13 Surprising Health Benefits Of Eating Mango
Hailed as the king of fruits, Mango holds a special place in the hearts of people worldwide due to its irresistible taste and appeal. Native to Southeast Asia, this succulent fruit has been under cultivation for over 4,000 years. The diverse world of mangoes boasts hundreds of varieties, each with unique features in terms of shape, size, and color.
Mango isn't just delicious; it also packs a nutritional punch, offering a wide range of health benefits thanks to its impressive nutrient content. Once you discover the array of advantages that mango brings to the table, your temptation to indulge in this delicious fruit will only grow.
Mango: Nutritional Facts
Many consider mango as their favorite fruit not only because it's delicious but also because it's one of the most nutrient-dense juicy fruits, providing 20 different vitamins and minerals in each serving.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), just one cup (165 grams) of fresh sliced mango provides:
- Calories: 99
- Protein: 1.35 grams
- Fat: 0.6 grams
- Carbs: 24.8 grams
- Fiber: 2.64 g
- Sugar: 22.6 g
- Folate: 18% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 67% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
- Niacin: 7% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
- Thiamine: 4% of the DV
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
One of its notable nutrient facts is that a mere 1-cup serving of fresh mango supplies nearly 67% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that helps boost your immunity system, supports cell growth and repair, and helps your body absorb iron.
The fruit also boasts moderate amounts of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, choline, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.
Health Benefits of Mangoes
Studies link mango and its rich nutrient profile to a wide range of health benefits, such as improved immunity, digestive health, and eye health. Some polyphenols found in mangoes may even help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
As more and more evidence highlights the numerous health benefits of mangoes, it's evident that this king of fruits will forever captivate people's hearts. Continue reading to discover the top 13 amazing health benefits of mango.
1. May Improve Immunity
Mango stands as an abundant source of essential immune-boosting nutrients. Vitamin C found in the fruit functions as an antioxidant and may help support immune health. This vitamin also helps our body build more disease-fighting white blood cells and helps these cells perform more effectively.
A study conducted by Hohenheim University discovered that mangoes boast a high amount of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that helps boost the immune system. Another vital nutrient in mangoes that supports immunity is vitamin A, which fights against infectious diseases.
2. Supports Heart Health
Adding mangoes to your diet can help lower the risk of heart disease and maintain a healthy heart. It offers a substantial amount of magnesium and potassium, which help support optimal blood flow by relaxing blood vessels, ultimately reducing blood pressure levels.
Mangiferin, a powerful antioxidant found in mangoes, shows potential benefits for heart health. Animal studies indicate that mangiferin can shield heart cells from inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell damage. It may also contribute to reducing cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids.
However, it's essential to note that the research on mangiferin's impact on human heart health is currently limited, and more studies are required.
3. May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Mango is high in polyphenols, which may possess anticancer properties. These micronutrients can help protect against oxidative stress, which is associated with many types of cancer. Animal and test-tube research have observed that mango polyphenols lower oxidative stress.
They've also been found to stop or destroy the development of various cancer cells, such as leukemia and cancer of the lung, colon, breast, and prostate. Mangiferin, a prominent polyphenol found in mango, has recently attained attention for its promising anticancer properties.
In animal studies, it protected cells against oxidative stress, reduced inflammation, and stopped the growth of cancer cells. Nevertheless, more research on humans is needed.
4. May Support Eye Health
The beta-carotene and vitamin A in mango may improve eye health and vision. Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to dry eyes and nighttime blindness. The severest cases can cause more serious conditions, such as corneal scarring. Precisely speaking, the vitamin is crucial for the optimal functioning of the cornea.
Moreover, mango contains two major antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are particularly concentrated at the center of the eye's retina, which is called the macula. Inside the retina, they function as a natural sunblock, soaking excess light. Lutein and zeaxanthin also protect the eyes from toxic blue light.
5. May Help Prevent Diabetes
The high content of natural sugar in mango might concern those with diabetes or those trying to limit their sugar intake, but there's no evidence that eating mango causes diabetes or harms those with the condition. In fact, several studies have shown that consuming more fresh fruits is linked with a reduced risk of diabetes.
A study revealed that individuals who incorporated 10 grams of freeze-dried mango into their daily diet for 12 weeks saw notable improvements in their blood sugar levels. However, it's essential to be cautious of mango's natural sugar content, as consuming too much at once can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.
6. Promotes Weight Loss
A 1-cup (165-gram) serving of mango has less than 100 calories, making it a smart choice for those seeking to cut calories while staying full and satisfied. This can assist with weight loss, and the fiber in mango may further help with shedding extra pounds.
Research has highlighted the significance of mango peel, often discarded, in preventing the formation of fat cells, known as adipogenesis. When combined with the appropriate diet and lifestyle adjustments, it could potentially aid in weight loss.
7. May Promote Brain Health and Improve Memory
Mangoes are a delicious source of vitamin B6, and when consumed with other vitamin B6-rich foods, they can play a vital role in supporting brain health. Emerging research suggests that vitamin B6 deficiency may increase the risk of seizures and depression.
Hence, moderate consumption of mangoes not only elevates your mood but also provides a restoring energy boost.
Additionally, this fruit aids in memory enhancement. Mangoes contain glutamine acid, which stimulates nerve cells, improves concentration, and keeps brain cells active. These properties have a positive impact on cognitive processes within the body.
8. May Enhance Skin Health
Mangoes are abundant in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which can help enrich skin health. Beta-carotene is a photoprotective agent that is believed to quench the photochemical reactions in the epidermis. This process helps in protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
According to a Chinese study, the polyphenols present in mangoes show anticancer activity. They may aid in lowering the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, the high vitamin C content in the fruit supports collagen production, which is vital for healthy skin.
9. Protective Effects on Liver
Raw mangoes may enhance liver function while boosting metabolism as it provides a high amount of vitamin B6. Some anecdotal evidence even indicates that unripe mangoes may be beneficial in treating liver disorders. Nevertheless, more research is required to prove the claim.
Furthermore, mango has shown potential anti-inflammatory effects on the liver, as various studies have suggested that the bioactive compounds in mango juice may mitigate liver inflammation, potentially by inhibiting the actions of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and galactosamine.
10. May Improve Digestive Health
Mangoes boast a group of digestive enzymes known as amylases. These enzymes break down complex carbs into simple sugars, such as maltose and glucose. They are more active in ripe mangoes, the reason why ripe mangoes are sweeter than unripe ones. They may help support the digestive process.
Since the fruit is rich in dietary fiber and water, it may ease digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation. A 4-week study in adults struggling with chronic constipation found that daily mango intake was more effective at soothing symptoms of the condition than taking a soluble fiber supplement.
11. High in Healthy Plant Compounds
Mango is loaded with polyphenols, a plant compound that functions as antioxidants to protect your body. The fruit contains over a dozen different essential types concentrated in its peel, flesh, and even seed kernel. They are:
- benzoic acid
- gallic acid
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals which can damage your cells. Studies have linked free radical damage to signs of chronic diseases and aging. Among the polyphenols, mangiferin has achieved the most interest since it's especially powerful. It is sometimes called "super antioxidant."
12. Good for Prenatal Development
Mango is a nutritious food that promotes the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy. Consuming a cup of mango provides essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C, and folate, all of which are beneficial for expectant mothers.
The folic acid in mangoes can support the development of the fetus's brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects are relatively common in early pregnancy, but including mangoes in your diet can help prevent them. Additionally, vitamin B6 plays a role in promoting the development of the fetal brain and nervous system.
13. May Treat Anemia
Anemia can result from a lack of iron or folic acid, both of which are present in mangoes. Mangoes, rich in vitamin C, also aid anemic individuals by improving iron absorption. Pregnant women can benefit from the extra iron and folic acid that mangoes provide during pregnancy.
As a meal to combat anemia, regularly consuming mango juice can substantially boost hemoglobin levels. You can easily enjoy a cup of sliced mango, blend it into a milkshake or smoothie, or incorporate it into a delightful fruit salad.
How to Buy and Store Mangoes?
Mangoes are abundant during their peak season, often tempting us to purchase a whole box at a good price. To make sure you choose the best mangoes, consider these tips for buying:
- Check for Color: Opt for mangoes with vibrant colors. The specific hue varies by variety, but avoid greenish or overly blemished ones.
- Squeeze Gently: Give them a gentle squeeze - ripe mangoes should yield slightly to pressure.
- Smell the Stem End: Sniff the area around the stem. A sweet scent is a sign of ripeness.
- Avoid Bruises: Avoid mangoes with bruises or soft spots, as these indicate overripeness or damage.
- Size and Shape: The size and shape should be uniform, and they should feel heavy for their size.
After buying, proper storage is necessary to make sure the fruit stays fresh. Here are some tips for properly storing mangoes after you've purchased them:
- Room Temperature Ripening: If your mangoes are not fully ripe, leave them at room temperature. They will ripen in a few days.
- Refrigerate Ripe Mangoes: Once your mangoes are ripe and you want to prolong their freshness, store them in the refrigerator.
- Use a Paper Bag: Placing unripe mangoes in a paper bag can speed up the ripening process.
- Keep Them Dry: Moisture can cause mold and spoilage, so make sure your mangoes are dry before storing them.
- Separate from Other Fruits: Mangoes release ethylene gas, which can affect other fruits and vegetables. Keep them separate to prevent premature ripening of neighboring produce.
- Check Regularly: Inspect your stored mangoes regularly and remove any that are overripe or showing signs of spoilage to prevent the spread of decay.
Mango Fruit Side Effects
While mangoes are generally safe and offer numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of potential side effects, which may include:
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to mangoes. Allergic reactions can cause itching, swelling, hives, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.
- Contact Dermatitis: Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, a toxic resin that may cause dermatitis. Avoid contact with the peel if you are sensitive.
- Upset Stomach: Eating unripe mangoes or consuming them in excess can lead to stomach upset, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort in some people.
- Weight Gain: Mangoes, especially dried ones, are rich in natural sugars and calories. For example, a single cup of dried mangoes contains 510 calories and 106 grams of sugar. Overconsumption could lead to weight gain without a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
- Oral Irritation: The skin of some mango varieties can be slightly acidic, potentially causing irritation or a burning sensation in the mouth for some individuals.
- Digestion Problems: Mangoes may cause digestion problems if consumed in large amounts.
It's essential to enjoy mangoes in moderation and be mindful of any adverse reactions. If you experience unusual symptoms after consuming mangoes, consult a healthcare professional.
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