The benefits of mango range from stronger immunity to better gut health. Read on to know more about why the king of fruits is good for health.

Sweet, juicy and delicious, mango is one summer fruit that only a few can resist. Not only do they taste divine, but the health benefits of mango will surely want to include this fruit in your daily diet. Packed with vitamins and minerals, mango, touted as the ‘king of fruits’, can help build immunity as well as promote gut health, among other things. The benefits of mango also include better digestion and the ability to prevent some types of cancers. This fruit is versatile and is super easy to add to your diet. You can have mango in its fruit form, add it in smoothies, juice it, add it in salads… the list is endless!

The origin of mango

Native to South Asia, mangoes are found in abundance in the summer months. Mango has been cultivated for the last 6000 years and has grown the maximum in India and Pakistan. It belongs to the Family Anacardiaceae and is also known as the King of fruits. There are about 1,500 types of mangoes available in India alone. They are classified based on the time they ripen. Each variety comes with its flavour as well as our taste, states the National Horticulture Board in India.

Mango nutrition

Is mango good for us? Yes, here is the nutritional set-up of the fruit. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, one mango, 210g, contains the following nutrients:

Water: 175g
Energy: 126kcal
Protein: 1.72g
Fat: 0.7g
Carbohydrate: 31.5g
Fibre: 3.36g
Sugar: 28.7g

Health Benefits of mango

Mango has a lot of health benefits. Here are a few of them:

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8 mango benefits that make it the perfect summer fruit

1. Mangoes are high in vitamin C

One of the biggest benefits of mango is that it is rich in vitamin C. Just one cup of mango, 165g, can give you 67 per cent of your daily requirement. A study, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, suggests that the vitamin C content in mango alters as it ripens. It is higher in mangoes that are less ripe, as compared to the fully ripe ones.

2. Aids weight loss

Contrary to popular belief that mango makes you put on weight, mango is not very high in calories. One cup of mango, 165g contains less than 100 calories. Mango can also help you eat less. A study published in The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, states that eating a mango before you start a meal can prevent overeating. However, dried mango is high in calories, and must be eaten in moderation.

Mango juice and diced mango
Mango juice can be made, but diabetes should refrain from this as it might be high in sugar. Image courtesy: Pexels

3. May improve gut health

Mango contains soluble fibre – fibre that dissolves in water – and this helps in improving gut health, as well as promoting regular bowel movements. A study published in Food Science & Nutrition observed the effect of 100 kcal per day of mangoes by 27 participants for 12 weeks. It was seen that there were positive effects on gut health, with the consumption of mangoes.

4. May prevent diabetes

While mango is high in natural sugar, 22g in 165g of mango, there is no scientific evidence that suggests that mangoes are unhealthy for people who are suffering from diabetes. A study, published in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, revealed that mango supplementation helped improve blood glucose levels in obese individuals. In the study, 20 obese adults were given 10g of dried mango pulp in a day. It was seen that blood glucose levels were significantly reduced after 12 weeks. Fresh mango contains less sugar than dried mango. However, it is best if mango consumption is done in moderation by diabetic patients, after guidance from their doctor. Also, aamras and mango juice should be avoided.

5. Rich in antioxidants

Mangoes are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, which can help our bodies in several ways. A study published in Frontiers in Plant Science suggests that antioxidants help protect your body from free radicals, reactive compounds that can cause damage to the cells. Mango also contains mangiferin, a bioactive component, which helps fight many diseases, states this study, published in Molecular Medicine Reports.

6. Helps boost immunity

Mango also helps to strengthen our immunity as it is rich in vitamin A as well as vitamin C and vitamin B6. It helps the body’s natural immune system to function properly. A Research Gate study states that mango consumption may help in improving improving immunological function by enhancing antioxidant enzymes and reducing oxidative stress. Mango also contains other nutrients such as copper, and folate.

7. May promote heart health

Eating mango is good for you, as it can also help your heart function properly. Mango contains magnesium and potassium, which may help in maintaining the flow of blood in the body, and lower blood pressure levels. Mangiferin, found in mangoes, helps to prevent inflammation, oxidative stress as well as cell damage in the heart, states this study, published in Scientific Reports.

A mango and a knife
Mango can be added to smoothies and salads. Image courtesy: Pexels

8. May help eyesight

Mangoes contain antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These perform the role of a sunblock in our retinas, and make sure to absorb any extra light, protecting our eyes, states this study, published in the Journal of Ophthalmology. It helps against photo-induced damage to the lens and retina.

How to eat mango?

The best way to eat mangoes would be in their fruit form. You may peel the skin of the mango, and enjoy the fruit! You can also make a small opening at the top of a ripe mango, squish the insides, and have your kids suck out the pulp. Besides this, you can add it to fruit salads and desserts. Mango popsicles can also be made by freezing mango cubes with small sticks inside. Diced mangoes over yoghurt, waffles and pancakes taste divine too. Mangoes can be added to smoothies as well, making it the perfect summer drink. Savoury dishes include mango salsa.

How much mango should you eat in one day?

While mango has a lot of benefits, it is much sweeter than other fruits. Hence, moderation is the key to consuming mangoes. Two cups of mango, or 330g of mango should be more than enough for a day. Also, it is important to not exceed more than two servings in a day. If you are diabetic, consult your healthcare provider or nutritionist about adding mango to your diet.

Are there side effects of mango?

There are a few downsides to eating mangoes, especially if they don’t suit you. Mangoes can trigger certain kinds of allergies. Some people can develop rashes in the mouth, known as Mango Mouth. This is a rash in and around the mouth. This is an overreaction of the immune system. Your body views mango as being dangerous and tries to protect you. This can happen in both adults and babies. Mangoes also contain urushiol, a chemical compound, that can lead to an allergic skin reaction.

Summary

Mangoes are a great fruit to add to your summer diet. The benefits of mangoes include them being a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Besides this, they help promote better heart health, and immunity and are also rich in antioxidants. However, mangoes are sweeter than other fruits and must be enjoyed in moderation.

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