Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Ariana Fiorita, RDN
May improve immunity
Mangoes are a rich source of essential vitamins that boost immunity. The fruit contains vitamin C. This nutrient possesses antioxidant properties that may improve immune health.
A study conducted by Hohenheim University found that mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that helps enhance the immune system.
Vitamin A is another important nutrient in mangoes that boosts immunity. This vitamin may fight against infectious diseases.
May reduce the risk of heart disease
Including mangoes in a balanced diet could help reduce body fat and control blood sugar levels. This fruit offers potassium and magnesium that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
A study conducted by the RWTH Aachen University found that intake of magnesium may improve heart health. Potassium acts as a vasodilator. It may help reduce stress on the blood vessels and promote cardiac function.
Mangoes are a rich source of beta-carotene. Carotenoids may reduce heart disease risk by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in the arteries.
Mangoes are also rich in another compound named mangiferin. As per a study conducted by the University of Madras, mangiferin lowered the cholesterol levels in lab rats.
Mangiferin supplementation was also found to increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol.
May improve digestive health
Mangoes contain digestive enzymes like amylases. These break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. This may help improve the digestive process, though more research is warranted in this aspect. A study conducted by the Texas A&M University found that the polyphenols in mangoes may relieve the symptoms of constipation.
May support eye health
The vitamin A and beta-carotene in mangoes may help boost eye health. The severest cases of vitamin A deficiency can even lead to blindness. Vitamin A improves eye health and vision. Specifically speaking, the vitamin is essential for the optimal functioning of the cornea.
The human eye has two major carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Fruits of various colors, in general (including mangoes) are a rich source of zeaxanthin and invariably help improve eye health. Mangoes also contain lutein that promotes vision health.
According to a Boston study, cryptoxanthin (another carotenoid in mangoes) was found to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration in elderly Japanese.
May reduce cancer risk
The pulp of the mango fruit contains carotenoids, ascorbic acid, terpenoids, and polyphenols that are said to possess anticancer properties. Mangoes are also found to contain unique antioxidants that are absent in other fruits and vegetables. A study conducted by Texas University found that the polyphenols in mangoes have anti-carcinogenic effects that may help decrease oxidative stress (oxidative stress can increase the risk of chronic diseases like cancer).
The anticancer properties of mango are also attributed to mangiferin, a compound primarily found in the fruit. Another mice study conducted in 2015 found that mango polyphenols may suppress breast cancer. Mangiferin has also been found to inhibit the growth of colon and liver cancer cells.
A mouse study conducted by the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre found that lupeol, a triterpene found in mangoes, may help fight against prostate cancer. In animal studies, the polyphenolics found in mangoes were also found to suppress tumor growth in breast cancer.
May help treat diabetes
Eating mangoes may help treat 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.
Another study conducted by the Central Food Technological Research Institute proved that the extract of a mango peel has antidiabetic properties. Another study conducted by the Suzuka University of Medical Science showed that the mangiferin in mangoes may have beneficial effects in those with type 2 diabetes.
May treat anemia
Mangoes contain iron. They may help individuals and pregnant women with anemia when taken along with other iron-rich foods.
The vitamin C in mangoes can help with the proper absorption of iron in the body.
May promote brain health
Mangoes contain vitamin B6. When taken along with other foods rich in vitamin B6, it may promote brain health. Some research shows that vitamin B6 deficiency could increase the risk of depression and seizures.
A mice study conducted by the Ram-Eesh Institute of Vocational and Technical Education proved that mango extracts contain certain principles that may enhance memory. Another Thailand study stated that mango extracts may protect against mild cognitive impairment.
However, we need more studies to further understand the cognitive benefits of mangoes.
May help lower cholesterol
In a study conducted by the University of Madras, the mangiferin in mangoes was found to lower the cholesterol levels in lab rats. It was also found to increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol.
May aid weight loss
A study had emphasized the importance of the mango peel (which most of us usually throw away) in inhibiting adipogenesis, or the formation of fat cells. This may help with weight loss if coupled with the right diet and lifestyle changes.
Mangoes contain fiber and may potentially help with weight loss. In a University of Minnesota study, it was proved that dietary fiber, especially obtained from the consumption of fruits and vegetables, may aid weight loss. This is related to the ability of fiber to decrease food intake in general.
May promote liver health
Consumption of mangoes may enhance liver function. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that unripe mangoes may help in treating liver disorders. However, research is very limited to prove this claim.
May enhance skin health
A study conducted by the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine found that mango extracts may act against UVB-induced skin aging in mice.
As already discussed, mangoes are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. As per a German study, these carotenoids can help enrich skin health. Beta-carotene is also a photoprotective agent that is thought to quench the photochemical reactions in the epidermis, thereby protecting the skin from the ultraviolet rays.
According to a Chinese study, the polyphenols in mangoes exhibit anticancer activity. They may help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that mangoes may also prevent the growth of pimples and acne.
May improve hair health
Mangoes are a rich source of vitamin A that may improve hair health. In mice studies, dietary vitamin A could activate the hair follicles. This, in turn, may improve the sebum (liquid that moisturizes scalp) production and promote scalp health.
Mangoes are also rich in polyphenols that help fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress may have detrimental effects on hair health.
These are the health benefits of mangoes. In the following section, we have discussed how you can buy mangoes and store them the right way.