10 Health Benefits of Mango

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There is a reason why mango is the king of fruits, not only is it one of the most delicious fruits in the world (I doubt if there is ever a person who dislikes mangoes), it has many health benefits.

When mangoes come in season during the summer, although I find them almost all year round here in Davao City,  Filipinos can be seen munching on green mangoes as a snack or eating ripe yellow-orange mangoes for dessert after meals.  In buffets offered at high-end resorts and hotels,  you can always see mango slices offered at the fruit table.  If you are lucky, these hotels and resorts may leave a fruit basket filled with sweet ripe mangoes in your rooms.

Guimaras Island,  a province located in Western Visayas, Philippines,  is known as "The Mango Capital of the Philippines" because it produces the sweetest mangoes in the world.  The quality of the mangoes are meticulously kept by the people of the island and they continue to ensure that the island's environmental and ecological assets are not tarnished by degradation and disease.  The island houses about 50,000 mango trees and of course,  celebrates their mangoes through the Manggahan Festival which falls this month of May.

The Guimaras Mangoes, according to one article I read, is the only kind of mango that is served in Buckingham Palace and The White House.  This surely shows proof of the world-class quality of the Guimaras Mangoes of the Philippines.

Mangoes are truly nutritious and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

A cup (165g) of diced mango contains the following:

  • 100 calories, 1 gram protein,  0.5 grams fat,  and 25 grams of carbohydrates (24g sugar,  3g fiber). 
  • 9% healthy probiotic fiber. The probiotic fiber helps constipation.
  • 35% daily value (1262 IU) of Vitamin A which is a vitamin that promotes better vision and is a nutrient required for sebum production that helps keep hair moisturized
  • 76% daily value (46 mg) of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, helps in the production and maintenance of collagen
  • 20% daily value (23.1 mg) of Folate, good for pregnancy
  • 11% daily value (0.2 mg) of Vitamin B-6, a vitamin which is an important precursor for many hormones
  • 8% daily value (6.9 mg) of Vitamin K, Vitamin K is important in calcium absorption for bone health. 
  • 7% daily value (257 mg) of potassium 
  • 9 % daily value (1.8 mg) of Vitamin E
  • 9% daily value (0.2 mg)  of copper
  • 4% daily value of magnesium
  • Contains zeaxanthin,  an antioxidant which filters out harmful blue rays and plays a protective role in eye health,  possibly warding off macular degeneration. 
  • Also contains quercetin,  astragalin,  beta-carotene, calcium,  iron, mangiferin, and pectin. 

Sliced ripe mangoes. Image credit: Pixabay

10 Health Benefits of Mango

1. Mango has anti-aging attributes and is good for the skin and hair.

Slowing down aging is everyone's prerogative and trying to look fresh is an everyday quest.  While makeup can enhance one's beauty and hide flaws, sometimes even makeup can't hide the tell-tale signs of stress or aging. An example is a bald spot on the top of your head as a result of chronic stress.

Regular consumption of mangoes can help slow down the aging process because of its high amount of Vitamins A and C and other antioxidants beta-carotene and Vitamin E. Generally,  the biochemical role of Vitamin C is to act as an antioxidant, which is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of another molecule. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals, creating chain reactions that may damage cells.  Although Vitamin A and E are also considered as natural or dietary antioxidants, Vitamin C plays a bigger role in this area.

Both Vitamins A and C are both important for skin and hair.  Vitamin A, an important vitamin for the growth of all bodily tissues,  is a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized and maintains healthy skin. Vitamin C, on the other hand,  is an important vitamin for the production and maintenance of collagen which is the main structural protein found in skin,  hair,  and other connective tissues of the body.

Using mango "externally" is beneficial too. You can use it as a facial mask to smooth and tone up the skin,  clear up acne,  and to gently exfoliate skin.

Mango Facial Mask

1/2 cup mashed  ripe mango
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine mashed ripe mango,  honey, and lemon juice until all 3 are well mixed.

2. Wash face with warm water and facial cleanser to remove make-up and open pores.

3. Apply a thin layer of the mask on clean face,  avoiding the eye area.

4. Let sit for 20 minutes or until dry.

5. Rinse mask off with warm water,  pat dry.  Apply moisturizer.

Raw mango juice can be used as an astringent.

2. Helps maintain bone health and helps cure anemia.

Consumption of a cup of mango provides 6.9mg of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is said to be important for calcium absorption which improves bone health.  Optimal intake of Vitamin K reduces the risk of bone fractures. Mangoes are also a source of calcium.

Mangoes are rich in iron (0.2 mg/100g). Regular consumption of mangoes can help eliminate anemia by increasing red blood cell count.

3. Mangoes help promote good eyesight and possibly reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Mangoes provide a good amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene that promotes better vision. Vitamin A is critical for the formation of rhodopsin,  it is one of the required precursors for the photopigment found in rods.  Without it,  rhodopsin cannot form and the earliest sign of Vitamin A deficiency occurs,  night blindness. Aside from this important and vital role of Vitamin A, it also maintains normal differentiation of the cornea and conjunctival membranes preventing other eye conditions such as dryness and inflammation or known as xerophthalmia, typically associated with Vitamin A deficiency.

Recently, research has found a third carotenoid in the macula known as meso-zeaxanthin which appears to be created in the retina from consumed lutein. It is believed that zeaxanthin, lutein,  and meso-zeaxanthin in the macula block harmful blue light from reaching the underlying structures of the retina associated with macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail (macula). It presents as blurring of the "central-vision" which is needed for straight-ahead activities such as sewing,  reading,  and driving and causes no pain.

One study found that increased intake of lutein,  zeaxanthin,  and meso-zeaxanthin effectively increases the optical density of the macular pigment in the eyes. This pigment is believed to offer protection and prevent macular degeneration.  One study published in the journal Optometry was able to demonstrate the importance of zeaxanthin.  The participants of the study all had early signs of age-related macular degeneration and were instructed to incorporate 8mg of dietary zeaxanthin in their diet for 1 year.  Participants reported an improvement in their night driving and their visual acuity improved an average of 1.5 lines on the eye chart. Mangoes contain zeaxanthin.

4. Mangoes boost brain health, mood,  and sleep.

Mangoes provide the body with 0.2mg of Vitamin B-6, a nutrient essential for normal bodily functions. Unfortunately,  our bodies can't produce it, so we have to get it from the food that we eat. The metabolic active form of Vitamin B-6, Pyrodoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), is the cofactor in the biosynthesis of five important neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine,  gamma-aminobutyric acid, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Serotonin,  dopamine, and norepinephrine are the three neurotransmitters responsible for appetite,  libido,  reward mechanism,  sleep-wake cycle,  and mental health. Serotonin in particular, in which Vitamin B-6 is critical for its production, is a key player in mood, fear,  anxiety,  and a general sense of well-being. Serotonin deficiency is the common contributor to mood problems.  Do note,  serotonin not only keeps us happy,  it is also the precursor to melatonin, a hormone that is important in maintaining regular,  healthy sleep patterns.

One cup of mango has 0.16g of Glutamic Acid.  Glutamate, the anion of Glutamic Acid,  is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system. It is involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory.  In addition to this,  it is also the precursor of gamma-aminobutyric, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the nervous system. Although I have read many posts regarding the amazing Glutamic acid and the mango,  Glutamic Acid is a non-essential amino acid meaning our body is capable of producing it on its own.

5. Helps lower heart disease risk and helps manage blood pressure.

According to this post, 5 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure,  2 of those 5 ways can be found in mangoes,  magnesium and potassium.  Since taking potassium supplements is not as effective as consuming potassium-rich foods,  mangoes are also a great source of potassium if you get tired of eating bananas. Potassium helps maintain blood pressure and heart rate and prevents cardiovascular diseases.

Potassium is a mineral that can help reduce the effects of excess sodium which is important when managing high blood pressure. The more potassium intake,  the more sodium is excreted in urine.  Potassium also lowers blood pressure by easing the tension in blood vessel walls.  Take note though,  that excess potassium is harmful to patients suffering from kidney disease.  Increasing intake of potassium is recommended in adults whose blood pressure is over 120/80 but,  are otherwise healthy.

As for magnesium,  there are many articles on the meta-analysis of magnesium and they have all concluded that there is a positive effect of taking magnesium to lower blood pressure, especially in older men. Mangoes provide 10g of magnesium per 100g.
Green Mangoes. Not yet ripe, sour to the taste and is loved by the Filipinos as a snack or appetizer.
Image credit: Pixabay

6. Mangoes aid in digestion.

Mangoes promote regular bowel movement and a healthy digestive tract.  This is due to its water and fiber content.  Mangoes also contain enzymes that aid in breaking down protein, thus facilitating digestion.

The fiber content of mangoes ensures proper bowel movement,  preventing constipation and maintaining a healthy and clean digestive tract. Pectin found in mangoes bonds substances in the intestines and adds bulk to stool.  Mangoes can prevent hyperacidity due to their alkalinity and contain several bio-active compounds (esters,  terpenes,  and aldehydes) which can aid in indigestion.

7. Mangoes help lowers cholesterol.

The pectin,   fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, polyphenolic antioxidants,  and mangiferin found in mangoes helps lower blood cholesterol levels, particularly the "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.  Pectin taken with small amounts of fiber lowers total and bad cholesterol. Polyphenols help reduce platelet clumping and improves the function of the cells that line the blood vessels.  Platelet clumping of the blood is a potential precursor in angina and heart attacks. In addition,  these polyphenolic antioxidants play a vital role in the prevention of atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries.

One notable flavonoid,  quercetin, which is found in mangoes,  offers the body a two-fold benefit in promoting cardiovascular health.  One,  it encourages blood flow and secondly,  its antioxidant action protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation.  Oxidation of LDL cholesterol causes this bad cholesterol to stick on arterial walls. Studies have also shown that quercetin promotes a balanced blood pressure,  stabilizing systolic,  diastolic,  and average arterial pressure.

Studies on mangiferin,  a compound found in mangoes,  yielded positive results in decreasing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL.

8. Mangoes help maintains blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetes management and prevention.

Apparently,  it is a myth that patients suffering from diabetes should avoid mangoes (this is due to its sweet taste).  Studies have shown that patients with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood sugar levels while patients with type 2 diabetes benefit by having improved blood sugar, lipid,  and insulin levels. One cup of mangoes gives 3 grams of fiber. Mango consumption also lowers blood sugar levels in obese adults although it has no effect on weight loss.

Not only is the fruit helpful for those suffering from the disease,  the leaves are as well.  A decoction of 10-15 leaves in warm water (covered closed with a lid), left overnight and taken in the morning (after filtering) on an empty stomach when done regularly helps with the management of blood glucose levels.

9. Mangoes help fight cancer.

According to a study conducted by Texas AgriLife Research,  scientists tested mango polyphenol extracts on breast,  colon, lung,  leukemia,  and prostate cancer and found that the extracts showed some impact on all cancers,  but was most effective on breast and colon cancers.

The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer has discovered that there is a strong association between mango consumption and the lowering risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Mangoes contain beta-carotene and it has been found that diets high in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer.  According to an article published in the journal Cancer, men with low levels of beta-carotene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 32% by increasing intake of beta-carotene every other day. Pectin is also believed to help prevent prostate cancer as well.  Additionally, it was reported by The Harvard Public Health's Department of Nutrition that there is an inverse association between beta-carotene intake and colon cancer among the Japanese. 

10. Mangoes help those with asthma.

In a study, "Increased Dietary Beta-carotene Intake Associated with Better Asthma Quality of Life",  it concluded that females who increased their consumption of dietary beta-carotene had a better asthma quality of life (ALQ). Mangoes are rich in dietary beta-carotene and may help women who suffer from asthma.

An extra benefit: Mangoes can help prevent heatstroke.

Aam Panna by Miansari66 is licensed under CC0 1.0 .

According to Mayo Clinic, heatstroke is a condition when your body overheats and usually occurs as a result of prolonged exposure and/or physical exertion in high temperatures with body temperatures rising to 104 ℉ (40℃). This commonly happens during summer. A glass of raw green mango juice, known as Aam Panna in India, (chopped green mango fruit juiced or boiled and mixed with water and honey/sugar, salt, and roasted cumin) can help you prevent heatstroke if you are out under the scorching sun. Munching on green mango can also provide some comfort and relief from heatstroke but, the green mango juice is more potent.

The leaves of the mango trees are known to have medicinal properties as well. As I mentioned above, a decoction of mango leaves can help regulate blood sugar levels. Here are other benefits that you can derive from mango leaves:

  • helps with uric acid in gout
  • regulates blood pressure
  • helps with kidney and gallbladder related problems
  • provides relief for diarrhea and dysentery
  • provides relief for burns
  • can be used for oral health
  • helps combat wound infections
For more information regarding the benefits of mango leaves and how to use the leaves, you may visit this site Beauty Epic.

I love mangoes and I love that I can get so much from it. To those who are headed to the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras, eat up! Here's to the King of Fruits! Cheers!
Green mangoes best with vinegar, salt, or bagoong (shrimp paste/fish paste). Image credit: Pixabay

Sources and Related Links:

Ware, Megan RDN LD, "Everything You Need to Know About Mangoes" https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921.php
Axe, Josh MD "Mango Nutrition- Tropical Fruit for Lowering Blood Sugar and Boosting Brain Health" https://draxe.com/mango-nutrition/
Johnson, Jeremy PharmD, Ph.D. " Mangiferin Found in Mangoes Lowers Triglycerides in Diabetes Patients in a Large Clinical Trial" http://www.plantmedicinenews.com/2018/02/mangiferin-found-mangoes-lowers-triglycerides-diabetes-patients-large-clinical-trial/
WebMD "Pectin" https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-500/pectin
Heiting, Gary OD, "Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Eye and Vision Benefits" https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm
Busti, Anthony MD, "The Mechanism for Vitamin A Improvements in Night Vision" https://www.ebmconsult.com/articles/vitamin-a-eye-vision-mechanism
"Benefits of Mangoes" http://thescienceofeating.com/2015/03/15/benefits-of-mangoes/
Fraser, Carly " 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Mangoes" https://livelovefruit.com/health-benefits-of-mango/
" Tarabans Do You Know That a Glass of Mango Juice Could Prevent You From HeatStroke?" http://taravoices.com/2016/03/27/tarabans-know-glass-mango-juice-prevent-heat-stroke/
"Serotonin and Serotonin Deficiency" https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/seritonin-and-seritonin-deficiency.html
"What is Vitamin B6?" https://getsom.com/blogs/sleep/what-is-vitamin-b6
PhilLIFE " World Class Mangoes of the Island Province, Guimaras" https://www.phillife.co/world-class-mangoes-guimaras/
Group. Edward MD, " 6 Health Benefits of Quercetin" https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-quercetin/
Axe, Josh MD. "7 Proven Benefits of Quercetin" https://draxe.com/quercetin/
"Medicinal Properties of Mango" https://www.botanical-online.com/english/mango_medicinal_properties.htm
"How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure" http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/MakeChangesThatMatter/How-Potassium-Can-Help-Control-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp#.WvnyQ6SFPIU
Mercola, Joseph MD, "Polyphenols: What They Are and Why You Need Them" https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/14/polyphenols-benefits.aspx
Axe, Josh MD, "5 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure" https://draxe.com/natural-ways-to-lower-blood-pressure/
Ekka, Sunit Sanjay "Beat the Heat with This Simple Mango Tips"https://www.physiocapsule.com/2018/04/beat-heat-with-this-simple-mango-tips.html

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  1. This some great stuff about Mango's. Too many carbs for me personally, but this is great information. Thanks for sharing!


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