A nutritionist and President of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, says eating mangoes does not cause diarrhoea.
Nnam, a professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said the claim by some people that consuming mangoes causes diarrhoea is untrue.
The nutritionist said that mango or any other fruit could only cause diarrhoea if it’s contaminated and not properly washed.
The don said, “Many people will tell you that if you eat a mango, it will cause diarrhoea. But this is not true.
“A mango does not cause diarrhoea. It’s just that the mango may have been contaminated right from the harvesting period right up until the time you bought it.
“When the individual buys the mango; if it’s not properly washed and it’s contaminated with bacteria and other harmful organisms, that could lead to diarrhoea.”
The World Health Organisation says diarrhoea is usually a symptom of an infection in the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms.
“Infection is spread through contaminated food or drinking water, or from person to person as a result of poor hygiene.
“Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old and is responsible for killing around 525 000 children every year.
“Diarrhoea can last several days and can leave the body without the water and salts that are necessary for survival,” WHO noted
Prof. Nnam said people should properly wash their mangoes and fruits generally before eating them, stressing that they may have been contaminated in the harvesting and handling period.
“Flies could have perched on the mangos when they dropped on the ground as they are harvesting them because they are in the bush.
And you have a lot of spoilt mangos that have attracted flies.
“So, they can perch on the ones you have harvested and contaminate them.
“What this calls for is that whenever you buy fruits and vegetables, you need to wash them thoroughly under a running tap so that you can remove all these bacteria that have been deposited on them.
“You can use salt to wash them because salt can destabilise those bacteria,” the nutritionist said
According to her, vegetables must be washed thoroughly under running water because they may have been contaminated by insect larva while they were on the farm.
She noted that the running water would help wash off the lava.