Leadership (Abuja)

21 March 2014

Nigeria: Mango Can Reduce Risk of Cancer, Heart, Eye Disorders - Nutritionists

Some nutritionists in Lagos say moderate consumption of mango has nutritional value to combat cancer, heart diseases and eye problems.

The experts said this in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.

Mango is a seasonal fruit rich in vitamins and minerals essential for human body.

Dr Funke Akinlabi, a nutritionist at the Optimal Healthcare, Ikeja, said that many people were unaware of the health benefits of mango.

"The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight moderation, eye disorders, hair loss, diabetes, bacterial infections, piles, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhoea, dysentery, liver disorders and menstrual disorders.

"Mango, high in calories and carbohydrates, is good for those who are trying to gain weight.

"The chemical compound found in mango has been found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties.

"It is high in iron. Mango is also said to be very good for pregnant women and people suffering from anaemia.

"Mango is believed to be effective in relieving pores of the skin."

Also, Dr Steve Okorie, a Consultant Nutritionist with the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, said mango was an important fibre that could prevent certain types of cancer.

"We all know the importance of fibre in our diets.

"If you eat mango daily, it can solve constipation, piles and diarrhoea.

"The dietary fibre has a protective effect against degenerative diseases, especially heart.

"It may also prevent certain types of cancer, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels."

Another nutritionist, Dr Richard Agbazue, who works with the Isolo General Hospital, Lagos, however, warned that too much consumption of mango could have health implications, especially for people on weight loss plan.

"If you are on a weight loss plan, it is important to remember that most of the calories in fresh and preserved mango come from the sugars in the fruit.

"Moderation is the key to avoid increase in calories from mango.

"Some individuals may suffer from a condition called 'mango mouth' diseases like itchiness, swelling, and blisters around the mouth, lips and tip of the tongue.

"The symptoms may usually occur in sensitised individuals eating raw mango." (NAN)

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