The Health Benefits of Mangoes
The original wild mango, which is still grown in India and Southeast Asia today, is a far cry from the juicy and delicious cultivated mangoes we now eat. The mango belongs to the same family as the cashew and pistachio. The tropical mango is the national fruit of India, where it was first cultivated as early as 2000 BCE. Portuguese explorers introduced the mango into Africa and Brazil in the 16th century, and mangoes were being grown in Hawaii and Florida by the 19th century.
In India mangoes are considered to be a symbol of life, and mango leaves are used for decoration in festival celebrations and weddings. Indian mango chutney is perhaps the original chutney, and has become popular worldwide.
Today India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes, with China, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil other major producers.
Mangoes are an excellent source of carotenes, vitamin C, and copper. They are a very good source of B vitamins. Mangoes are a good source of vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium.
|Mango, raw||Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||272 kJ (65 kcal)|
|* Carbohydrates||17.00 g|
|Dietary fiber||1.8 g|
|* Fat||0.27 g|
|* Protein||.51 g|
|* Vitamin A||765 IU|
|Carotene, beta||445 mcg|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.058 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.057 mg|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.584 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.160 mg|
|* Vitamin B6||0.134 mg|
|* Folate (Vit. B9)||14 ?g|
|* Vitamin C||27.7 mg|
|* Calcium||10 mg|
|* Iron||0.13 mg|
|* Magnesium||9 mg|
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.
In a study conducted at the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, mango juice and methanol extracts were tested for antioxidant and anticancer activity. The results demonstrated that mango juice and methanol extracts of mango juice inhibits the growth cycle of cancer cells.
In other research that tested mango polyphenol extracts in vitro on colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancers, mango extract showed some impact on lung, leukemia and prostate cancers but was most effective on the most common breast and colon cancers and the mango polyphenolics did not harm the normal cells.
Lupeol, a triterpene present in mango and other fruits and vegetables, has shown to possess anti cancer properties. A study has demonstrated the effectiveness of lupeol and mango pulp extract in arresting prostate cancer cell growth. Another study has shown lupeol to be effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells, a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Lupeol was not only found to suppress tumor growth, but also to impair head and neck (includes the nose, oral cavity, salivary gland, etc.) cancer cell invasion.
Mango peel may be irritating to the skin since it contains urushiol, a substance that can cause an allergic skin reaction.
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.
2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology.
3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
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5. Prasad S, Kalra N, Shukla Y. Induction of apoptosis by lupeol and mango extract in mouse prostate and LNCaP cells. Nutr Cancer. 2008 Jan-Feb;60(1):120-30. PMID: 18444143.
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