Gluten Free For Good


 

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mangotree.jpg

Chris, at Mele Cotte, is sponsoring her second annual Cooking To Combat Cancer event. When I randomly stumbled across her blog and read her story, I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved. I’m a nutrition therapist, how could I pass up an excuse to push my “food to support healing” mantra on others? Plus, it’s for a good cause. And who hasn’t been touched by cancer in one way or another? I imagine we all have.

Research suggests that eating lots of fruits and vegetables may provide protection against cancer. Not only that, but a diet of fresh, organic whole foods boosts immune function and helps the body combat cancer. Preventive, protective, and healing!

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food, as Hippocrates so aptly put it bazillions of years ago.

Mango trivia
The mango is a luscious, juicy, drippy tropical fruit native to Southern and Southeast Asia, but can also be found in Central and South America and Africa. Its wild ancestors originated in the Himalayan foothills (I love that). One of the top fruit crops on the planet, more mangoes are consumed worldwide than apples. Surprised? Here’s another bit of surprising trivia – the mango is a cousin to pistachios and cashews, but has the largest seed in the fruit kingdom. The wide, flat seed is almost as long and wide as the fruit.

Mango nutrition
According to Dr. Sue Percival, nutrition and immunity specialist at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Science, mangoes contain potent antioxidants that inhibit cancer formation by protecting cells from free-radical damage. Although Dr. Percival’s research was conducted using cells from mice, dietary analysis of gallbladder cancer patients and mango consumption showed similar findings. Low in calories and high in fiber, mangoes also contain beneficial pytochemicals and a number of enzymes that enhance digestion and protect against intestinal infections.

Mango allergies
Although rare, some people who are highly reactive to certain foods, may respond to mangoes as well. So, if you have food allergies, introduce them slowly and monitor for allergic responses.

Now that we know mangoes are healthy foods for everyone, cancer patients especially, I thought I’d feature a recipe combined with another amazing health-promoting food – cilantro.

Mango and cilantro salsa
what you need
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped scallion, green part only
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon finely diced fresh jalapeno (you can omit this if you don’t like spicy)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 small garlic clove, finely diced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
what you do
Mix gently and serve with salmon, crackers, or whatever your heart desires. Yum!

Enjoy in good health!
Melissa

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.

20 Responses to “mango medicine”

  1. Cindy says:

    Jon will love this Melissa! I just bought 2 mangoes today for him before I saw your post. Unfortunately, I do break out around my mouth when I eat mangoes, so I avoid em…. but I make up with the world’s largest supply of grapefruit in the bottom of my fridge :) I’ll be sure to show him this, it’d go nicely with our fish tonight. Hope all is well with you!
    xoxo
    Cindy lou

  2. Melissa says:

    Cindy — yeah, I’ve heard of rashes around the mouth and swollen lips with mangoes. I have a friend whose lips swell up when she eats them. I mean SWELL up big-time. She looks like one of those actresses who have lip augmentation or whatever it is they do. You know, like Melanie Griffith (is that her name?). Anyway, my friend avoids mangoes for allergy reasons, that’s why I wanted to warn people not to run out and eat a dozen mangoes without easing into it. Most people have some sort of food sensitivities and sometimes they don’t make any sense. My daughter is highly sensitive to lettuce. Lettuce? Lettuce seems so benign, but who knows? So, we need to be careful when introducing new foods we haven’t been consuming. And when you think something’s good for you, sometimes you overdo it. Unless, of course, you’re hoping for full, pouty lips without the injections!
    Take care!

  3. Tiffany says:

    The other day, I made a mango lime creme brulee for our anniversary…I am planning on posting it later this week. Maybe Friday. Mangoes are great! Fortunately I dont have an allergy to them :)

  4. Chris says:

    Yum! This sounds irresistible. I love mango salsa. Never thought of adding cucumber. Thats a nice added crunch.

    Thanks for all the useful info, as well as your support and participation in CCC2. Look for the round up this weekend! :)

  5. Nick says:

    I loooooooove mango salsa. I buy a 2lb jug of mango salsa at Costo that is to die for. I actually ate half the jar in the first sitting (no joke). My best experience with mangoes is in the Dominican Republic. The 6 of us were on the beach alone, except for a guy down the shore sitting on a lawn chair with a machine gun. Besides him, a second guy came a little while later with a huge sack. He knew some English and started talking to us. He helped us climb over the line sharp coral to get out to the warm ocean. He then brought out a bag of mangoes and just handed them to us. Using our teeth and hands, we enjoyed mangoes in the warm, clear blue-green water off the coast of the Dominican Republic. I ate 3 myself, with a small mix of salt water that snuck into my mouth once in a while – but I didn’t care. It was one of the best food experiences ever.

    - The Peanut Butter Boy

  6. Megan says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I’m responding to two posts at once.
    Thanks for the reminder…I’ve been meaning to read “In Defense of Food…” and I’ll put it back on my list. I looked at the site for the farm in Wellington and it sounds great! I wanted to join a CSA last year but I was too late and all of the ones around here had closed. If I get a vegetable I don’t even recognize, will you help me? :)

    We *heart* mangoes in our house…and I’m getting slightly better at getting the fruit off of the pit without wasting too much. I have a salsa recipe that calls for peaches, but I can try it earlier in the spring by switching to mango. Thanks!

    Megan

  7. Melissa says:

    Tiffany — mango lime brulee? Wow, does that ever sound good! I’ll be looking for that post, although I’m trying to avoid dairy so I’ll have to figure out an alternative to the “brulee” part. But what a great mix of ingredients!

    Chris — I look forward to seeing all the good, healthy recipes people come up with. What a great thing you’re doing! I love it…

    Nick — Are you serious?! Machine guns and mangoes? Wow, what an interesting mix. Sounds like quite the adventure! Isn’t it great to have those unique food experiences in your memory banks!? Sounds a bit like Anthony Bourdain. :-)

    Megan — did you sign up for the Grant’s Family Farm CSA? Yes, we can come up with some great recipes for our veggies and if you ever feel you have too many beets to deal with, I’ll trade you something for them! Plus, the CSA gives you recipes to go with the unusual veggies. Should be fun!

  8. Megan says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I have to wait a couple of weeks to see if Craig has a closing coming and then I will. Weekly, it’s not very expensive but it’s a lot up front.
    You know, there aren’t many things that I WILL NOT eat but beets are one of them so you can have them all!:)

    Megan

  9. Lizzie says:

    Such great mango info, Melissa! Now I feel even better about my minor mango addiction. This salsa recipe sounds great; I can’t wait to try it!

  10. michelle says:

    Hello dear! Well, since these are grown all over the place here in Hawaii, I guess I’d better get my fill of them!! Maybe I’ll send some to my dad too, as he’s got prostate cancer and I’m sure he’d love to eat more delicious mangoes! I’m definitely going to try this salsa too…thanks! I hope you’re doing well!!

  11. Melissa says:

    Megan — yeah, it definitely adds up, but I’m hoping it’s worth it. I’ll let you know how it goes. They’re having a “farm day” for the members on May 31st to show everyone around the farm, let you see what they grow, who they are, how they do things. They want to create a “community” for people to share in the bounty and learn what it takes to get fresh food on the table. I’ll keep you posted.

    Lizzie — yes, mangos are delightful things, and healthy too.

    Michelle — I’ll check in with you later. I’m having my blog re-done right now. It will be more organized and have specific categories for health and nutrition, gluten-intolerance, super foods, aging, exercise, etc. Interesting that you brought up prostate cancer because it’s so common in men and so treatable if caught early enough. I thought I’d do a post on “super foods to protect against prostate cancer” and “super foods for endurance sports” and “super foods for menopause and hormonal balance”, etc. Stuff like that, but prostate cancer was on my list to focus on. Stay tuned and I hope your dad is doing okay.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Melissa,
    The great thing about this brulee is that it is not baked! It actually called for mascarpone cheese and yogurt for the filling. I will post it on my blog soon, but do you think silken tofu would do the trick for you? Just a thought!

  13. Pat says:

    Hi Melissa. I’m returning your visit! Love your site. You have some excellent resources here. I’m another mango fan. We like mango salsa and I like your twist with the cucumber.

    Mango sorbet is another favourite – recipe is here http://www.cookingdownunder.com/articles/2008/301.htm

    I think there’s something in the skin of a mango which triggers an allergic reaction in some people. Thankfully not me though I have noticed in recent years stone fruit often makes my mouth sting.

  14. A great round-up of trivia! Still, I think the most important thing is that mango just tastes so darn good!

  15. Kim says:

    Hi Melissa- I love mango and cilantro and will give this a try. Looks just wonderful.

  16. Melissa says:

    Tiffany – that sounds awesome! Yea, good idea about the Silken tofu.

    Pat – Hey everyone, go to Pat’s website. She’s got wonderful writing, wonderful stories, wonderful stuff about food! Love the mango sorbet recipe! Thanks for leaving the link.

    Hey forkfulofspaghetti (love that blog name, even if you do have to stop and think about the spelling) – YES, they taste “darn” good, that’s for sure.

    Kim – cilantro is a great detox plant, so I have a tendency to throw it in lots of different things.

  17. Tiffany says:

    Melissa,
    I recieved the ‘blooging with a purpose’ award and have in turn awarded it to you! Yay! Check out my blog for more details and to copy your award! :)

  18. Hey Melissa – just letting to know I’ve linked you in my long awaited post on gluten intolerance and other such things.
    http://confessionsofafoodnazi.blogspot.com/2008/05/is-being-gluten-free-fad-and-what-to-do.html

  19. Melissa says:

    Tiffany — that is soooo nice of you! I’ll get it all together soon so I can pass along the award. I’ve got too many things going on in my life right now. I’m a bit slow with the blogging lately, but I’ll get with it. Thank you, I appreciate you thinking of me!

    AOF — thanks! Your blog looks awesome. I’m in the process of updating mine as well. I’m just not getting things wrapped up as soon as I’d like. I love all your categories!

  20. Maybe you’ll make a gluten-free Solstice cake for my blog event? :)

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Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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