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Mangifera indica, or mango as it’s more commonly known, is a sweet, fleshy fruit that grows in tropical climates. Native to India and other parts of Southeast Asia, today the mango is grown globally. The mango is a member of the sumac family along with poison oak and poison sumac. Mangoes are roughly egg-shaped, however, much bigger; they’re roughly the size of a grapefruit. They have inedible skin that ranges in color from green when unripe to red when at its ripest. A ripe mango has a slightly citrusy flavor with melon undertones. Best of all, the mango is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants worth adding to your diet. Check out some of the many health benefits you may experience if you add mangoes to your diet.
Important Note: All of the claims made herein are supported by the most current scientific research concerning mangoes at the time of this publication.
Full of Important Nutrients
One of the most important facets of eating mangoes is their nutrient density. While a one-cup serving of mango contains just 99 calories, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals. Notably, mangoes are a good source of protein, fiber, and folate. Additionally, a serving of mango contains nearly 70% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C as well as 20% of the daily recommended value of copper. Mango’s vitamin C content supports your immune system while the copper is especially important in pregnancy for healthy fetal growth. Beyond these high concentrations, mangoes also contain good levels of vitamins B6, A, E, and K as well as niacin, potassium, and riboflavin. Lastly, mangoes are rife with magnesium and thiamine.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Without a doubt, mangoes have an excellent nutrient profile, the likes of which can easily contribute to your overall health.
Good for Weight Management
Mangoes are a great food to incorporate into your diet if you’re concerned with weight loss or management. For starters, mango is low in calories, an important consideration when dealing with weight management. Significantly, a one-cup serving of mango contains under a hundred calories. The calorie density of nutrient-rich mango, as is the case with other fruits and vegetables, make eating this fruit before mealtime a good idea; doing so can help you to reduce your calorie intake at mealtime. Lastly, mango is a good source of fiber, a mineral known to enhance satiety; by providing you with a longer feeling of fullness, you may avoid eating unnecessary calories throughout the day.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Low in calories and high in fiber, fresh mangoes are a good food to consume when concerned with weight loss and management.
May Prevent Diabetes
Although mangoes contain both natural sugars and carbohydrates, both of which are considerations in a diabetic diet, this fruit may help to prevent diabetes nonetheless. Despite there not being much research on mango intake specifically concerning preventing diabetes, a fruit-rich diet, in general, is linked to lower incidences of diabetes. One study, however, indicated that daily consumption of freeze-dried mangoes improved subjects’ blood sugar levels. A subsequent study revealed that eating fruits and veggies high in vitamin C reduces one’s risk of a diabetes diagnosis; mangoes, as mentioned earlier, is rather high in vitamin C. Because mango is high in sugar, if you’ve already received a diabetes diagnosis, it should be eaten in moderation.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. Mangoes eaten in moderation can prevent diabetes as a result of their high vitamin C content.
Packed With Antioxidants
Mangoes are loaded with antioxidative plant compounds that fend off harmful free radicals that might otherwise lead to chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Specifically, mangoes are fraught with a variety of polyphenol types that protect your body from disease. Some of the different polyphenols found in mangoes include anthocyanins, gallic acid, and kaempferol among others. Another polyphenol found in mangoes is mangiferin which is known to the science community as a “super antioxidant.” Some test tube studies have revealed a powerful antioxidative function in mangiferin that combats cancer and diabetic cells among those connected to other illnesses.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Mangoes are rife with powerful antioxidants that science has proven to be beneficial in fending off disease.
Good for Immunity
Mangoes’ high vitamin C concentration makes them perfect for boosting your immune system. As previously, noted, the vitamin C in mangoes meets 75% of the daily recommended value; vitamin C helps your body to make white blood cells which are responsible for fighting disease. Additionally, the vitamin A in mangoes meets 10% of the daily recommended value; vitamin A is essential to a healthy immune system. Lastly, mangoes contain trace amounts of other nutrients that are vital to immune health; these include copper, folate, and vitamins E and B.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Several of the nutrients found in mangoes have been scientifically proven to boost your immune system.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
It’s suggested by scientists that regularly including mangoes in your diet may improve your overall heart health. Of note, mangoes are rich in mangesium and potassium, two minerals connected to heart health; these nutrients promote functional blood flow as well as improved cholesterol levels which is an indicator of heart health. Another mango component that contributes to heart health is the antioxidant mangiferin; animal studies have concluded that mangiferin protects the heart from inflammation and oxidative stress that might otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, mangiferin is also linked to the management of triglycerides and fatty acids, both of which may otherwise lead to a decline in heart health.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. Although animal and test tube studies are promising concerning the effects of mangoes on heart health, human research is indicated.
Improves Digestive Health
Including mangoes in your diet may also improve digestive health. Notably, mangoes are rich in a group of live enzymes called amylases. These enzymes reduce food molecules, allowing your digestive tract to better absorb them. Amylases additionally work to reduce carbohydrates and sugars which is good for digestion. Lastly, mangoes have a high water and fiber content, both of which are integral to healthy digestion. One study concluded that the water and fiber in mangoes successfully alleviated constipation in subjects ingesting a daily serving of mango.
General Consensus: 3/5, and here is why. Mangoes contain enzymes, water, and fiber essential to digestive health; nevertheless, the effect mangoes have on digestive health is supported by an underwhelming amount of research.
Enhances Eye Health
A final benefit of including mangoes in your diet is that they may improve eye health. Significantly, mangoes contain two nutrients important to eye health: lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients work to protect the retina from harmful lights such as sunlight and blue light. What’s more, mangoes are packed with vitamin A which is essential to eye health; studies indicate that a lack of vitamin A may cause dry eyes, night blindness, and corneal scarring.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Mangoes contain three important nutrients that contribute to your eye health; lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A are all scientifically connected to enhanced eye health.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
May Lower Your Risk of Cancer
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. Although polyphenols, which are found abundantly in mangoes, are said to have anticarcinogenic effects, there are too few studies specifically on mangoes in this regard.
Good For Your Skin
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. One promising study suggests that the antioxidants in mangoes can reduce the aging process, especially concerning wrinkles and skin elasticity, however, more research is needed.