South Africa’s minister of finance, Tito Mboweni had Twitter in a tizz after he posted an image which appeared to show him eating mangoes with a knife and fork!

While his methods were ‘interesting’ to say the least, the minister is sure to enjoy the health benefits of eating mangoes. He responded to Twitter critics, “What is the problem? Oksalayo the mango is in the tummy! How one enjoys it is one’s preference. Hayibo!”

So what’s the big deal about mangoes?

Besides being juicy and delicious, mangoes are packed with loads of the vitamins your body needs to keep your skin looking youthful and blemish-free.


Here are some tasty facts about mangoes from the South African Mango Growers’ Association:

Vitamin “See how nice my skin looks”

Our skin contains a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, a protein which smooths out fine lines and wrinkles. Diets low in vitamin C are linked to poor wound repair, which may affect healing from acne, while diets high in this skin-loving vitamin are associated with less dryness and less noticeable wrinkles

This is why beauty products often contain vitamin C, but this is not as effective eating your vitamin C. Because our bodies cannot make or store vitamin C, this vitamin needs to be eaten regularly. Did you know that mangoes are high in vitamin C, with just one mango giving you all your vitamin C needs for the day?

FUN FACT: the vitamin C content depends on the variety and maturity of the mango. The less ripe the mango, the higher the vitamin C content.


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Amazing antioxidants

Along with vitamin C, mangoes are a source of vitamin E and are high in beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in the body).

Both of these nutrients act as potent antioxidants- powerful molecules that protect the skin against damaging free radicals. An accumulation of free radicals causes cell and DNA damage, and excess exposure to UV rays from the sun is a big culprit.

This is supported by new research which showed that eating even small amounts of mango (about 85g or 1/3 of a mango) can help reduce wrinkles in women.

Of course, the mango’s sun protective properties still mean you need your SPF.

Perhaps this is why nature has made mangoes a firm summertime favourite, with riper mangoes having even higher amounts of beta-carotene.


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Low GI love

One of the most frustrating skin conditions is acne, caused by inflammation and infection of the glands of the skin that make oil. It is thought that foods with a high GI (glycaemic index), such as white bread, sugar, and sugary drinks and treats) rapidly increase blood sugar and insulin levels which may lead to the hormonal changes that cause acne.

This excess sugar may also attach to collagen in the skin that produces AGEs (advanced glycation end products), compounds that cause skin to sag and wrinkle. This makes high GI diets a double no-no for healthy skins, and why a low GI diet, made up mostly of low GI foods, should be the go-to for good skin health. According to the GI Foundation, mangoes are a low GI fruit, so slice over yoghurt in the morning or add to summertime salads at lunch for a skin health boost.

To help banish the blemishes, protect from pesky pimples, and wipe away the wrinkles, make mangoes a regular feature in your diet, while also drinking enough water, being active, avoiding smoke and excessive alcohol, managing stress, and getting enough sleep.


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