Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Their sweet and tangy taste makes them a favorite ingredient for desserts, smoothies and salsas while its juice is refreshing for the summer. Although they’re one of the sweeter fruits, mangoes have several varieties that can be more sour than sweet and more green or orange than yellow.
Despite their differences, however, all varieties are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. For one, mangoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A, providing 76 percent and 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of the two nutrients, respectively.
5 health benefits of mangoes
Mangoes confer various health benefits including:
1. Help boost immunity
Mangoes are rich in nutrients that play an important role in immune health such as vitamins C and A. Both nutrients are antioxidants that play a protective role against oxidative damage that could lead to cancer.
In addition, vitamin A is beneficial for the skin and mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses and mouth.
2. Keep eyes healthy
Zeaxanthin in mangoes is an antioxidant that is linked to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration or AMD, which is one of the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness. Research has found that eating three or more fruits a day can help slow down and lower the risk of AMD.
3. Help improve heart health
Research on animals found that mangiferin, an antioxidant in mango, can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and programmed cell death in heart cells. Additional research also found that it helps lower blood cholesterol, triglyceride and free fatty acid levels. (Related: Superfood: Mango helps prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.)
4. Aid digestion
Mangoes are also good for digestion, according to studies. A group of researchers gave mangoes to people with chronic constipation for four weeks and found that the participants had significant improvements in the symptoms of constipation. This is because mangoes are rich in fiber and amylase, both of which help improve gut health. Amylase, in particular, is a digestive enzyme that enhances gut bacterial composition and helps break down large food molecules for better absorption.
5. Boosts skin and hair health
Vitamins C and A in mangoes promote healthy skin and hair. Vitamin C plays an essential role in collagen production; collagen is a protein that gives structure to the skin and hair and is known to combat the sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
On the other hand, vitamin A boosts hair growth and sebum production, which keeps your scalp moisturized and your hair healthy. It is also found to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. (Related: Why mango is an undeniable ‘superfruit’ you should be eating more frequently.)
Recipes for mangoes
Although mangoes are delicious in itself, there are a variety of ways to incorporate it into a meal or snack:
Fresh mango salsa
You’ll need 15 minutes to prepare this salsa.
Ingredients for 3 cupfuls of serving:
- 3 ripe diced mangos
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 chopped cup red onion
- 1/4 chopped cup fresh cilantro,
- 1 chopped medium red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- a pinch of salt
- Combine the diced mangoes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro and bell pepper in a bowl.
- Add the lime juice and mix.
- Season with salt.
- Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes
Honey mango smoothie
The preparation time is 10 minutes.
- 1 cup chopped mango
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 and 1/2 cups of ice cubes
- 1 banana
- 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon honey
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Snapper, shrimp and mango ceviche
The savory dish takes about 40 minutes to prepare.
- 1 chopped mango
- 2 chopped avocados
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 medium shallot sliced into thin rounds
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces rock shrimp, sliced in half lengthwise
- 8 ounces of red snapper filet, skinless, boneless, and cut into 1/2 pieces
- 1-14 ounces of hearts of palm, drained and sliced crosswise
- 6 roasted red peppers from a jar, finely chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cups chopped basil and cilantro
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse sea salt to taste
- Combine orange juice, lime juice, shallot and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
- Add the shrimp and red snapper, and season with salt. Toss to combine.
- Let the mixture sit, tossing only occasionally within a period of 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add the mango, avocado, hearts of palm, red peppers, basil-cilantro blend, and oil to ceviche.
- Toss to coat.
Start adding more mangoes to your diet. Not only are they nutritious — mangoes are also delicious and refreshing which makes them a perfect fruit for the summer.
Fresh.news has more on the various uses of mangoes.