Mangoes are sweet, creamy fruits that have a range of possible health benefits. They are highly popular around the world.

The mango is a member of the drupe family. This is a type of plant food with a fleshy outer section that surrounds a shell, or pit. This pit contains a seed. Olives, dates, and coconuts are also part of this family.

There are many different kinds of mango. They vary in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. Although mango skin can be green, red, yellow, or orange, its inner flesh is mostly golden yellow.

This feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. In this article, we explore the many benefits of mangoes, explain their nutritional breakdown, and provide a few healthful recipe ideas.

Consuming mangoes can help protect and strengthen the body in several ways. The sections below discuss these benefits in more detail.

Age-related macular degeneration

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The zeaxanthin in mangoes may prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Mangoes contain an antioxidant called zeaxanthin.

A 2019 review suggests that zeaxanthin may play a protective role in eye health and could prevent damage from macular degeneration. This is an eye condition that gets worse with age.

The review cites the anti-inflammatory properties of zeaxanthin as a possible cause of this protective mechanism.

Cancer

A 2014 study from Japan found that carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables such as mangoes may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Also, the Skin Cancer Foundation suggest that a diet high in beta-carotene content can help protect against skin cancer. Orange fruits and vegetables, such as mangoes, contain beta-carotene. They also suggest that it can boost the action of the immune system against disease.

Diabetes

A 2019 mouse study into mango leaves found that some plant compounds had a powerful effect on risk factors for diabetes. These included lower body weight, reduced blood sugar levels, and lower levels of fats in the blood.

This study does not clarify whether or not mango flesh provides the same benefits. However, one 2014 study found that eating freeze-dried mangoes reduced blood sugar levels in people with obesity.

Heart disease

The fiber, potassium, and vitamin content in mangoes all help keep the arteries working and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Increasing potassium and decreasing sodium in the diet are among the most important dietary changes a person can make to reduce their risk of high blood pressure.

Skin and hair

Mangoes also support hair health, as they provide a good amount of vitamin A. This nutrient helps the skin provide an oily substance called sebum, which moisturizes the hair. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

One cup of sliced mango provides 60.1 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C. This is most of a person's daily requirement, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Consuming enough vitamin C supports the development and maintenance of collagen. This provides structure to the skin and hair.

One 165-gram (g) cup of sliced, raw mango provides:

Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They can contribute heavily to the daily requirement for several nutrients, including:

NutrientPercentage of daily requirement in adults
Vitamin C66.78% for males, and 80.13% for females
Vitamin A9.9% for males, and 12.73% for females
Folate17.75%
Vitamin B-615.08%
Vitamin K5.77% for males, and 7.7% for females
Potassium5.89%

Mangoes also contribute copper, calcium, and iron to the diet, as well as the antioxidants zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.

It is best not to judge the ripeness of a mango by its color. People should look for fresh mangoes that yield slightly to the touch when they are ripe.

Mangoes should not have black freckles on the skin. They will continue to ripen at room temperature. When they reach the ideal ripeness, it is best to store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for no longer than 2–3 days.

Mangoes taste best when slightly chilled, if not eaten straight from the tree. One of the best ways to enjoy a fresh mango is by dicing it and eating it without any extra ingredients.

Other options include:

  • making a tropical fruit salad with fresh papaya, pineapple, and mango
  • muddling mango into a glass of lemonade, iced tea, or water for a burst of fresh, fruity flavor
  • making a fresh salsa with papaya, mango, jalapeno, red peppers, and chipotle pepper, and using this as a topper for fish tacos
  • adding a few slices of frozen mango to smoothies and combining them with pineapple juice, frozen strawberries, and Greek yogurt for a sweet, tropical treat

Alternatively, people can try the following recipe for black bean burgers with chipotle mango guacamole. It provides a combination of plant-based proteins and complex carbs with an additional antioxidant boost.

Black bean burgers

Use the following ingredients to make these wholesome plant burgers:

  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) chia seeds
  • one 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • a handful of cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons (tbsp) diced onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. Mix the chia seeds with 2 tbsp of water, and let the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add all ingredients, except the flour and olive oil, to a food processor. Stir the chia seed mix and add it to the food processor. Pulse until well-combined.
  3. Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Remove the bean mix from food processor and place in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the flour and olive oil, and form four patties.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until slightly crisp on the outside and warm on the inside.
  6. Toast two whole grain buns and serve them topped with chipotle mango guacamole.

Chipotle mango guacamole

The following ingredients add the mango punch to this flavorsome meal:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup of diced onion
  • 2 dried chipotle chillies, chopped and with most seeds removed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice from half a lime
  • half a small mango, diced

Preparation

  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Stir in half of the diced tomatoes and all of the onion and chilies.
  3. Cook for 5–10 minutes, until the onion and chilies soften.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat.
  5. Place in a medium bowl and allow to cool.
  6. Add the avocado, lime juice, and mango.
  7. Stir the mixture.

People with an allergy to latex may have a cross-reaction to mangoes.

People should try to adopt a well-rounded, varied diet. This provides access to a broad range of nutrients, rather than focusing on the benefits of one particular fruit or vegetable.

Q:

Are mangoes similar to guavas in terms of nutritional content?

A:

Mangoes, like guavas, are a tropical fruit. They provide more beta-carotene, carbohydrates, and sugar than guavas, but otherwise, guavas beat mangoes in most nutrient categories.

In a 1 cup serving (165 g), gauvas have 6 more g of fiber, twice as much magnesium, six times more vitamin C, 2.5 times more potassium, and 1,735 times more lycopene.

When faced with a choice between guavas or mangoes, choose guavas for a more nutrient-dense fruit.

Natalie Butler, RD, LD Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.