Despite being a member of the Anacardiaceae family (as are poison ivy and poison oak) and therefore producing the irritating chemical urushiol, the mango has a much better reputation than its renowned rash-inducing relatives.
1. AIDS CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY
Mango contains an incredible compound called glutamine acid, a brain-healthy amino acid that boosts memory and concentration.
Also, the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C are known to improve memory and reasoning ability and to protect the brain from free radical damage.
2. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
Being abundant in soluble fiber, which absorbs the cholesterol-rich bile which is produced by the liver, mango lowers cholesterol levels. It contains vitamin C as well, which is crucial for the protection against damage.
3. BOOSTS IMMUNITY
The tropical fruit contains immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and multiple carotenoids. Eating more mangoes can be beneficial in preventing the cold and flu as well as other common diseases.
Since mangoes are particularly juicy, they can help you stay hydrated on a hot day. For a refreshing drink, chop up a mango, toss it in a blender with a bit of water, and add ice if necessary. It’s perfect for preventing heat stroke.
Perhaps most interestingly, mango has been found to increase virility in men and libido activity for both sexes. The vitamin E contained in high levels in mangoes assists hormone regulation and gives libido a boost.
Maybe more important in this context is the amino acid arginine, found to successfully treat erectile dysfunction.
6. EYE CARE
As mentioned above, mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, a nutrient which is crucial for eye health. It also contains large quantities of vitamin C, which is critical for immunity, production of collagen, and the absorption of iron.
Enzymes and fiber in mango aid digestion. A study of eating mango as a remedy for chronic constipation found:
“Compared to the consumption of fibre, the consumption of mango in the treatment of chronic constipation had higher subject adherence, improved parameters of intestinal evacuation, reduced the production of endotoxins, reduced inflammation, and increased the concentration of short chain fatty acids, all of which have been established to contribute to intestinal health and wellness.”
8. ALKALIZES THE BODY
Mango is an alkaline food that balances internal acid levels—a pH balance lower than neutral is linked to kidney disease, muscle impairment, and osteoporosis.
Antioxidants in mango act as anti-inflammatories in the body, with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. Fisetin is one of the phytochemicals in mango shown to support brain health.
9. FIGHTS CANCER
Mangoes contain powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, such as methylgallat, quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, and gallic acid. According to a study done at Texas A&M University, “These results of the study indicate that the cell-killing effects of mango polyphenols are specific to cancer cells, where inflammation was reduced in both cancer and non-cancer cells, seemingly through the involvement of miRNA-21 — short microRNA molecules associated with cancer…The tumor-fighting potential of mango polyphenolics may at least in part be based on those same properties which reduced cancer cell proliferation and reduce inflammation that may be involved in carcinogenesis.”
10. WEIGHT LOSS
Mango fruit works as well as pharmaceuticals in treating metabolic disorders and preventing the increase of fat mass, reducing LDL cholesterol in the process.
This may be due to the same phytochemicals that regulate blood sugar; mango itself is low on the glycemic index and stimulates pancreas function.
One study found that over a four-week period, diabetic patients’ blood sugar levels were the same as non-diabetics when their diets were supplemented with mangoes.
11. HIGH ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS
Because of its high levels of urushiol—what makes the parts of the plant other than the fruit a skin irritant—mango leaves aren’t readily available in the local supermarket.
The leaves, however, have been used since ancient times to treat many infirmities: diarrhea, anemia, asthma, insomnia, snakebite, liver disorders, and many others.
The high antioxidant content—mangiferin the most abundant—found in all parts of the mango tree (including the fruit) is responsible for its ability to regulate healthy cell activity.
Note: Those who are not fans of the mango fruit are recommended to include mango kernel flour in their diet, a flour which can be used in all baked goods.