Mangoes are a tropical fruit from the drupe family. This means they have a single large seed or stone in the middle. Sometimes called the “king of fruits,” mangoes are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world.
Mangoes originated in India around 5,000 years ago. Their sweet, golden flesh is now beloved around the world. Some of the most common varieties of mangoes eaten today are cultivated in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador.
Mangoes are not only delicious, but also nutritious. As with most foods, however, moderation is key. Sweet fruits like mangoes can have a lot of sugar. But fruit sugar is different from processed sugar because it’s balanced out by fiber and a host of nutrients for the body.
Sweet fruits like mangoes are also a great alternative to junk food and other unhealthy snacks. If you’re craving something sugary, grab some mango instead. Once you start phasing out the junk, you won’t crave it as much. Whole foods are more satisfying, plus they offer many health benefits.
Mango nutrition facts
Each cup of sliced mango (165 grams) contains approximately:
- 107 calories
- 3 grams of fiber
- 24 grams of sugar
- 1 gram of protein
- 25 percent daily value of vitamin A
- 76 percent daily value of vitamin C
- 257 mg of potassium
- 0.2 mg of vitamin B-6
Health benefits of mangoes
Here’s a breakdown of the many health benefits of mango, from providing essential vitamins to improving digestion.
Mango is rich in vitamin A. As noted above, 1 cup of mango has about 25 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. This vitamin has many important functions in the body, especially for the eyes and skin. It also boosts the health of your bones, as well as the reproductive and immune systems.
Mango is one of the highest food sources of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for your immune system.
It also plays a role in muscle, tendon, and bone growth. Eating mango improves plant iron absorption due to its vitamin C content. One cup of mango has 46 milligrams of vitamin C, or about 76 percent of what you should get in a day.
Mango demonstrates some exciting potential when it comes to healthy weight control. Recent research suggests that mango and its phytochemicals may actually suppress fat cells and fat-related genes.
Another study showed that mango peel inhibits the formation of fatty tissues in a way similar to the antioxidant resveratrol.
The micronutrients in mango may fight cancer, and research on breast cancer in particular is promising. In one animal study, mango decreased tumor size and suppressed cancer growth factors.
In another study, mango stopped the advancement of an early-stage breast cancer called ductal carcinoma.
Mango consumption has shown impressive results in people with chronic constipation. In research published in The Official Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, a group of people who ate mango every day had more improvement in their constipation symptoms than those who ate an equivalent amount of fiber.
The mango group also adhered to their treatment plan more easily and showed increases in healthy fatty acids and other measures of digestive wellness, like gastric secretions that aid in digestion of food.
These positive effects may be due to mango’s high water and fiber content, in addition to its healthy antioxidants.
How to eat mangoes
Fresh mango is delicious and flavorful when eaten plain. Just peel and slice it up — or simply take bites!
There are a number of other ways to eat it, too. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- 4-ingredient mango green smoothie
- seared tuna with mango salsa
- sesame kale salad with mango and blueberries
Mangoes are ripe when they are slightly soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma. Look for ripe or soon-to-be ripe mangoes at your local store or market. Stick to fresh, frozen, or no sugar added dried mango.
Moderation is key
Try to keep your mango portions reasonable (typically no more than 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried).
Mango is one of the sweetest fruits and lower in fiber than other fruits, so a good rule of thumb is not to exceed two servings a day. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that adults eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit per day. For the rest of your daily fruit intake, consider higher fiber, lower sugar options like citrus, apples, or berries that provide a range of nutrients and benefits.
If you have diabetes or another health condition that makes you sensitive to fruit or sugar, talk to your doctor about what is right for you.