Meaty mango is a seriously satisfying fruit, thanks to its high levels of fibre, which is known to help lower cholesterol and support digestive health. An optimally-functioning digestive system is one of the great secrets to supporting good health, boosting your immune system and even helping to build brighter, clearer and younger-looking skin.
The range of nutrients in mango are also extremely good for your skin and hair health.
Rich in vitamins A, C and E plus beta-carotene, mangoes are a wonderful source of skin-healing antioxidants to rejuvenate your complexion, while vitamin A also helps to protect and renew your skin cells and mucous membranes.
The vitamin E in this tasty tropical fruit helps to protect your skin from the sun’s UV damage and also supports hair growth and a healthy, nourished scalp.
Mango contains essential minerals like copper to support the production of skin pigment melanin, potassium to support healthy blood pressure and reduce puffiness under your eyes, and magnesium to help relax your nervous system and muscles. A 2014 scientific study even found that mango can aid in lowering blood sugar levels, which is great news for your overall health.
Mangos are an alkalising food too, due to their content of tartaric, malic and citric acids. The human body prefers a slightly alkaline environment in blood and body cells for optimal function, and most ripe fruit and vegetables help to increase alkalinity when digested and metabolised.
At this time of year, when we’re in and out of cold air and central heating, our skin can tend to look dry and dull. The two key ingredients in this smoothie are mango and strawberries. Together they contain the magical combination of vitamin A and vitamin C, which are antioxidant vitamins to neutralise the free radicals that damage your skin cells and cause fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and all the other signs of premature ageing.
Vitamin C is a key vitamin for the formation of collagen. Along with elastin, collagen is an important fibre for keeping your skin looking firm and plump.
The bright orange colour of the mango is due to its high levels of carotenoids and beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This helps to heal skin cells and mucous membranes, and maintains normal and healthy eyesight.
Mango contains silica, which is a trace mineral important for strengthening your body’s connective tissues. These include muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, bone and cartilage, making it essential for healthy skin too.
If deficient in silica, your body may also struggle to heal wounds and skin can be less smooth and supple. Silica is so effective in keeping your connective tissues healthy due to its help in creating glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are the integral part of structural tissue.
On top of all of that, mangoes are packed with the B vitamins that you need to produce energy in your cells, to power you through a busy day or energetic workouts.
As they’re a more dense fruit compared to many others, mango is delicious blended into a thick, icy smoothie. I even designed this Strawberry-Mango Glow Smoothie with glowing skin in mind. Smoothies are a super way of getting loads of nutrients into your system in one go, and the possibilities for different combinations are endless.
- 1 ripe, fresh mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 5 medium-large fresh or frozen strawberries and 2 extra, to serve
- 60ml (1/4 cup) low-fat coconut milk (I use a brand called Koko Coconut Milk)
- 3 ice cubes (If not using frozen strawberries)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend at high-speed until smooth and creamy.
- Serve chilled and topped with chopped strawberries.
- Any leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days.