Mango, an exotic fruit with a tender and tasty heart, has strong anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties and is also widely used in cosmetics. Let’s find out all the benefits of mango and some tips to make the most of this tropical fruit.
Mango is an exotic fruit typical of tropical countries, which soon spread all over the world and is now easily found in all our supermarkets. The mango tree, officially called Mangifera indica, is an evergreen tree of Indian origin, which produces large oval fruits, with a dark red, green or yellow skin and a very fragrant internal pulp, yellow or orange (depending on the variety).
There are several varieties of this fruit, some of which can even reach a weight of 1 kg, which ripen, depending on the area of origin, in different months of the year. Precisely for this reason we are allowed to find mango in all months of the year.
Mango: calories and nutritional values
First of all, let’s see if it is true that mangoes make you fat. Although by itself it does not constitute a problem for the figure, especially if inserted in a context of regular physical activity and healthy nutrition, it must be borne in mind that mango is a rather caloric fruit and, consequently, if you follow a low-calorie diet its consumption must be controlled. In fact, we consider that for every 100 grams of pulp, it provides about 56 calories. Furthermore, the glycemic index of mango is not low, but moderate and for this reason those who must follow a diet with a low glycemic index or loadmust pay attention to the consumption of this fruit.
However, as we will see below, the consumption of mango extracts have been associated with an improvement in body weight in the case of obesity. However, it remains a very nutritious fruit and particularly rich in sugars, which make it ideal for athletes and students looking for energy. Like most fruits, it is rich in water, low in fats and proteins but very rich in some minerals such as potassium (100 grams of mango cover about 6.5% of the daily requirement), magnesium (6.2% of the daily requirement ), copper (more than 10% of the daily requirement) and manganese.
Its vitamin content does not disappoint either: vitamin C (28 mg for a daily requirement of approx. 80-100 mg), vitamin B6, vitamin E and folates (about 10% of the daily requirement) are well represented. and equally well represented is beta-carotene. Let’s see in detail the nutritional values expressed per 100 g of mango pulp in the table below.
Nutritional values per 100g of mango:
- Waterfall: 82.8 g
- kcal: 56
- Proteins: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
- of which sugars: 12.6 g
- Fibers: 1.6 g
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Potassium: 250 mg
- Phosphorus: 11 mg
- Soccer: 7 mg
- Magnesium: 13 mg
- Iron: 0.5 mg
- C vitamin: 28 mg
- Folate: 43 µg
- Thiamine (Vit. B1): 0.02 mg
- Riboflavin (Vit. B2): 0.04 mg
- Pantothenic acid: 0.16 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.13 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.52 ugr
- Beta-carotene: 3198 µg
- Glycemic index: 50
- Cholesterol: 0 g
Mango: nutritional properties
As we have seen, mango contains several minerals and vitamins that are essential for our health. In addition to what has already been said, we must remember some substances particularly studied for their antioxidant properties. Among these substances we find various polyphenols such as quercetin and gallic acid and lupeol, a triterpene studied for its multiple properties, which we will see later. So let’s explore together the properties of some of the substances most represented in the mango fruit.
- Potassium: mango is a good source of this mineral, involved in various physiological processes such as muscle contraction, the maintenance of a correct hydro-saline balance and the regulation of blood pressure;
- Magnesium: mineral with multiple properties, essential for the well-being of the nervous system, for the construction of the skeleton and for the metabolism of fats. Magnesium is also contained in good quantities in the mango fruit;
- Vitamin C: mango is rich in this vitamin which has a good antioxidant action, is useful for the immune system, is involved in the synthesis of collagen and is important for the assimilation of iron;
- Vitamin E: the most important antioxidant vitamin we have in our body. Its deficiency can cause hemolysis of erythrocytes, muscle and neuronal problems;
- Folate: Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is essential for the synthesis of nucleic acids, erythrocytes and some amino acids.
Furthermore, as we anticipated, mango is rich in lupeol, a small molecule that seems to have important anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, while not showing any toxicity at the doses normally used.
Finally, a last polyphenol that is catalyzing multiple attentions on itself is mangiferin, of which mango is the most abundant source. This substance, extensively studied in recent years, has been shown to have various properties: analgesic, antimicrobial, antiviral, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antidiabetic.
Mango: health benefits
The components just seen, give the mango beneficial properties for health. In particular, the mango fruit has long been recognized for its beneficial properties against all those pathologies of an inflammatory nature.
But in addition to these properties, which we will now see together in detail, we have also recently noticed the benefits that can be obtained from parts of the mango that would otherwise be discarded and not used, such as the stone.
The core, in particular, allows the extraction of mango oil, an oil that does not lead to the formation of trans fatty acids and which has several molecules with an antioxidant action. Let’s now highlight, one by one, the benefits of consuming fresh mango or its extracts.
✓ Benefits in case of neuropathic pain
It has been shown that the use of mango extracts, thanks to the action of mangiferin, has not only anti-oxidant, but also anti-inflammatory effects. Mangiferin is able to inhibit the production of some pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNFalpha. For this reason, the mango extract is to be considered an aid in the treatment and prevention of neuropathic pain.
✓ Benefits in reducing body weight
Several studies have been conducted both in animal models and in humans to test the ability of mango extract to prevent obesity. Thus it was shown that mangiferin is able to prevent weight gain in mice, despite a diet high in sugar or fat. In humans, this extract has been found to help reduce body weight, without presenting undesirable effects.
✓ Benefits in case of high cholesterol
The use of mango extract was also useful in improving the lipid profile and in particular its effect on total cholesterol and triglyceride values and on the balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol was demonstrated. Furthermore, the use of mango extract has led to an improvement in cardiovascular risk indices.
✓ Helps prevent diabetes and insulin resistance
In several studies conducted on mice, mango fruit has been shown to improve blood glucose and insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. This effect, therefore, can prevent diabetic pathology. Human studies conducted so far have confirmed an improvement in insulin resistance, but not in blood glucose and insulin values.
✓ Anticancer activity
Finally, as anticipated, mango has anticancer properties, thanks to the presence of lupeol. This triterpene has pharmacological power and is able to inhibit cell mutagenesis both in vivo and in vitro and to stimulate the death of various tumor cell lines.
✓ Other properties of mango
The lupeol contained in the mango also plays an important role in slowing down the aging process, a fight also supported by vitamin C, which stimulates the production of collagen. In this regard, however, we remind you that vitamin C is a vitamin subject to degradation, especially in contact with the air: so, if you can, choose fruits of known origin and hurry to consume them after purchase! Thanks to mango, therefore, it is possible to have a better cell turnover. It is no coincidence that this fruit is also used in aesthetics to cure some problems.
The presence of fibers then makes mango perfect for fighting constipation and improving intestinal transit. However, this fruit also contains high amounts of FODMAPs: beware of those of you who are sensitive to these foods. In addition, this exotic fruit helps to counteract water retention and the beta-carotene contained in it makes it ideal during the summer to stimulate melanin.
How much mango to eat
As we have seen, mango is a fruit rich in benefits. But how much to eat? A portion of mango is equivalent to about 150 grams of pulp, therefore, considering that a mango weighs about 300/400 grams, a portion is equivalent to about half a fruit, excluding the stone and the peel from the weight. This quantity, if consumed regularly, is sufficient to guarantee us all the properties of this delicious fruit.
How to eat mango: usage tips
The mango must be eaten exclusively without the peel: the only part of the fruit that must be consumed is therefore the pulp. Once the peel has been removed, this fruit can be eaten fresh in small pieces (after removing the stone), as a “spoon” fruit or it can be transformed by the food industry (or at home) into different preparations such as chutney, a sauce typical of south-eastern cuisine, in mango juice or dried mango, a product often found in industrial muesli. To make dried mango at home it is very useful to have a dryer, in which to insert the pieces of the fruit and dry them at low temperatures.
In addition to being eaten raw, mango can also be eaten cooked: for a dinner with oriental tones, for example, this fruit can be grilled and accompanied with meat or fish dishes. Finally, remember that mango is a fruit that is fully included among the ingredients of tropical juices. Absolutely to try is the extract prepared with the pulp of one mango and half a pineapple!
Uses of mango in cosmetics
Mango is used in the aesthetic field to effectively treat acne, dry and sensitive skin. Thanks to the precious B vitamins, mango hair wraps help fight dryness and split ends.
A natural remedy based on mango involves the use of its stone, still provided with a part of the pulp, to be passed on the skin of the face also performing a light massage. The substances must act for at least 5 minutes, so as to purify the skin in depth. Then rinse very carefully.
Those suffering from sensitive skin, dryness or dehydration, can opt for mango butter, which contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Mango: contraindications and potential negative effects
Apart from the moderate glycemic index, which as we have already said does not go well with low glycemic load diets, mango has no other particular contraindications. More precisely, therefore, in the case of full -blown type 2 diabetes, the consumption of mango is not entirely contraindicated, but particular attention must be paid: do not consume it in excessively large quantities and insert it, possibly, within a larger meal. and not rich in carbohydrates.
We also want to remember that the fruit must be eaten without peel, which instead can cause allergic dermatitis. Furthermore, as we have seen, mango contains high amounts of FODMAPs, which makes it a food not recommended for those suffering from irritable bowel.
Finally, ripe mango can have some side effects and irritants as many people can be allergic to this fruit, with manifestations that especially affect the tongue and lips. Particular attention especially in case of adverse reactions already experienced against ivy and oak.