“What we found is that not all cell lines are sensitive to the same extent to an anticancer agent. But the breast and colon cancer lines underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Additionally, we found that when we tested normal colon cells side by side with the colon cancer cells, that the mango polyphenolics did not harm the normal cells.”
In other words, mango compounds effectively target and eliminate harmful cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, a phenomenon that is unique to nature and nowhere to be found in pharmaceutical-based medicine. Chemotherapy and radiation, for instance, which are the two most popular conventional treatments for cancer, damage healthy cells along with malignant cells, which is why the treatments are a failure as far as long-term survival is concerned.
For more information about fresh mango varieties and availability, storage, handling tips, recipes and nutrition, visit www.mango.org
This African Fruit Produces the World’s Most Intense Natural Color
The tiny, rock-hard fruits of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in the forests of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and other African countries, can’t be eaten raw, cooked or turned into a beverage. In Western Uganda and elsewhere, though, the plant’s small metallic fruits have long been used for decorative purposes because of an unusual property: They stay a vibrant blue color for years or even decades after they’ve been picked. A specimen at the Kew Botanical Gardens in London that was gathered in Ghana in 1974 still retains its iridescent hue.
Intrigued, a team of researchers from Kew, the University of Cambridge and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum decided to look into how this plant produces such a dazzling and persistent color. When they attempted to extract a pigment to study, though, they were surprised to discover the fruit had none.
When they examined P. condensata on a cellular level, they realized that the fruit produces its characteristic color through structural coloration, a radically different phenomenon that is well-documented in the animal kingdom but virtually unknown in plants. They determined that the fruit’s tissue is more intensely colored than any previously studied biological tissue—reflecting 30 percent of light, as compared to a silver mirror, making it more intense than even the renowned color of a Morpho butterfly’s wings. Their findings were revealed in a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The vast majority of colors in the biological world are produced by pigments—compounds produced by a living organism that selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light, so that they appear to be the color of whichever wavelengths they reflect. For example, most plants are green because of the pigment chlorophyll, used in photosynthesis, which absorbs most wavelengths of visible light except green, reflecting that color into our eyes. As a consequence, plant colors created by pigmentation appear to be the exact same hue no matter which angle we view them from, and the color degrades when the plant dies.