BY Eileen Z. Fuentes

Have you ever gone to the Doctor and been recommended a diet of SOUL food?  Well, I am here to give you the green light and encourage you to do this as much as possible.  So what is SOUL food?  It might not be exactly what you think…SOUL food can be defined as foods that are:





As Uptown Collective’s wellness contributor, I will do my part to inform you of the hidden gems right in your neighborhood. The first treasure can be found abundantly in this area and is one of my personal favorites.  It is the mouthwatering and flavorful mango.  There are not too many things in life that can compare to this exceptional fruit.  While it may not be grown locally, it does encompass many of the other qualities that one should look for when going on the quest for SOUL food.  The mango is a tropical fruit that thrives naturally in warm climates. It appears on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list at #5, giving us permission to shop for the conventional/cheaper (as compared to the organic) variety.  It also is a food that has not been processed in any way and is in its natural state.

Mangoes have many qualities that support our health and well-being. They are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.  The marvelous mango is a great germ fighter; it detoxifies the liver and can drastically improve your complexion. Recent studies have proven that mangoes work directly to fight the western world’s (as well as our community’s) biggest killers; heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There’s nothing I love more than when science supports what our grandmothers have been saying all along. I just came across an article by Dr. Brian Clement, Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute that rated the energy level in our food and how it coorelates with the production of healthy cells…well guess what folks, mangoes in it’s ripe state, was rated a five-star food, the highest rating along with other powerhouse edibles including algae, wheatgrass and sea vegetables. I don’t know about you but I much more prefer a mango over these any day.  So go ahead my lovely locals, stop by your corner bodega and savor one (or more) of these scrumptious superfoods before they disappear for the season.

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  • Unity carrie
    June 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I love me some MANGOESSSSSSSS! This is fantastic. I have been eating mangoes all my life. I remember as a child growing up in Cuba the variety of mangoes that we had to pick from daily.

    I buy them by the case now from the variosu corner trucks in my hood, but have been getting the organic fair trade Haitian kind at Whole Paycheck lately and they have been incredibly delish!!!! I just ate one today. I like to put them in the fridge and eat them chilled.

    I love the SOUL food acronym and with your permission will be making it a household name. Please keep it coming. How about some AVOCADOESSSS next? Another of my favorite SOUL foods.

  • Ramona De La Cruz
    June 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Great info my dear! Never knew I had a Wellness coordinator right at home. Keep up the good work! Mom

  • Gerry Withy
    July 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    This is a great article. As you know I grew up in Antigua and we had many mango trees on our land. I used to eat mangoes every day. Perhaps that is why I am still around (smile). I used to eat them here but my doctor told me that they have too much sugar so I god rid of him and occasionally I enjoy several at one sitting. The mangoes in the article are the best kind.

    Are you sure you don’t want to write a book? You are so good at writing. I am sure you’ll have a best seller.

    Hope you are keeping well.

  • SPEACH Gal
    July 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you ladies for your very personal comments. There is nothing that would ever deter me from eating a mango! Not even Doctor’s orders.

    Be on the lookout for more articles on the foods that we grew up with and YES that includes avocados Unity Carrie. YUMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

    Eileen 🙂

  • CHALK and Vive tu Vida/Live your Life
    July 12, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    thanks for spreading the love of mangoes and all things good. will link your article on our site.

    Stephanie and the CHALK/Vive tu Vida/Live your Life crew

  • Eliana De LA Cruz
    July 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the info, I never new that I could eat mangoes and it wouldn’t affect my diabetes.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

    […] first SOUL food article was such a hit that I am super excited to feature another of many more articles in this series. My […]

    August 31, 2010 at 7:04 am

    […] Organic, Unprocessed, Local) Food series has introduced its readers to the highly visible mangos and avocadoes. While these fruits are locally abundant they are not grown nearby. It is for this […]

    October 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    […] Mangoes […]

  • Catarina Rivera
    April 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Great acronym, Eileen! I would love to use it in a future post for Being Latino and I can link to this blog. I am a big fan of mangoes! One thing I want to note is that mangoes belong to the Clean 15 list, not the Dirty Dozen one. I think it would be great if you put some guidelines for shopping/preparing these SOUL foods in future articles. Ex. I would love tips on determining which mango is ripe and ready to buy or what you do with them at home. I know I love fresh mango salsa on top of fish. I have also bought cubed mango and eaten it with goat milk yogurt. Delicious! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next one.