6 Health Benefits of Mangoes

The delicious fruit can help a few different aspects of your health.

Luscious and sweet, mango is known as "the king of fruit"—particularly because it's a fruit that's good for you. Although they're high in sugar (one cup contains about 15 grams of carbs and 100 calories, per the USDA), mangoes offer some impressive perks. Here are six benefits of mango, along with some simple ways to enjoy the fruit.

Mangoes May Protect Against Some Diseases

The fruit packs plenty of polyphenols, which can be found in the peel, pulp, and seed kernel of the fruit according to a May 2021 Molecules study. These plant compounds have antioxidant activity that shields cells from the DNA damage that can lead to degenerative diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cancer.

They May Support Heart Health

Eating mango can be good for your heart too in terms of managing the levels of lipids (e.g., cholesterol) you have in your body. Mangos contain a specific polyphenol callled mangiferin. Available in plants and natural medicines, consuming mangiferin has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease—as indicated by the authors of a June 2016 Nutrients study—through a reduction in lipid levels and inflammation.

They Boost the Immune System

One cup of mango provides about a quarter of the daily target for vitamin A, a nutrient that's essential for proper immune system functioning (including the production and activity of white blood cells) per the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Not getting enough of the vitamin is associated with a greater susceptibility to infections, but it can also be reduced by high infection rates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mangoes Improve Hair and Skin Health

Vitamin A in mangos is also essential for the development and maintenance of multiple types of epithelial tissues including skin, hair, and sebaceous glands. The latter, which are attached to hair follicles, help keep hair moisturized and healthy. One cup of mango also supplies about 75% of the daily minimum vitamin C intake. This nutrient is needed to produce collagen, a type of tissue that gives skin its elasticity and helps prevent wrinkles and sagging.

They May Ease Constipation

Mangoes can be good for aiding digestion. The researchers of the May 2021 Molecules article noted that, in one of the studies they reviewed, participants who ate 300 mg of mango over the course of 4 weeks saw an improvement in their experiences of constipation. However, it's important to note though that mangos are a high-FODMAP food (carbs that the small intestine has a hard time absorbing), so they may trigger gas and bloating in some individuals, particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome.

Mangoes Support Eye Health

Along with having the antioxidant vitamin C, mangoes also have betacarotene—another antioxidant that helps promote eye health, per a 2021 article published in The Pharma Innovation Journal. Additionally, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in mangos help your eyes in several ways. The two natural compounds, which protect the retina and lens, have been shown to increase visual range, lessen discomfort from glare, enhance visual contrast, and reduce the time it takes the eyes to recover from the stress of bright lights.

How To Eat More Mango

Fortunately, the fruit is easy to incorporate into any meal, sweet or savory. For example, you can top your avocado toast with sliced mango, or add it to Greek yogurt or overnight oats. Blend mango into a smoothie, and add it to salsa, slaw, tacos, tuna or chicken salad, and garden salads. Serve mango over cooked fish, or mix it into whole grains, like quinoa or wild rice. Mango also makes a delicious and colorful addition to desserts and treats, including chia pudding, coconut milk ice cream, and even mango margaritas.

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