Health Benefits Of Mangoes
We have already seen a brief about how mangoes can be good for your health. Now, we move to the specifics. Following are the many ways mangoes can benefit you.
1. Prevent Cancer
The pulp of the mango fruit contains carotenoids, ascorbic acid, terpenoids, and polyphenols – all of which are responsible for the fruit’s cancer-preventing properties (4). Mangoes are also found to contain unique antioxidants that are absent in other fruits and vegetables (5). A Texas study conducted in 2010 also supported the anti-carcinogenic effects of mangoes (6).
The anticancer properties of mango are also attributed to mangiferin, a compound primarily found in the fruit (7). Another study conducted in 2015 found that mango polyphenols suppress breast cancer (8). Mangiferin has also been found to inhibit the growth of colon and liver cancer cells and other tumor cells as well (9).
According to a report published by the Texas A&M University, the polyphenolic compounds in mangoes have antioxidant properties that help decrease oxidative stress (oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases like cancer). In addition, these compounds were also found to be anti-inflammatory (10).
2. Prevent Heart Disease
Mangoes could help reduce body fat and control blood sugar. According to a report published by the Oklahoma State University, mangoes contain numerous minerals and phytochemicals that were found to have positive effects on body fat and glucose (11).
Mangoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that cause heart disease (12).
. Help Lower Cholesterol
Mangoes contain pectin that was found to decrease the serum cholesterol levels (13).
In another study conducted by the University of Madras, mangiferin (one of the primary compounds in mangoes) lowered the cholesterol levels in lab rats (14). It was also found to increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol (15).
4. May Help Treat Diabetes
What is the relation between mango and diabetes? A study of 20 obese adults showed that the consumption of half a fresh mango for 12 weeks results in lowered blood glucose levels. This effect, according to researchers, was attributed to the presence of fiber and mangiferin, a phytochemical (16).
Another study conducted in Mysore proved that the extract of a mango peel has antidiabetic properties (17).
A Japanese study showed that mangiferin might have beneficial effects on type 2 diabetes patients (18).
5. Promote Healthy Sex
Mangoes can be good aphrodisiacs too (19)!
The fruit is rich in vitamin E, which is known to boost sex drive (20). In an Australian study, the combination of vitamin E and beta-carotene was found to improve sperm health in men (21). This combination was also found to be the best defense against sperm damage (22). In another report published by the US National Institutes of Health, vitamin E was found to protect the sperm membrane from oxidate damage (23).
Zinc is another important mineral for male and female fertility, and mangoes are rich in it (24).
6. Improve Digestion
One primary reason mangoes are great for digestion is the presence of fiber that prevents constipation. Fiber also keeps us full for long (25). It keeps our colon clean and allows it to work optimally. In addition, mangoes contain certain digestive enzymes that break down proteins and aid digestion.
Fiber has also been found to maintain the health of the digestive tract, which invariably enhances digestion (26).
7. Mango During Pregnancy
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 (27).
8. Aid Weight Loss
Mango for weight loss? Yes, you heard it right. Certain studies have focused on the importance of not just the mango fruit, but its skin as well. The secret lies in the phytochemicals that act as natural fat busters, which are found only on the outer side of the fruit (28).
Another study conducted by the University of Queensland emphasized the importance of the mango peel (which most of us usually throw away) for weight loss (29).
Mangoes contain fiber, which can be a great contributor towards weight loss. In a University of Minnesota study, it was proved that dietary fiber, especially obtained from the consumption of fruits and vegetables, can aid weight loss (30). This is related to the ability of fiber to decrease food intake in general, thereby promoting weight loss.
9. Help Prevent Asthma
Asthma, though common, can have serious repercussions. But with a bowl of mangoes on your kitchen counter, you probably don’t have to worry much.
Mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (31). Though most studies have warranted further research on the link between vitamin C and asthma treatment, they do state that vitamin C might have beneficial effects in certain cases (32), (33).
10. Improve Eye Health
The most delicate, but one of the most important organs of your body – the eye. And coming to your eye health, mangoes are more than good. They are incredible.
The vitamin A and beta-carotene in mangoes help boost eye health (34). The severest cases of vitamin A deficiency can even lead to blindness. A report published by the Oregon State University seconds the fact. Vitamin A improves eye health and vision. Specifically speaking, the vitamin is essential for the optimal functioning of the retina (35).
The human eye has two major carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin. Mangoes are a rich source of zeaxanthin and invariably help improve eye health (36), (37).
According to a Boston study, mangoes contain a carotenoid called cryptoxanthin that was found to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration in elderly Japanese (38). And according to the University of Utah Health Care, zeaxanthin in mangoes also helps prevent macular degeneration (39).
11. Promote Brain Health
Mango, being a great source of iron and vitamin B6, is one of those ideal foods for brain health. Iron aids the normal functioning of your brain and vitamin B6 supports its cognitive development (40).
A study conducted in Greater Noida, India proved that mango extracts contain certain principles that enhance memory (41). Another Thailand study attributed the neuroprotectant properties of mangoes to its extracts (42).
12. Regulate Blood Pressure
Mangoes are rich in potassium, a key mineral that helps lower blood pressure (43), (44). As per a report published by Stanford Hospital and Clinics, mangoes are a rich source of potassium and can help prevent hypertension (45).
13. Enhance Skin Health
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and we seldom take care of it. With mangoes around the corner, this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. In a Korean study conducted in 2013, mango extracts were found to act against the UVB-induced skin aging in mice (46).
As already discussed, mangoes are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, and as per a German study, these carotenoids can help enrich skin health (47). Beta-carotene is also a photoprotective agent and it quenches the photochemical reactions in the epidermis, thereby protecting the skin from the ultraviolet rays (48).
According to a Chinese study, the polyphenols in mangoes exhibit anticancer activity and hence can prevent skin cancer (49).
Vitamin A has also been found to reduce oil production on the skin. So, if your acne has been bothering you, including mangoes in your diet can be a wise idea (50). The vitamin can also aid skin growth and repair, and reduce fine lines as well (51).
14. Improve Immunity
Being rich in vitamin C, mangoes play a major role in strengthening one’s immunity (52). Apart from vitamin C, mangoes also are a good source of zinc, which is important for maintaining the overall health of the immune system (53).
As per a study conducted in Rajasthan, India, vitamin C is known to reduce the severity of allergies and helps fight off infections (54). And according to an article published by the Oregon State University, vitamin C primarily protects the body’s cells from reactive oxygen species (that are generated by the immune system to kill pathogens) (55).
15. Can Help Treat Kidney Stones
Mangoes are rich in vitamin B6, and as per an American study, this vitamin might reduce urinary oxalate (the oxalate stones) (56). The potassium in mangoes is also found to lower the risk of kidney stones (57).
16. Boost Bone Health
The presence of vitamin A is what makes mangoes one of the good foods for bone health (58). An article published by Pomona College also supports the role of vitamin A in bone growth (59).
The vitamin C in mangoes aids the formation of collagen, which has a role to play in the making of bones and connective tissues (60).
Mangoes also contain lupeol, a compound that exhibits beneficial activity against inflammation and arthritis (61).
17. Might Treat Anemia
Given their iron content, mangoes are beneficial for individuals and pregnant women suffering from anemia (62), (63).
Mangoes, given their vitamin C content, even help in the proper absorption of iron in the body (64). This ultimately helps combat anemia.
18. Help Fight Heat Stroke
Ripe mangoes are considered refreshing. The juice can be used as a restorative tonic to fight heat stroke (65).
Raw mangoes have also been found to be energizing, allowing one to cool off the heat. Mangoes also keep the body well hydrated, which is one more reason they are preferred in hot summers.
Also, since mangoes are a rich source of potassium, they help maintain the levels of sodium in the body. This regulates the fluid level in the body and prevents heat stroke.
19. Improve Hair Health
Mangoes are rich sources of vitamin C, and hence promote collagen production for healthy hair (66). If you have dull hair and are wondering how to make it shiny, include vitamin A in your diet – it has scalp conditioning properties (67).
Orange fruits, like mangoes, are also known to provide nourishment to hair and treat dandruff (68). This can be attributed to the presence of beta-carotene.
20. Might Help Treat Diarrhea
Not the fruit, but its leaves. Mango leaves are rich in tannins and can be dried and consumed for treating diarrhea (69). In some parts of the Caribbean Islands, the mango leaf decoction is used to treat diarrhea (70).