Nigeria: One mango a day supports good vision
Vitamin A deficiency is a world wide nutritional problem, especially in the developing countries. It afflicts severely, the health of pregnant and lactating women, infants and children.
Unfortunately, women are the most vulnerable group affected by vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy and lactating periods.
Different strategies like food diversification, fortification and supplementation are helpful in coping with vitamin A deficiency.
Although food fortification is the most cost effective, long-term approach, for as low as 10 naira, women and children vulnerable to vitamin A deficiency can enjoy a mango a day to uplift vitamin A status. Vitamin A supports good eye sight, boosts ability of the body to fight infections and assists in bone development. Researchers, in confirming the potential contribution of mangoes to reduction of vitamin A deficiency, assessed the carotene content of fresh and dried mangoes. It is the carotene that is converted in the body into usable vitamin A (retinol).
They found that both fresh and dried mangoes can supply 50 per cent or more of the daily required retinol equivalent for women and children.
Writing in the 2008 journal, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, the researchers stated that “fresh or dried mangoes are a significant pro-vitamin A source and should be included in food-based approaches aiming to reduce vitamin A deficiency.”