The Health Benefits of Mangoes

June 10, 2008

Green Mangoes

Brief History 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.

Nutrients in Mangoes

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
Phosphorus 11 mg
Potassium 156 mg
Zinc 0.04 mg
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

Mangoes for Cancer Prevention

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.

Mangoes for Digestion

Mangoes contain digestive enzymes that help break down proteins and aid digestion.

Mangoes for Giardia

Giardia is a water-borne parasite that can infect humans and animals and cause severe diarrhea and other symptoms. A study conducted in Mexico to determine the effectiveness of 14 different plant extracts against giardia, found mango extract to demonstrate antigiardiasic properties.

Mangoes for Kidney Stones

Studies have found lupeol from mangoes and other fruit to be effective in reducing the risk of kidney stone formation.

Mangoes as an Anti-Inflammatory

The Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology in Germany has found that compounds extracted from mango peels have potent anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Glycemic Index of Mangoes

In a study to determine the glycemic index of various foods, it was concluded that mangoes have a low – intermediate GI of 50 – 60.

Adverse Reactions from Mangoes

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.
4. Percival SS, Talcott ST, Chin ST, Mallak AC, Lounds-Singleton A, Pettit-Moore J. Neoplastic transformation of BALB/3T3 cells and cell cycle of HL-60 cells are inhibited by mango (Mangifera indica L.) juice and mango juice extracts. J Nutr. 2006 May;136(5):1300-4. PMID: 16614420.
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.
6. Saleem M, Kaur S, Kweon MH, Adhami VM, Afaq F, Mukhtar H. Lupeol, a fruit and vegetable based triterpene, induces apoptotic death of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells via inhibition of Ras signaling pathway. Carcinogenesis. 2005 Nov;26(11):1956-64. Epub 2005 Jun 15. PMID: 15958516.
7. Lee TK, Poon RT, Wo JY, Ma S, Guan XY, Myers JN, Altevogt P, Yuen AP. Lupeol suppresses cisplatin-induced nuclear factor-kappaB activation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and inhibits local invasion and nodal metastasis in an orthotopic nude mouse model. Cancer Res. 2007 Sep 15;67(18):8800-9. PMID: 17875721.
8. Knödler M, Conrad J, Wenzig EM, Bauer R, Lacorn M, Beifuss U, Carle R, Schieber A. Anti-inflammatory 5-(11’Z-heptadecenyl)- and 5-(8’Z,11’Z-heptadecadienyl)-resorcinols from mango (Mangifera indica L.) peels. Phytochemistry. 2008 Feb;69(4):988-93. Epub 2007 Dec 21. PMID: 18155258.
9. Malini MM, Lenin M, Varalakshmi P. Protective effect of triterpenes on calcium oxalate crystal-induced peroxidative changes in experimental urolithiasis. Pharmacol Res. 2000 Apr;41(4):413-8. PMID: 10704264.

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  1. Deon Van Tonder

    May 10, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I would like to know if dringking mangoe juice is healthy or not? Please comment

    • MsNikD

      July 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

      I make a smoothie every day using 1 mango, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and 1/2 cup of cream of coconut (to sweeten). I don’t add ice as all of my ingredients are refrigerated.

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