The Many Benefits of Mangoes You Haven’t Heard About Yet

Featured Image “Mangoes” by Jennifer Ryan Kelly. 2021. Graphic

Eat them fresh, dried, in a smoothie, or in a salsa: mangoes are one of the most popular favorite-fruits in the world today, and for good reason! The benefits of mangoes seem almost endless when we start listing them out, so you’ll learn that they’re clearly a great choice.

Since 2005, mango consumption in the United States of America has increased by at least 82 percent because mangoes today are more accessible, of higher quality, and come in multiple varieties. The vast number of both sweet and savory recipes that feature the sweet stone fruit have definitely made mangoes an appealing option for people all over the world. India leads the way in global mango production, growing them in flowering trees in tropical climates, producing over 20 million metric tons of mangoes every year; That’s more than half of the total number of this superfruit produced worldwide! Now that we’ve seen how popular mangoes have become, let’s take a look at why so many people are putting mangoes in their shopping bags: Here are some of the benefits of mangoes that you might not have known!

Pile of green and orange mangoes filling the screen

NUTRIENTS IN MANGOES

While mangoes taste amazing and look tropically beautiful, the many benefits of mangoes mainly trace back to all of the nutrients packed inside of them! Here are the nutrients loaded inside of your favorite stone fruit:

nutrition label for 3/4 cup of mango pieces

BENEFITS FOR YOUR HEART

Cardiogram chart with red heart

Studies have shown that the benefits of mangoes for your heart are plentiful! According to a study conducted in 2018 by the University of California, healthy women who were post-menopausal experienced improved blood pressure after eating just two cups of mangoes each day. Even more surprisingly, some of these improvements occurred as quickly as two hours after eating the mangoes

Test subjects had their pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure measured at a baseline level and again after consuming mangoes, and both pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure were lowered after the test subjects consumed mangoes. These benefits of mangoes can likely be attributed to the polyphenols, or organic micronutrients, present in the fruit, according to the researchers who conducted the study. Some of the polyphenols present in mangoes include mangiferin, quercetin, gallotannins, and gallic acid.

Mangiferin, the polyphenol listed previously, may also have the ability to reduce inflammation of the heart, according to some early studies. The mango’s polyphenols and their positive effects may lead to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and, therefore, a much healthier heart.

Furthermore, two of the main nutrients present in the mango are magnesium and potassium. Just one mango can provide your body with 8% of your recommended daily value of magnesium and 16% of your recommended daily value of potassium. Magnesium works to relax you and your muscles, helping to calm both your nerves and your heart. Additionally, according to the CDC, increasing your intake of potassium can lower your blood pressure and, therefore, reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. You’ll want to make sure you have enough potassium in your diet in order to maintain your body’s fluid and blood volume and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Thankfully, mangoes are an excellent source of both of these nutrients.

 

BENEFITS FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Sick of getting sick? Well, another one of the benefits of mangoes is that they help to boost your immune system! 

Mangoes contain some of the most important nutrients that your body needs to fight off germs. Vitamin C is a water soluble antioxidant that the body relies on to repair tissue & wounds and maintain the health of bones, teeth, skin, and cartilage. Vitamin C also boosts the body’s immune system, which can help the body fight off colds and flus and shorten the amount of time for which you’re sick. You’ll be happy to know that just one cup of mango provides your body with about three quarters of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C! 

Mangoes also provide your body with folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin E and several B Vitamins, which aid immunity as well. Remember that fruits and vegetables can lose Vitamin C when they’re stored for too long or cooked, so be sure to eat them as soon as possible to get as many nutritional benefits as you can!

Sliced mango cubes close-up on dark table background

BENEFITS FOR YOUR SKIN

Benefits of mangoes are plentiful for the inside of our bodies, but there are benefits for the outside of our bodies as well! Yes, along with eating mangoes, you can also use them externally!

 Mangoes contain many of the nutrients that keep our skin glowing and healthy. The potassium and magnesium that we mentioned earlier, along with helping your heart, also help your skin. Magnesium can reduce oily skin and, therefore, reduce acne. Studies have also shown that magnesium can help to reduce sun damage, treat dry skin, and calm rosacea. Potassium also provides moisture to your skin. Potassium will not be absorbed into your skin, but will make it feel softer and smoother. Vitamin C, that we also mentioned earlier, can benefit your skin as well. Vitamin C protects your skin against the UV rays of the sun and reduces inflammation. Vitamin C and Vitamin A also both promote the production of collagen, the main structural protein in our connective tissue, which can keep your skin thick and firm.

MANGO BUTTER

Mango butter is actually not made from the meat of the mango, but rather from the pit, or seed. It is, however, still packed full of the nutrients that the whole mango offers. Mango butter is a super effective vessel for getting those nutrients directly to your skin. One of the benefits of mango butter is that it is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog the pores on your face! This makes it a great face moisturizer for those of us that have acne or are more prone to breakouts from traditional moisturizers. Mango butter is also typically vegan. Mango butter can be used to help a wide range of skin ailments, such as sunburns, frostbite, acne, eczema, bug bites, and general dry skin.

a cup of bright pureed mango butter in a black handled cup with a leaf

USING EVERY PART OF YOUR MANGO

Everyone eats the meat of the mango, but there are plenty of benefits to get from the peels, seeds, and leaves as well! Every mango has a large seed, or pit, in the center; That’s why they’re known as a stone fruit. These seeds can be used in cooking to infuse a subtle mango flavor into drinks and sauces. The mango seeds can also be thoroughly dried and ground into a powder. This powder can be turned into a paste by adding water and then used to combat dandruff, prevent digestive problems, and promote healthy teeth.

 

unripe green mangoes hanging from a tree in a forest

Mango leaves also have plenty of benefits themselves. When young and green, mango leaves can be cooked and eaten. They’ve also been used to make tea by boiling them in water! Mango leaves provide your body with many of the same nutrients and polyphenols as the meat of the mango. Early studies have shown that mango leaves may have properties linked to anti-inflammation, combating diabetes, and immune system health.

While mango peels are generally bitter and waxy, they do have some amazing properties that’ll keep you from throwing them away. Similar to potatoes and apples, the skin of the mango provides your body with lots of fiber, which is essential for good digestive health and may also give your metabolism a boost. Most of the same beneficial nutrients in the mango meat are also present in the peels, which can provide many benefits for your heart, skin, and immune system; The peels just contain less sugar and carbohydrates. You can consume the mango peel by just biting directly into a mango, putting the peels into a smoothie, or baking the peels into chips.

MANGO RECIPES

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Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 people

Level: Easy

Seasonality: Mangoes grown in the US are in season May-September

2 mango lassis in clear glasses side by side

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1 cup mango pulp 250 ml, use fresh if possible from 2-3 sweet mangoes else can use canned mango pulp
  • 1 cup yogurt 240 ml, plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (cold) or cold water, to thin out the lassi
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar or adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • pistachios to garnish, optional
  • saffron strands to garnish, optional
  1. To a large bowl, add 1 cup fresh mango pulp. I got the pulp from 2 large sweet mangoes which I blended in a blender to make it smooth .
  2. You can use canned mango pulp if you can’t find sweet mangoes.
  3. To the same bowl, now add yogurt. I have used plain whole milk yogurt here.
  4. Now add cold milk (or water). I add this to thin out the lassi a bit. Also add the sugar and the cardamom powder.
  5. Blend everything until well combined. I used an immersion blender.
  6. Pour the mango lassi into serving glasses and chill before serving! You may garnish with pistachios, saffron strands before serving!

For best taste and flavor use fresh mango puree from sweet mangoes. You may use canned mango pulp if you can’t find sweet mangoes but fresh gives the best results in my opinion.

You can thin out the lassi to the consistency you prefer by using either cold milk or water.

Julie’s Mango Salsa

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Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6 people

Level: Easy

Seasonality: Mangoes grown in the US are in season May-September

a colorful salsa with red, orange, green, and purple fresh ingredients

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 2 large ripe mangoes, small diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeds removed and finely diced
  • ¼ large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • 1 lime, juice of
  1. Place the diced mango, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a medium/large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and squeeze of lime juice over top, gently toss to coat.
  2. Enjoy right away or let it rest for 30 minutes so flavors can mingle.
  3. Serve with chips, or as a condiment or side to any complimentary meal, such as bean tacos, bean & quinoa/rice burritos, and various vegan bowl meals.

Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Anthea’s Mango Cake

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Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 12 people

Level: Intermediate

Seasonality: Mangoes grown in the US are in season May-September

a slice of bright orange mango cake wih cream cheese frosting and fruit topping viewed from the side

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 3 cups (375g) plain or all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150g) cane sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of any good-quality salt
  • ~1 ½ cups (360g) mango puree (1), approx 3-4 medium-size mango
  • ⅔ cup (165g) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut,
  • ⅔ cup (150g) melted vegan butter (2)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ~¾ cup (75g) finely chopped mango, approx ¾ medium-size mango:
  • ½ cup (120g) vegan cream cheese, chilled
  • ½ cup (115g) vegan butter, chilled
  • 1 cup (100g) icing sugar (3)
  • ~1 cup (100g) mango, sliced (approx 1 medium-size mango)
  • Few spoons of berry jam
  • Coconut flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line or grease a 20cm (8-inch) round cake tin (4).
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to a medium-size mixing bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add all the wet ingredients to the bowl (except the chopped mango) and mix until just combined. Fold the chopped mango into the batter.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly on top and the middle is uncooked, cover the cake with an aluminium foil or an oven-safe plate. The cake is ready when a skewer can be inserted in the middle and it comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the cake tin for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
  4. To decorate (optional):
  5. Add the vegan cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar to a bowl. Cream until combined and smooth.
  6. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Decorate with mango, jam and coconut if desired. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Now that you’ve learned many of the benefits of mangoes for your health and seen some amazing recipes packed with mango flavor, you can start incorporating mangoes into your meals! Soon you could have a healthier heart, a stronger immune system, and moisturized skin all thanks to one superfruit. Head to your local farmers market or produce section to pick up some delicious mangoes, and let us know on our instagram if you decided to incorporate them into a recipe or ate it as a juicy snack before you even got home!

Don’t forget to check out these amazing blogs for more fun recipes:

THE SIMPLE VEGANISTA

COOK WITH MANALI

RAINBOW NOURISHMENTS

 

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Olivia deGregory

Written by Sadie Zollinger