Mangoes: Scientifically proven Health benefits
by Jenny Hills
Mango is a delicious and refreshingly-filling tropical fruit that is good for your health. Mangoes are a storehouse of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep you healthy. Consuming mangoes is good for you because it can help to improve your digestion, keep your hair and skin healthy, help you lose weight, and protect your eyesight.
It’s not just consuming the flesh of the mango fruit that is good for you. You can also eat mango peel because the skin of a mango is a good source of dietary fiber, plant-based antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E.
To get all of the goodness from mangoes and mango peel, you can chop them as a refreshing sweet snack, add them to your favorite smoothies, make a savory/sweet mango salsa, or blend them into a puree.
In this article, I will look at scientific research that shows just why eating more mangoes is so good for your health.
What Are Mangoes?
Mangoes are a juicy tropical fruit that have a thick skin which protects the succulent yellow flesh inside. Mangoes mostly grow in South Asia where the Mangifera indica is the most popular type of mango.
Mangoes look like an oblong large fruit that range in size, with some varieties being up to 25 cm (10”) in length. The peel of ripe mango fruit has a leathery texture and can have a green, yellow, or reddish color.
Most people say that mangoes have a sweet, tropical taste with slight tart overtones. Ripe mangoes have a very juicy flesh with a fibrous texture.
Researchers say that most parts of the mango tree and mango fruit are good for their therapeutic properties. Mangoes contain antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertension activity.
In fact, mangoes are so good for you that they are termed the “king of fruits.”
Nutritional Value of Mango
The delicious, juicy taste of fresh, ripe mangoes, as well as their high nutritional value, makes it easy to see why they are one of the most popular tropical fruits.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a portion of 100 g of mango contains 60 calories. One cup of mango pieces (165 g) without the peel contains 99 calories.
The sweetness of mangoes comes from its sugar content. 100 grams of mango flesh contains about 13 grams of sugar. Even though it seems that mangoes have a lot of sugar, it’s good to keep in mind that mango contains many healthy nutrients and dietary fiber.
One cup of sliced mango (165 g) contains about 3 grams of fiber, which is 12% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). It hardly contains protein – 0.8 g which is 2% of RDI.
When compared to other fruits, mangoes contain more carbs, most of which are in the form of sugar. A cup of mango pieces (165 g) has 28 grams of carbs and a GI rating of 8.
Many of the health benefits of mangoes come from their vitamin and mineral content. For example, a whole mango contains 53 mg of vitamin C which is nearly all of your daily vitamin C needs!
A cup of mango pieces also contains 25% of your daily vitamin A requirements, 1.8 mg of vitamin E (9% RDI), 6.9 mcg vitamin K (9% RDI), and high levels of many B-group vitamins.
Mangoes also contain amounts of copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and iron.
Research into the medicinal properties of mango has found that the fruit is rich in polyphenols which have many health benefits. These micronutrients along with vitamin C and vitamin E help to reduce inflammation and boost your body’s immunity.
Nutritional Value of Mango Skin
Mango skin also has many nutritional health benefits. Studies have shown that the peel from mangoes has powerful antioxidants. Mango peel is also a good source of vitamin E and dietary fiber. The peel from ripe mangoes has more antioxidants than unripe ones.
What Are Mangoes Good For?
Mangoes are great for addressing a wide range of health issues and concerns. As well as being good for eating as a tasty dessert, consuming mangoes can help to keep you healthier.
The high levels of vitamin C and vitamin E in mango fruits help to strengthen your immune system and improve your skin and hair. These antioxidants are also essential for good cardiovascular health and keeping your liver healthy, not to mention having anticancer properties.
Minerals that are in abundance in mangoes such as potassium and magnesium are good for regulating your blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy. The fact that mangoes also contain many B-group vitamins means that eating them everyday can help to keep you healthy.
Eating mango flesh and mango skin is also good for your digestive health because of their high fiber content.
Medical studies have shown that mango bark extracts have antiviral properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and an analgesic effect.
Can You Eat Mango Skin?
Most people throw away mango peels when they prepare mangoes for consumption. However, it’s important to remember that mango skin is edible and it is very nutritious.
The outer peel of mangoes is green when unripe and gradually turns yellow, orange-red, or crimson red. Researchers say that many people eat mango skin because the peel contains a significant number of healthful compounds.
For example, scientific studies have found that extracts from mango peel are good for people with diabetes. Mango skins contain polyphenols, carotenoids (both antioxidants), and fiber that have anti-diabetic properties.
The peel of some varieties of mangoes may contain up to 72% of dietary fiber. The peel also contains high levels of vitamins C and E. These vitamins as well as fiber have been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and cancer.
In fact, some studies have shown that mango peel has more powerful antioxidants than mango flesh! Extracts from mango peel are a good source of phenolics that have potential use in cancer treatment.
Taking into consideration that mango peel is so good for your health and is about 20% of the mango fruit, you should think twice before discarding it.
One precaution when consuming the edible skin of a mango: it has been known to cause allergic reactions in some people, as well as causing contact dermatitis.
How to safely eat mango peel
There are many different ways that you can eat mango peel. Even though the skin of mango fruit is quite tough, you can bite into a mango the same way you would eat an apple.
It’s important to thoroughly wash mango peel before eating it to remove any pesticides.
One excellent way to eat mango peel is to chop up a mango without removing the skin and make a smoothie with the flesh and peel. This way you get all of the goodness from mango peel in a delicious health-boosting smoothie.
Some people use the skin from a peeled mango and dry it in the oven to make delicious mango peel crisps.
With some types of ripe mangoes, you can grate the zest of the mango over salads, oatmeal, or desserts to improve the nutritional content of your food.
Mangoes May Benefit Eye Health
Eating a serving of mangoes every day can help to protect your eyesight because they contain vitamin A and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
The British Journal of Ophthalmology reported that consuming fruits and vegetables containing lutein and zeaxanthin may help protect the eyes from macular degeneration. Mangoes were among some of the fruits listed that are a good source of these micronutrients.
Researchers from the National Eye Institute say that nutrient-rich diets containing vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin can help protect against age-related eye diseases.
Other studies have shown that getting enough vitamin A in your diet can help to protect against cataracts.
One cup of mango chunks (165 g) provides you with 1262 IU vitamin A which is 25% of your RDI. This portion size also gives you 76% of your daily vitamin C requirements and 9% of your vitamin E needs.
Mangoes Help Lower Blood Glucose Levels
Eating mangoes every day is good for your blood sugar levels if you consume them in moderation.
A study involving men found that taking 50 grams of freeze-dried mango pulp in a shake daily helped to reduce blood glucose levels after eating.
One study found that taking 400 g of mango pulp for 42 days can help to maintain a balance between blood glucose and insulin in obese adults.
Even though mangoes contain a lot of natural sugar, studies have shown that eating mangoes every day doesn’t cause weight gain. In fact, mango consumption can help to lower blood glucose levels in obese women and men.
Mangoes Can Be Good for Diabetics
More and more scientific studies point to the fact that diabetics can safely eat moderate amounts of mangoes.
Some people claim that mangoes are among the fruits to avoid if you are a diabetic. However, the journal Food & Function reported in 2015 that studies show that mangoes have a low glycemic (GI) and can help control blood glucose levels. Mangoes could potentially benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association also lists mangoes in the common fruits that diabetics can enjoy.
Mango Consumption Helps Keep Your Heart Healthy
The good mineral and antioxidant content of fresh, ripe mangoes mean that eating mangoes is good for your heart.
Most dieticians and doctors agree that a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is good for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
One study found that daily mango consumption helped to lower blood pressure in men who were not overweight. Another study from 2018 found that two cups of mango intake had acute (two hour) beneficial effects on systolic blood pressure in healthy postmenopausal women.
Other studies point to the fact that fruits rich in antioxidants such as mango promote good heart health and can help to prevent heart attacks.
Mango Can Help You Lose Weight Quicker
Mangoes are good for weight loss because of their high nutritional content and fiber content.
One study using animal subjects found that supplementing the diet with freeze-dried mango helped to improve glucose tolerance and reduce obesity. Scientists noted that mango consumption helped to prevent an increase in body fat when mice were fed a high-fat diet.
Doctors on WebMD say that increasing your fiber content is an important way to lose weight safely and also manage weight loss. Fiber helps you to feel fuller for longer and can result in consuming fewer calories.
Consuming edible mango skin could also be a good way to lose weight due to the fiber content. Research into the benefits of mango skin shows that the peel is made up of between 40 and 70% of dietary fiber.
Other studies have shown that apart from the fiber content, phytochemicals in mango peel could have an anti-obesity effect.
Eating Mangoes Is Good for Your Digestion
There are many reasons why mangoes are an excellent addition to your diet if you want to improve your digestion.
Eating mangoes is good for your digestive health because their high fiber content help make you poop easier. Fiber is essential to regular bowel movements, and one whole mango contains nearly 4 grams of fiber which is 15% of your recommended daily fiber intake.
Mangoes also contain anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce intestinal inflammation. Research on mangoes has found that they contain gallotannins that can help to soothe gastro inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis.
You can also consume mango to help make you poop and alleviate constipation. One clinical study on humans found that consuming 300 grams of mango chunks a day improved the symptoms of constipation and reduced gastrointestinal inflammation.
Mango Contains Compounds That Are Good for Your Brain’s Health
Eating a cup of mango slices every day can help to improve your cognitive function.
One study on the antioxidant effect of mango fruit extract found that mangoes positively affect brain function. Scientists found that mango fruit helped lower the effect of stress on the brains of mice. The research found that consuming mangoes could help to improve memory and prevent mild cognitive impairment.
Mango May Reduce the Visible Signs of Aging
Because of the amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants in mango, it is no surprise that mangoes have anti-aging effect on your skin.
In fact, consuming mangoes regularly could help to prevent or delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In one experiment, scientists found that a drink containing mango extract prevented skin damage caused by UVB radiation. Healthy compounds in mango seemed to prevent damage to collagen fiber and also inhibit the formation of wrinkles.
Mangoes Help Keep Your Skin and Hair Healthy
Mangoes also contain many of the micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are needed to keep and promote healthy hair and skin.
For example, consuming a cup of sliced mango will give you a massive 45 mg of vitamin C which is 3-quarters your recommended daily intake.
The journal Nutrients reported in 2017 that sufficient intake of vitamin C is necessary to stimulate collagen production and provide a barrier function against cell damage. Vitamin C deficiency is linked to wrinkle formation, slow wound healing, and dry skin conditions.
Mangoes are also a good source of beta-carotene which is also needed for healthy skin and to protect your skin from UV sun exposure.
Mangoes Are Good for Your Liver Health
One of the health benefits of consuming mango fruit and mango peel is that they help to protect your liver from damage.
Research has found that mango is a functional food with many medicinal benefits. In one trial, consuming mango flesh or mango peel helped protect the liver of rats from alcohol damage.
Plant-based antioxidants such as phenolics in mango have a protective effect on the liver.
Mangoes Have Anticancer Properties
Fruits that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants such as mangoes boost the body’s defenses against infection and can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer.
Mangoes contain an anticancer compound called mangiferin. Studies have found that mangiferin helps reduce inflammation and benefits the immune system. Mango extracts also help to inhibit the spread of cancer cells and even reduce the size of cancerous tumors.
There is even evidence to suggest that consuming mango fruit and mango peel has a protective effect against cancer. Scientists have found that eating the whole, unpeeled mango fruit could be very beneficial to health and could help to prevent the spread of certain cancerous cells.
How to Choose the Best Fresh Mangoes
It seems that there are no disadvantages to eating mangoes in moderation. Even though mangoes contain more sugar than some other fruits, mangoes aren’t fattening when consumed in moderation. The high fiber content of mangoes and the abundance of vitamins and minerals mean that mangoes are a good fruit with many health benefits.
To really enjoy the delicious, tropical taste of mangoes, it’s important to choose fresh mangoes.
To pick the best mango, gently squeeze the mango to make sure that it is not too hard or too soft. It is also good to remember that the color of a mango doesn’t indicate anything about its freshness.
You can also buy unripe mangoes and store them for a few days at room temperature in a paper bag to ripen.
To keep ripened mangoes fresher for longer, store them in the refrigerator.
Article first published on Healthy and Natural World.