Most people are more familiar with sweet and juicy mangoes with rich golden flesh and an orange-red blush on the skin. Raw mangoes, or green mangoes, are their unripened cousins. Ideally, these should be firm to the touch, with whitish-colored flesh once cut into, ensuring that the fruit is still sour.
Spring and early summer is mango season in India, and no flavor is more iconic of the season than raw mango with chili and salt. This chutney plays on that combination of flavors and marries it with coconut for something truly tropical. While it is traditionally eaten with rice, it’s pretty versatile and can be used as a spread on wraps and sandwiches, or to top off salads and rice bowls for a spicy-tart hit of flavor.
How Healthy Are Green Mangoes?
Mangoes are a rich source of vitamin A, C, E, K, several B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, iron, and fiber. They're also chock full of polyphenol antioxidants like mangiferin, catechins, anthocyanins, gallic acid, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and benzoic acid.
Health Benefits of Raw Mango:
1. Beat the Heat
Raw mango helps prevent dehydration and sunstroke during summer by restoring sodium chloride into our bloodstream, which helps retain water.
2. Prevent Cellular Damage that Contributes to Cancer and Aging
Mangoes have over a dozen different polyphenols which are plant compounds that act as antioxidants. These protect cells from damage from free radicals. Free radicals damage is associated with aging and chronic diseases. Mangiferin is currently being studied as a “super antioxidant” due to its potential to counter diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. Vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium found in the fruit also help release toxins from the body.
3. Helps Digestive Irregularities
Raw mango contains amylases which are part of the digestive enzymes our bodies use to break down carbohydrates into glucose and other sugars. The water and dietary fiber found in mangoes can help with problems with constipation, bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea. Studies have shown that adults with constipation who ate mango daily had more relief from symptoms than those who took a soluble fiber supplement. It also detoxifies the liver and promotes the secretion of bile acid.
4. Immune Boosting
One cup of mango has 10% of daily vitamin A supply, and 75% of vitamin C needs, both of which are necessary for a robust immune system. It also has copper, folate, vitamin E, and B vitamins that support immunity.
5. Heart Health
Raw mangoes are high in niacin, magnesium, and potassium which helps relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Mangiferin protects heart cells from oxidative stress and reduces triglycerides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol levels. Antioxidants also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, as well as strokes, and heart attacks.
6. Eye Health
Besides being a rich source of vitamin A, preventing dry eyes and night blindness, mangoes are also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are present naturally in the retina and protect it from harmful UVA/UVB light and absorb blue light.
7. Promotes Collagen
Vitamin C is essential for making the collagen that is required for healthy skin and hair. Collagen helps with hair growth and sebum production that moisturizes your scalp to keep your hair healthy.