What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Mangoes?

If you’ve ever been to India or Southeast Asia, you might have noticed grocery stores and fruit stands filled to the brim with a particular type of fruit: mango. Indeed, the mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the mango tree (Mangifera indica L.) is the national tree of Bangladesh. These sweet and colorful fruits have been cultivated for thousands of years because of their delicious flavor and impressive health benefits. The good news is that these exotic, tropical fruits are also readily available right here in the United States. 

Facts About Mangoes   

With around 55 million metric tons produced each year, mangoes are a type of stone fruit that are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Though they originated in Southeast Asia, they are now grown in tropical and subtropical parts of South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. There are hundreds of different types of mangoes, and most are able to be produced all year round. This has also made the mango valuable in commercial settings as an ingredient in juice concentrates and other fruit products. 

The mango trees themselves are impressive as well, with evergreen leaves that start out orange or red before maturing to a deep green color; they can also live to be up to several hundred years old. It typically takes about four to five months for a mango fruit to grow and ripen on the tree, and the resulting fruit can be either yellow, red, orange, or green. Depending on the variety, ripe mangoes can weigh anywhere from about five ounces to nearly five pounds. 

Nutritional Content of Mangoes   

Beyond being a juicy and delicious snack, mangoes also have more than 20 different vitamins and minerals that the body can use for all sorts of purposes. According to the nutrient fact database from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of mango has 99 calories, 1.4 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat, 24.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. While the calorie and carb count may seem high, that’s only because it is a nutrient-dense fruit that is filling and very healthy. 

Additional Health Benefits of Mangoes  

Being health conscious goes beyond calories and macronutrients, however; that same one cup of mango provides 60 mg of vitamin C, which is around 75% of the daily recommended value. Mangoes are also great sources of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin B6 as well as minerals like potassium, folate, calcium, and copper. These nutrients are used by our cells for many different purposes, and they are a boon for numerous aspects of health: 

  • Immune system: The high vitamin C content of mangoes makes them beneficial for maintaining various body tissues (such as blood vessels and collagen) as well as boosting the immune system’s ability to heal the body and fend off pathogens. 
  • Antioxidants: In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, mangoes are also a good source of beta-carotene. These two antioxidants are helpful in protecting our body from free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and can lead to a variety of chronic diseases. 
  • Digestive health: Sufficient dietary fiber is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy digestive system through its impact on bowel motility and the gut microbiome. The fiber content in mangoes accounts for around 10% of the recommended daily amount. 
  • Better sleep: Vitamin B6 is considered an essential nutrient, and, among its other uses, it is important in the production of serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that are important for healthy sleeping habits. A serving of mangoes has around 8% of the recommended daily value.  
  • Reduced cancer risk: Carotenoids like beta-carotene are responsible for the pigment in mangoes and many other types of fruit. Research has shown that carotenoids may reduce the risk of colon cancer and shrink breast cancer cells. 
  • Improved vision: Mangoes are a good source of vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lutein, three substances that have antioxidant properties. There is also evidence that they can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and improve overall eye health.  
  • Inflammation: The antioxidants present in mangoes also have anti-inflammatory properties that can improve conditions like arthritis. 
  • Cardiovascular health: The magnesium and potassium content of mangoes is thought to contribute to lower blood pressure, and there is also evidence that a polyphenol called mangiferin may reduce heart inflammation. 

Ways to Prepare and Use Mangoes         

As beautiful as fresh mangoes are on the outside, it’s only the inner flesh that is typically eaten. In addition to having a leathery texture and waxy finish, mango skin contains an oily compound called urushiol. Urushiol is the same substance that is found in poison ivy and that can cause an itchy rash in some people who are susceptible. Yet even those who won’t develop a rash tend to avoid the skin because it has a bitter and unpleasant flavor. 

After peeling the skin, the mango can be sliced or diced into any size. When slicing, it’s also important to be mindful of the flat stone pit in the center that most knives won’t be able to get through. You’ll be able to tell that the mango is ripe if you squeeze it and there’s a little give. The flesh of a ripe mango should be bright orange or yellow and is ready to eat raw or be used in any number of ways. Below are some common uses for this sweet fruit that has a hint of tartness:  

  • smoothie: add mango to a smoothie by itself or with strawberry, banana, pineapple, or almost any other tropical fruit 
  • jam: mango can also be made into a spreadable jam or jelly that can go great on toast 
  • chutney: when cooked, the mild sweetness of mango can be made into a chutney or sauce that pairs well with many savory dishes 
  • fish: when mixed with some acidity—as in a tangy mango salsa—it can be a welcome addition to a fish dish
  • grilled: thicker slices of mango can be grilled and included in a barbecue spread 
  • sorbet: when enjoyed in sorbet form, mango imparts a bright, clean flavor that’s perfect as a desert or a palate cleanser 
  • cocktails: frozen cubes of mango can also be added to cocktails 

Mango as an Ingredient

Mangoes have long been a major food staple in many countries around the world, and they have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. This is especially true in food production settings where mango flavor can be an exciting and exotic addition to fruit juices, soft drinks, hard seltzers, cocktail mixes, and a wide variety of products. Moreover, improvements in agricultural techniques have made mangoes available year round. 

Quality Ingredients from FruitSmart

For decades now, FruitSmart has been a premium supplier of high-quality fruit and vegetable-based juices and ingredients. With state-of-the-art processing facilities and raw produce sourced from only the best growers, we are confident we can provide any product to meet any need. At FruitSmart, we are passionate about partnering with you and working with you to help you deliver the best final product to your customers. To learn more about mango juice concentrate or for any other questions, contact us today. 

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