Mangoes: Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, Diet, Healthy Recipes

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Mangoes are a popular tropical fruit that is enjoyed for their sweet, juicy flesh and vibrant colors. However, mangoes are not just tasty, but they are also packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial for our health. In this article, we will explore the nutritional facts about mangoes and how they can benefit our health.

Mango

What is Mango?

Mango is a tropical fruit that is native to South Asia but is now grown in many parts of the world. It is a large, oval-shaped fruit with smooth, thin skin that can range in color from green to yellow to red. The inside of the fruit is juicy and sweet, with a large seed in the center. Mangoes are typically eaten fresh, but they can also be used in a variety of recipes, such as smoothies, salads, chutneys, and desserts. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber and antioxidants. Mangoes are a popular fruit due to their delicious taste and versatility in cooking.

Types of a mango?

Alphonso

Also known as the “King of Mangoes,” this variety is prized for its sweet, juicy, and aromatic flesh. It has yellow-orange skin with a reddish tint.

Ataulfo

This mango has a creamy, buttery texture and a sweet flavor. It is smaller than other mango varieties and has yellow skin.

Haden

This mango has a sweet and fruity flavor, with bright red and green skin.

Keitt

This mango is large and oval-shaped, with a sweet and juicy flavor. It has green skin that turns yellow as it ripens.

Tommy Atkins

This is the most widely grown mango variety in the world. It has a sweet and slightly tart flavor, with bright red and green skin.

Kent

This mango has a sweet and juicy flavor, with greenish-yellow skin that has a red blush.

Palmer

This mango has a rich and sweet flavor, with green and yellow skin that turns orange as it ripens.

Nutritional Facts about Mangoes

Mangoes are a rich source of essential nutrients and vitamins. One cup (165 grams) of sliced mangoes contains the following:

  • Calories: 99
  • Carbohydrates: 24.7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin C: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A: 10% of the DV
  • Folate: 18% of the DV
  • Potassium: 6% of the DV
  • Copper: 20% of the DV

Health Benefits Of Mangoes

Mangoes

Promotes Digestive Health

Mangoes are an excellent source of fiber, which promotes digestive health. The fiber in mangoes can help prevent constipation, improve bowel movements, and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Additionally, mangoes contain enzymes that aid in breaking down proteins, making them easier to digest.

Boosts Immune System

Mangoes are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C helps protect the body from infections, viruses, and bacteria. It also aids in the absorption of iron and the production of collagen, which is essential for skin health.

Lowers Cholesterol

Mangoes contain high levels of fiber, pectin, and vitamin C, all of which can help lower cholesterol levels. Pectin, in particular, is known to reduce cholesterol absorption in the bloodstream.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Mangoes are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, so incorporating mangoes into your diet can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Promotes Eye Health

Mangoes contain zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that are essential for maintaining eye health. These antioxidants help protect the eyes from harmful blue light, reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and improve vision.

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Helps Fight Cancer

Mangoes contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals, which can cause cancer. Additionally, the high levels of fiber in mangoes can help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Improves Skin Health

Mangoes contain vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production. Collagen helps keep the skin firm, elastic, and youthful. Additionally, the antioxidants in mangoes help protect the skin from harmful UV rays and pollution.

Enhances Brain Function

Mangoes contain vitamin B6, which is essential for brain function. Vitamin B6 helps produce neurotransmitters that regulate mood and cognitive function. Additionally, the antioxidants in mangoes help protect the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause damage to brain cells.

Provides Energy

Mangoes are a good source of natural sugars, such as fructose and glucose, which provide a quick boost of energy. Additionally, the high levels of fiber in mangoes help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes.

Mangoes Useful in Pregnancy

  • Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium, which are important for fetal development.
  • They are also a good source of fiber, which can help alleviate constipation, a common issue during pregnancy.
  • Mangoes are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against cellular damage and inflammation.
  • Eating mangoes during pregnancy may help support healthy immune function and reduce the risk of infection.

How to Incorporate Mangoes into Your Diet

Mangoes are versatile fruit that can be eaten on their own or incorporated into various dishes. Here are some ways to include mangoes in your diet:

  • Eat sliced mangoes as a snack or dessert.
  • Blend mangoes into smoothies or juices.
  • Add diced mangoes to salads, salsas, or chutneys.
  • Use pureed mangoes as a marinade or sauce for grilled meats or vegetables.
  • Make mango sorbet or ice cream.

Healthy Recipes with mango

Mangoes

Mango Salsa

Combine diced mango with red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt for a fresh and flavorful salsa that can be served with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled fish or chicken.

Mango Smoothie

Blend frozen mango chunks with Greek yogurt, almond milk, and honey for a creamy and nutritious smoothie that is high in protein and antioxidants.

Mango and Quinoa Salad

Cook quinoa according to package instructions and toss with diced mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and a dressing made from lime juice, olive oil, and honey. This salad is packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins.

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Combine coconut milk, chia seeds, and honey in a bowl and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, add diced mango and shredded coconut for a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack.

Grilled Mango with Yogurt

Cut mango into thick slices and brush with honey. Grill the mango slices until slightly charred, then serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This is a simple and healthy dessert option.

How to Buy and Store Mangoes?

Buying Mangoes

  • Look for mangoes that are firm and heavy for their size, with smooth skin that is free of blemishes or wrinkles.
  • The color of the mango skin is not always an indicator of ripeness, so gently squeeze the mango to check for firmness. Ripe mangoes will give slightly when squeezed.
  • If you are not planning to eat the mangoes immediately, choose slightly underripe ones and allow them to ripen at room temperature for a few days.

Storing Mangoes

  • Once the mangoes are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
  • To store cut mangoes, place them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Mangoes can also be frozen for later use. Cut the mangoes into cubes or puree them and freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Side Effects of Mangoes

Mango Allergy

Some people may have an allergic reaction to mangoes, which can cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. This is typically more common in people who are also allergic to other fruits, such as peaches, or who have a latex allergy.

Skin Irritation

Mangoes contain a compound called urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy and can cause skin irritation in some people. This is more likely to occur when handling the skin or sap of the mango tree rather than consuming the fruit itself.

Digestive Issues

Mangoes are high in fiber, which can be beneficial for digestive health. However, consuming too much fiber can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Additionally, the high sugar content of mangoes can also cause digestive discomfort in some people.

Interactions with Medications

Mangoes contain compounds that may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and beta-blockers. If you are taking any medications, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming large amounts of mangoes or mango supplements.

FAQs

Can mangoes help with weight loss?

While mangoes are high in natural sugars, they are also low in calories and high in fiber, which can promote satiety and help with weight loss.

How do you know if a mango is ripe?

A ripe mango should be slightly soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma.

Can mangoes cause heartburn?

Mangoes are generally well-tolerated by most people, but some individuals may experience heartburn or acid reflux after consuming them.

Can you eat mango skin?

While mango skin is edible, it is tough and may be difficult to digest. It is recommended to peel the mango before eating it.

Are canned mangoes as nutritious as fresh ones?

Canned mangoes may contain added sugars and preservatives, which can reduce their nutritional value. Fresh mangoes are always the best option.

Conclusion

Mangoes are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and health benefits. They promote digestive health, boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and improve skin and eye health. Mangoes are also a good source of energy and can enhance brain function. To reap the benefits of mangoes, try incorporating them into your diet in various ways.