If there is one person on my programme who knows the benefits of this exotic fruit, it’s Debb, who lives and works in the Cook Islands. Busy with her university job as well as continuing to teach some resistance-training classes now that her energy levels have returned, she now better understands the value of Vitamin C – not only for her sleep, but also for her joint health. She is so lucky to grow delicious mangoes in her garden.
I know exotic, tropical fruits aren’t always readily available, nor does the price of them suit our budgets, but during menopause when we are feeling hot and bothered and our joints are sore, they offer a deliciously hydrating and beneficial addition to our midlife and post-menopause diet.
Mangoes are magic in menopause. The reason I say this is because they contain high amounts of both Vitamin C and Beta-carotene. These are powerful anti-oxidants – meaning that they block the effects of inflammatory changes in our cells and tissues. For those who have been following my posts for a while, you will already know that the peri-menopause and menopause transition is known to be an inflammatory event in a woman’s life-cycle. [McCarthy & Raval, 2020). One mango contains around 5mg of betacarotene, which is about 50% of what we need in our daily diet.
But there’s more to the Vitamin C debate for menopausal women too. Most tropical fruits are high in Vitamin C, and this vital vitamin plays an essential role in our exercise recovery, collagen renewal and sleep. With exercise, Vitamin C helps to fight the harmful effects of cellular stress and inflammation, helping to restore and repair collagen fibrils. However, perhaps most importantly, Vitamin C also helps with our sleep by restoring the antioxidant balance in the body and reducing the effect of restless leg syndrome. [ Otocka-Kmiecik & Król, 2020].
Mangoes are also good for the heart and they are packed with soluble fibre – apparently, more than in a cup of oat bran. I picked one up at the food market this week. With the snow arriving and an Arctic blast coming up the country, seeing the luscious mango was a reminder of the exotics of the tropics and the need to ramp up my Vitamin C. Afterall, with the snow arriving in full force this week, it’s time to dust off the skis and look after my knees.
For those of you on the other side of the world and in the heat wave that I hear is due to arrive in the UK this weekend, it’s another story though. You need foods to cool you down and hydrate you, don’t you? That’s where fruits that contain a lot of water help you to remain hydrated. So, whatever fresh tropical fruits you can find that suit your budget, I invite you to explore the exotic healing power of mangoes this weekend and try this Thai Mango Salad. Winter or summer it’s a winner.
This recipe can be used as a side salad, or if you serve it with brown rice it works perfectly for a main meal.
The MyMT™ KITCHEN: Thai Mango Salad
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into strips
- 1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
- 2 carrots, grated
- 100g bean sprouts
- Bunch of spring onion, finely chopped
- 100g peanuts
- Cooked brown rice (optional)
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 thumb piece of ginger
Cut up all of the veggies and the mango and add to a bowl.
For the dressing, finely chop the ginger then combine all of the ingredients into a jar and shake up. Pour over the salad and serve.