Health Benefits of Mangos

Mangos have been an important crop in India for millennia. Today, these colorful, sweet fruits are a mainstay of Indian cuisine and are popular throughout the world. Mangos can weigh anywhere from a few ounces to more than five pounds each, depending on the variety.

Regardless of the type of mango you buy, these fruits offer some impressive health benefits. While mangos were historically only available at the end of the dry season, today they can be found in grocery stores all year long. 

Health Benefits

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in mangos can provide important health benefits. For example, vitamin K helps your blood clot effectively and helps prevent anemia. It also plays an important role in helping strengthen your bones.

Mangos are also rich in vitamin C, which is important for forming blood vessels and healthy collagen, as well as helping you heal.

In addition, mangos can provide other health benefits like:

Lower Risk of Cancer

Mangos are rich in beta-carotene, a pigment responsible for the yellow-orange color of the fruit. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, just one of many found in mangos. The antioxidants in mangos have been shown to fight free radicals, which can cause damage to your cells and potentially lead to cancer.

Heart Health

Mangos are also helpful for supporting your cardiovascular system. They are a great source of magnesium and potassium, both of which are connected to lower blood pressure and a regular pulse. Furthermore, mangos are the source of a compound known as mangiferin, which early studies suggest may be able to reduce inflammation of the heart.

Digestive Health

Mangos can help stabilize your digestive system. They offer both amylase compounds and dietary fiber, which can help you avoid constipation. Amylase compounds can help dissolve other foods in your stomach, breaking down difficult starches. Meanwhile, the fiber in mangos can be more effective for relieving constipation than equivalent fiber supplements.

Nutrition

Mangos are rich in folate, which is used for healthy cell division and DNA duplication. Physicians recommend that people who can become pregnant consume at least 400 mcg of folate daily, because it is critical for avoiding birth defects.

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Mangos are also an excellent source of:

Nutrients per Serving 

One medium-sized mango contains:

Things to Watch Out For

Mango skin contains a compound called urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy. Urushiol is what causes the itchy red rash after touching the poison ivy plant. While mango skin contains less urushiol than poison ivy, it can still cause rashes and allergic responses. On rare occasions, some people can even react allergically when eating the peeled fruit. If you have a negative reaction to poison ivy, you should take care when peeling the fruit and never attempt to eat the skin.

How to Eat Mango

Mango can be found year-round in grocery stores, health food stores, and occasionally even at farmers’ markets. This tasty fruit is sweet with just a hint of tart. When slicing mangos, it’s important to watch out for the large, flat seed at the center, which can easily dull knives.

Avoid eating the skin of a mango. If you have a skin sensitivity, you can peel the mango while stabilizing it with gloves or a towel to avoid direct contact. The flesh of the mango itself should be soft and bright orange-yellow when it’s ready to eat. You can eat it raw, grilled, or frozen as a sweet treat.

Whether you eat it for its flavor or its health benefits, mango makes a great addition to almost any meal. Here are some ways you can include mango in your diet:

  • Add mango to a smoothie
  • Make mango chutney
  • Grill mango as part of a barbecue
  • Try mango sorbet
  • Pair fish with mango
  • Use mango to make jam
  • Freeze mango cubes and add them to cocktails
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 17, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Acute Cardiac Care: “The heart and potassium: a banana republic.”

Clinical Kidney Journal: “Magnesium basics.” 

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety: “Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Encyclopedia Britannica: “Mango.”

European Journal of Pharmocology: “Mangiferin protect myocardial insults through modulation of MAPK/TGF-β pathways.”

FoodData Central: “Mango, dried.”

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Mango starch degradation. II. The binding of alpha-amylase and beta-amylase to the starch granule.”

Mayo Clinic: “Vitamin C.”

Molecular Nutrition and Food Research: “Polyphenol-rich Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Ameliorate Functional Constipation Symptoms in Humans beyond Equivalent Amount of Fiber.”

National Institutes of Health: “Folate.”

National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin K.”

ThoughtCo: “Can You Eat Mango Skin?”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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