To lose weight: Go sweet on mangoes!

Mango is a super food. A good snack. It is a versatile fruit that is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, potassium, and copper.IMG_6873

Do you know that mangoes decrease the risk of obesity and diabetes? It is true that ripe mangoes are high in sugars, and have a High GI. But this does not mean that diabetics and weight watchers should be banned from having it. It can, always be combined, with a low GI food to reduce the GI and balance the calories! The total amount of carbohydrates affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrate or starch or sugar. 1/2 cup (85 grams) cubed mango contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate (60 calories).

One half of a small mango is a good source of both soluble (1.7g) and insoluble fibers (1.2g). Soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol absorption and insoluble fibers help bowel movements and get rid of constipation.

How about having a mango, cucumber salad, for dinner. Cucumber is very low in calorie and GI too! Sounds good….

The antioxidant zeaxanthin, in mangoes, plays a protective role in eye health that ward off damage from macular degeneration.

Mangoes are rich in Beta carotene. β (beta)-carotene, a pro-vitamin A.  According to the study by Harvard School of Public Health, beta-carotene plays major role against preventing the prostate cancer. βcarotene is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient. It has antioxidant activity, that helps protect cells from damage. Being an important flavonoid compound, βcarotene has powerful antioxidant functions, helps scavenge free radicals, there by limiting the damage to cell membranes, DNA and protein structures in the cell. High dietary intake of β-carotene

Sweet potato, brussel sprouts, carrots, kale, turnip greens, spinach mustard greens, carrots, butternut squash, collards, swiss chard, lettuce, apricots, guava, papaya, watermelon, basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, pistachios are also good sources of β-carotene.

It is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Vitamin C helps scavange harmful free radicals. The vitamin B6 or pyridoxine in mangoes, help control homocystiene in the blood, which is harmful to blood vessels, resulting in stroke. Along with Vitamin C, β-carotene, is found to increase lung capacity and relieve respiratory problems, as well as protect from asthma, bronchitis.

Copper, a co-factor for many vital enzymes, is found in moderate amount in mangoes. Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.

Mango peel is rich in phytonutrients, too!

Mango fruit-Nutrition Value per 100 g

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy 70 Kcal 3.5%
Carbohydrates 17 g 13%
Protein 0.5 g 1%
Total Fat 0.27 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.80 g 4.5%

Vitamins

Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.584 mg 3.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.160 mg 1%
Pyridoxine (Vit B-6) 0.134 mg 10%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.058 mg 5%
Vitamin C 27.7 mg 46%
Vitamin A 765 IU 25.5%
Vitamin E 1.12 mg 7.5%
Vitamin K 4.2 µg 3.5%

Electrolytes

Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 156 mg 3%

Minerals

Calcium 10 mg 1%
Copper 0.110 mg 12%
Iron 0.13 mg 1.5%
Magnesium 9 mg 2%
Manganese 0.027 mg 1%
Zinc 0.04 mg 0%

Phyto-nutrients

Carotene-β 445 µg
Carotene-α 17 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 11 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg
Lycopene 0 µg

Mango, the king of fruits!

Enjoy this wonderful fruit by adding it to salsa, smoothies and salads. Its sweet flavour make it an excellent ingredients in pies and muffins!  

Moderation is the key. 1/2 cup (85 g) cubed mango – 60 calories. 

 

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Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals that are associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle – related health conditions.

Focus on a balanced diet and regular physical activity to maintain a good health.

References:

www.mayoclinic.com

www.webmd.com

http://www.diabetes.org/

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Why eat Fungus?

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If you are like millions of weight watchers, with a fat-phobia and counting calories, here is an interesting weight losing tip!  Make room for mushroom and it is definite that you can maintain a pretty decent, healthy weight.

Mushroom – to lose weight? 

In the game of weight loss, the pretty & tiny sponge like mushroom is one of the powerful player.  Mushroom substituted for meat, aid in weight loss!  Sounds great. Isn’t?

Yes, 100 g of mushroom has only 25 kcal when compared to a grilled – lean beef of same weight that provides 175 kcal!

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A one-year randomized clinical trial by researchers at the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that substituting white button mushrooms, for red meat can be an useful strategy for enhancing and maintaining weight loss.

Increasing intake of low-energy-density foods like mushrooms, in place of high-energy density foods, like lean ground meat, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake, while feeling full and satiated after the meal.

Lets make room for mushrooms, for their prominent flavor and health benefits. You can definitely make a difference in your health from this dainty mushrooms’ copious supply of favorable nutrients.

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Many think mushroom is not good for health because it is not green.   Surprisingly,  It has more potassium than a banana, which helps to maintain the rhythm of our heart!  It’s really a very valuable food for diabetic and heart patients, for its least quantity of carbohydrate and fat.   A tiny yet exquisite, is a wise addition to your plate!

The glutamic acid found in mushroom, is an amino acid, a natural flavor enhancer that entice even the most fussy eaters, to relish this low-energy- density fungus.   It is also formed naturally in the body, from other amino acids that you consume through a balanced diet.  Dairy products, meat, fish, eggs and cocoa are the other natural foods that are good sources of glutamic acid.

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Broccoli, mushroom with garlic

If you do not eat enough protein foods, you may not be able to get sufficient amount of glutamic acid.  Glutamic acid with glucose is one of the principal fuels for the brain. It helps get rid of ammonia, a metabolic by-product that is  toxic to both brain and muscle cells, from our body.Aviary Photo_130298985520354896

Mushrooms are available in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors!  Portabella, shitake, enoki, oyster mushrooms are very common that are available in the grocery stores.

Mushroom, not only aids in weight loss, as a super food it helps prevent cancer and heal infection, too!  Studies have proven that Shitake mushroom will lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and heal infections. 

Mushroom is packed with selenium, copper and zinc. A real powerpack!

Selenium a powerful antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and prevents the body from chronic diseases.  Along with vitamin E, selenium aids in the prevention of skin damage, too!  

The absorption of iron in the body relies on copper.  Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all cells in the body.

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Zinc supports the metabolic rate, the speed at which our body creates and use up the energy.  Shitake and Crimini  mushrooms are good sources of zinc. 

I know that you are already convinced to have a room, for this tiny, cute mushrooms………………………..

 

Mushroom is great for what it is. Low in calorie and good for weight loss!  At the same time, it is low in protein also!  It has only 3-4% protein when compared to beans, 8-13% and red meat, 25-35%. However, this is easy to compensate.  Combination of mushroom with beans (like red kidney beans, black beans, soybeans), lean red meat, poultry and fish will provide one of the best tasting protein!  

Black bean with mushroom is heart healthy!  How about a bowl of brown rice with mushroom & kidney bean curry, for lunch? Sounds great!  

To conclude, I’d like to say that mushroom is highly nutritious, low in calorie that aids in weight loss and at the same time would also like to emphasis on exercise that is equal to diet when it comes to losing weight.  Aerobic exercise has important cardiovascular and metabolic implications.  The age-old advice, “Eat less and move more to lose weight, still holds true!

References:

  • Boston University Medical Center (2013, April 22). Mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422132801.htm
  • Leslie M Klevay, MD, SD in Hyg: “Lack of a Recommended Dietary Allowance for Coppermay be Hazardous to Your Health,” J Am Coll Nutr August 1998 vol. 17 no. 4 322-326
  • D. Craig Willcox, PhD, Bradley J. Willcox, MD, Hidemi Todoriki, PhD, Makoto Suzuki, MD, PhD: “The Okinawan Diet: Health Implications of a Low-Calorie,Nutrient-Dense, Antioxidant-Rich Dietary Pattern Low in Glycemic Index,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 28, No. 4, 500S–516S (2009)
  • www.medicalnewstoday.com
  • http://www.eatright.org