What is a mango?
Well, frankly speaking, the mango needs no introduction. Belonging to the genus Mangifera (scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica) which contains numerous tropical fruit trees (which are grown to obtain edible fruit), the mango is native to South Asia.
It is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines and also the national tree of Bangladesh.
The mango is available in many varieties, but the most popular among all (yes, you guessed it!) It’s Alfonso.
It is the most superior variety in terms of wealth, taste and sweetness. Also the most expensive varieties, the Alphonso is grown mainly in the western part of India, including Ratnagiri and Raigad, and the Konkan region in India.
The ripe mango fruit varies in color and size. The handles can be yellow, orange, green or red. The mango leaves are 15 to 35 cm long and evergreen.
The young leaves are orange-pink, but the transition to bright red becomes dark green as they mature.
The mango fruit has a single seed that contains the embryo of the plant. The seed is recalcitrant, which means that it does not survive the conditions of freezing or drying.
Well, that’s about the mango fruit information. But are they so good that we have a full post on them? Let’s see.
Mango is full of nutrients
The mango is low in calories but full of nutrients.
One cup (165 grams) or sliced mango provides:
- Copper: 20% of the RDI.
- Folate: 18% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 11.6% of the RDI.
- Vitamin A: 10% of the RDI.
- Vitamin E: 9.7% of the RDI.
- Calories: 99
- Protein: 1.4 grams
- Carbohydrates: 24.7 grams.
- Niacin: 7% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI.
- Vitamin C: 67% of the daily reference intake (RDI)
- Vitamin B5: 6.5% of the RDI.
- Riboflavin: 5% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 4.5% of the RDI.
- Thiamine: 4% of the RDI.
- Fat: 0.6 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams.
- Vitamin K: 6% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI.
It also contains small amounts of phosphorus, pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium, and iron.
One cup (165 grams) of mango provides almost 70% of the RDI for vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that helps your immune system, helps the body absorb iron and promotes growth and repair.
Are mangoes good for you?
That’s an irrelevant question, isn’t it?
Since childhood, we have heard stories of our grandmothers and mothers about the many benefits that mangoes offer.
If there was another reason to devour mangos (apart from its delicious flavor), it is because of what we have been told that fruits provide us with lots of energy.
So yes, the mangoes are good for you. No doubt about that. We will go further and check the specific benefits.
But before that, let’s consider some research studies that relate to general health in general.
An Australian study linked mangos with great health since they contain certain bioactive compounds. A report published by the Iowa Department of Public Health states that contain the highest amount of beta-carotene, which is known to protect the body from numerous diseases.
The mango contains approximately 20 different minerals and vitamins, which makes it one of the richest fruits available in nutrients.
Here are some benefits of mangoes that you may not know.
1. Improve eye health
The most delicate organ, but one of the most important in your body: the eye. And reaching your eye health, the mangoes are more than good. They are incredible.
Vitamin A and beta carotene in mangoes help improve eye health. More severe cases of vitamin A can lead to blindness.
A report published by the Oregon State University endorses the fact. Vitamin A improves eye health and vision. In particular, the vitamin is essential for the optimal functioning of the retina.
The human eye has two main carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. Mangoes are rich in source of zeaxanthin and help to improve the health of the eyes.
According to a Boston study, found in a carotenoid called cryptoxanthin that was found to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration in Japanese elderly.
And according to the University of Utah Health Care, zeaxanthin in mangoes also helps prevent macular degeneration.
2. Promotes healthy gut
According to the book ‘Healing Foods’, mango meat contains prebiotic dietary fiber, which helps feed good bacteria in the intestine.
The healthy intestine is detrimental to a healthy state. Leaky bowel, in addition to poor digestion, results in skin conditions such as IBS, asthma, slow metabolism, and other health problems.
3. Prevent cancer
The pulp of mango fruit contains carotenoids, ascorbic acid, terpenoids, and polyphenols, all of which are responsible for the properties to prevent cancer of the fruit.
There are also unique antioxidants that are absent in other fruits and vegetables. A study conducted in Texas in 2010 also supports the anticancer effects of mangoes.
The anticancer properties of mango are also attributed to mangiferin, and a compound found mainly in fruit. Another study conducted in 2015 showed that mango polyphenols suppress breast cancer.
It has also been found that mangiferin inhibits the growth of colon and liver cancer cells and other tumor cells.
According to a report published by the University of Texas, polyphenolic compounds in mangoes have antioxidant properties that help reduce oxidative stress.
In addition, it was also found that these compounds are anti-inflammatory.
4. It can support the health of the heart
Mango contains nutrients that support a healthy heart.
For example, it offers magnesium and potassium, which helps maintain a healthy pulse and relax blood vessels.
Mango also contains a unique antioxidant called mangiferin.
A study in animals has found that mangiferin can protect heart cells against inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis (controlled cell death).
In addition, it can lower blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acid levels.
While these findings are promising, there is currently a lack of research on mangiferin and heart health in humans. Therefore, more studies are needed before it can be recommended as a treatment.
5. It can improve the health of hair and skin
Mango is rich in vitamin C, which promotes healthy hair and skin.
This vitamin is essential to produce collagen, a protein that is given structure to the skin and hair. Collagen gives your skin its rebound and fights flaccidity and wrinkles.
In addition, mango is a good source of vitamin A, which stimulates hair growth and the production of sebum, a fluid that helps hydrate the scalp to keep hair healthy.
Vitamin A and other retinoids migrate to your skin and protect it from the sun. Apart from vitamins A and C, mango is rich in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants.
These antioxidants help protect the hair follicles from the damage of oxidative stress.
6. It can help treat diabetes
What is the relationship between mango and diabetes?
A study of 20 obese adults showed that consumption of fresh half mango for 12 weeks results in lower blood glucose levels.
This effect, according to the researchers, was attributed to the presence of fiber and mangiferin, a phytochemical.
Another study conducted in Mysore showed that the extract of a mango husk has antidiabetic properties.
A Japanese study showed that mangiferin could have beneficial effects in patients with type 2 diabetes.
7. Promote healthy sex
Mangoes can also be good aphrodisiacs!
The fruit is rich in vitamin E, which is known to increase sexual desire. In an Australian study, it was found that the combination of vitamin E and beta-carotene improves sperm health in men.
It was also found that this combination is the best defense against sperm damage. In another report published by the US National Institutes of Health, It was discovered that vitamin E protects the sperm membrane from damage by oxidation.
Zinc is another important mineral for male and female fertility, and mangoes are rich in it.
8. Delicious, versatile and easy to add to your diet
The mango is delicious, versatile and easy to add to your diet. However, it can be difficult to cut due to its hard skin and a large pit.
A good idea is to cut long vertical slices 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) from the center to separate the meat from the well. Next, cut the meat into a grid pattern and remove it from the shell.
Here are some ways you can enjoy mango:
- Add it to the smoothies.
- Cut it and add it to the sauces.
- Throw it in a summer salad.
- Cut it and serve it with other tropical fruits.
- Cut it and add it to the quinoa salads.
Keep in mind that the mango is sweeter and contains more sugar than many other fruits. Moderation is the key: it is best to limit the mango to no more than two cups (330 grams) per day maximum.
9. Mango during pregnancy
The mangoes are rich in iron and vitamins A, C, and B6, all of which are beneficial for pregnant women.
Vitamin A helps fight infections and prevents vision problems in newborns.
10. Help to lose weight
Yes, you listened well. Certain studies have focused on the importance not only of the mango fruit but also of its skin.
The secret lies in the phytochemicals that act as eliminators of natural fats, which are found only on the outer side of the fruit.
Another study by the University of Queensland emphasized the importance of mango peel (which most of us tend to throw) to lose weight.
The mangoes contain fiber, which can be a great contributor to weight loss. In a study from the University of Minnesota, it was shown that dietary fiber, especially obtained from the consumption of fruits and vegetables, can help you lose weight. This is related to the ability of a fiber to decrease food intake in general, which promotes weight loss.
11. Improve immunity
Being rich in vitamin C, mangoes play an important role in strengthening immunity. In addition to vitamin C, mangoes are also a good source of zinc, which is important for maintaining the overall health of the immune system.
According to a study conducted in Rajasthan, India, it is known that vitamin C reduces the severity of allergies and helps fight infections.
And according to an article published by Oregon State University, vitamin C primarily protects the body’s cells from reactive oxygen species (which are generated by the immune system to kill pathogens).
12. It can help treat kidney stones
Mangos are rich in vitamin B6, and according to a US study, this vitamin could reduce urinary oxalate (oxalate stones).
It is also found that potassium in mangos reduces the risk of kidney stones (57).
13. It could treat anemia
Given their iron content, mangoes are beneficial for individuals and pregnant women who suffer from anemia.
Mangos, given their vitamin C content, even help in the proper absorption of iron in the body (64). This finally helps fight anemia.
14. Help reduce cholesterol levels
Mangos contain pectin that decreased serum cholesterol levels.
In a study conducted at the University of Madras, mangiferin (one of the primary compounds in mangos) reduced cholesterol levels in laboratory rats.
It was also found to increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol.
How to select a good mango?
Selecting the best of all tempting options can be really complicated (in a literal sense).
The mangoes are available in large quantities during the high season, and you may be tempted to buy a full box when it is available at a reasonable price (which is really what I want to do all the time).
But, if we simply want the best, we need to have some patience and Hawk’s eyes (kidding!). Let me tell you some tips on how to choose the perfect handle.
- You should know that the mangoes should be selected for their aroma and not for their color, which varies from one variety to another. Its aroma must be different and mature.
- While buying mangoes, I suggest you choose those that do not have dark spots, spots or cracks.
- Fresh mangoes, on average, are approximately four inches long and weigh between nine ounces and four pounds each.
- Also, did you know that the largest fruits have a higher proportion of fruits per seed? Do not? Well, let me share some scientific and observation opinions on the selection of mangoes. Although green mangoes are green, and ripe mangoes have colors ranging from yellow or orange to red, color is not always a sign of maturity. There are some varieties where ripe mangoes retain their green color. Therefore, avoid mangoes that do not have a fragrant aroma.
- Also, never choose unripe mangoes, which have an unpleasant taste when eaten raw (unless you like the peculiar flavor). A ripe mango usually has a full fruity aroma that emits from the end of the stem, is soft to the touch and yields to gentle pressure.
Side effects of Mango
It was found that some individuals were allergic to mangoes. These allergies include contact dermatitis, hypersensitivity to food, etc.
This could be due to sensitivity to mango in packaged or canned form (such as jams, juices, etc.).
2. Itching, which can cause other serious side effects.
Also called allergy to mango latex, it causes extreme irritation at the angles of the mouth, lips and tip of the tongue. Severe cases can include vomiting, breathing difficulties and even diarrhea.
Although fruits come with certain side effects, they are largely outweighed by the benefits. And what is better: they are tasty and juicy, and there would not be a soul that does not love them!
But if you are a person with a medical condition, it is always best to consult your doctor before consuming the fruit.
Mango is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and has been associated with many health benefits, including the possible effects against cancer and the improvement of immunological, digestive, ocular, cutaneous and capillary health.
Best of all, it is tasty and easy to add to your diet as part of smoothies and other dishes.