Mangos are high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a healthy smoothie ingredient. Adding mangos to your diet will reduce the risk of disease and gut issues.
What Are Mangos?
Mangos are a tropical fruit with a sweet, slightly tart flavor. They’re native to Asia and grow on trees.
Every mango has a large pit, which contains a seed inside. When cutting a mango, it’s important to slice around the pit so you get as much flesh as possible.
The fruit is eaten fresh, frozen, dried, canned, and pureed. It’s used in both sweet and savory recipes.
Fresh and frozen mangos are delicious in smoothies. They work well with other tropical ingredients, like pineapple and coconut milk.
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12 Mango Health Benefits
1. Lowers Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress can lead to chronic conditions if it continues for too long. This includes heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Eating mango can help reduce the risk. It’s high in antioxidants, which naturally fight oxidative stress.
One example is mangiferin, an antioxidant only found in mango. Mangiferin protects cells from different types of damage.
Other antioxidants in mango include polyphenols, vitamin C, lutein, and beta-carotene.
2. Improves Gut Health
As a rich source of fiber, mango is great for the gut. The fiber makes bowel movements more regular and comfortable, which can relieve digestive issues.
Eating enough fiber might also reduce the risk of digestive conditions, including hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
The polyphenols in mango help gut health too. They have prebiotic properties, meaning they balance gut bacteria and keep them healthy.
A balanced gut is essential for good digestion. Additionally, gut bacteria is needed to properly absorb nutrients.
3. Decreases Inflammation
Mango antioxidants, including mangiferin, have impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
These effects come from their ability to fight oxidative stress. Inflammation and oxidative stress can trigger each other, so anything that lowers one is good for the other.
The fiber in mango is good for inflammation too. Fiber balances the gut, which controls inflammation.
This promotes overall health because inflammation can lead to diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
4. Supports Healthy Eyesight
Mango is an excellent food for eye health. This is due to powerful compounds called carotenoids.
In the body, carotenoids turn into vitamin A, a key nutrient for vision. It helps the eyes detect light and tell your brain what you’re seeing.
Carotenoids are also antioxidants, meaning they can protect the eye from oxidative stress.
Vitamin C, another antioxidant in mango, is needed for healthy eyes too. Like carotenoids, it works by reducing oxidative stress.
5. Increases Feeling of Fullness
Whether you eat mango in a smoothie or on its own, the fruit will reduce hunger and increase satiety.
The fiber in mango is slowly digested by the body. It stays in the gut for a long time, making you feel full.
Also, fiber increases the production of satiety hormones. These are molecules that tell your brain you’re full.
If you’re trying to manage weight or control hunger, mango can help.
6. Helps Immune Function
Eating mango is a delicious way to get more vitamin C, an essential nutrient for immunity.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects healthy cells and reduces oxidative stress. This is important for preventing disease.
Plus, vitamin C aids immune cells in fighting germs. Immune cells work by finding bad germs and destroying them.
Without enough vitamin C, the immune system will struggle. This can increase the chances of getting sick.
7. Promotes Good Skin
Collagen is the most common protein in the body. It makes the skin strong and healthy.
Additionally, collagen is needed for proper wound healing. It ensures the injury closes up and prevents germs from entering the body.
The body can make collagen on its own, but it needs vitamin C to do it. The nutrient is necessary for the chemical process.
Since mango is high in vitamin C, eating the fruit is a natural way to support collagen levels.
8. Reduces Blood Cholesterol
High blood cholesterol happens when there’s too much cholesterol in your blood vessels. This can cause poor blood flow.
Eventually, high blood cholesterol can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. But eating fruit like mango can help.
The fruit contains soluble fiber, a type of fiber that binds with extra cholesterol in the body. When the fiber leaves in the stool, it takes cholesterol with it.
This reduces how much cholesterol is absorbed in the blood, which lowers blood cholesterol.
Mango even has some omega-3 fatty acids, or healthy fats that reduce blood cholesterol.
9. Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another risk factor for heart disease. It’s also known as hypertension.
This is when blood moves through your blood vessels with too much force. As a result, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood.
Mango contains minerals that can improve high blood pressure. Examples include potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
The fruit’s benefits for the gut can also help. An imbalanced gut can lead to high blood pressure, but the fiber in mango can keep your gut healthy and reduce the risk.
10. Boosts Hydration
Drinking water is so important for good health. It supports many functions, including digestion and body temperature.
But drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. The fluids in fruits, including mango, can contribute to your water intake.
Fresh mango is made of about 80% water. It can help increase hydration, even if you eat it on its own.
Mango is a natural source of electrolytes. These are minerals that keep your cells hydrated.
Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are examples of electrolytes in mango.
11. Helps Iron Absorption
Vitamin C is needed for iron absorption. It changes the structure of iron so the body can better absorb it.
Iron is a mineral that’s crucial for healthy blood. It’s part of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that brings oxygen to all your tissues.
If your iron levels are low, your tissues will get less oxygen. As a result, you’ll feel exhausted.
Eating vitamin C-rich foods like mango can support your iron levels. The key is to eat the fruit with foods high iron, like spinach.
12. Aids Brain Health
Oxidative stress and inflammation can harm nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. This can increase the risk of brain disorders.
Since mango has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it can offer protection.
Mangiferin has especially strong benefits. It’s been shown to be neuroprotective, meaning it protects nerve cells.
The fruit also has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are beneficial fats that work against inflammation.
Add mango to your diet slowly, especially if you don’t eat much fiber. Otherwise, its high fiber content can cause stomach discomfort.
You can reduce the risk of digestive issues by gradually increasing your fiber intake and staying hydrated.
Some people are allergic to mango. If you have food allergy symptoms like wheezing or itching after eating mango, stop and call your doctor.
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Pick slightly firm mangos.
When choosing mangos for smoothies, look for ripe ones. They’ll have the right sweetness and texture for a smoothie.
A ripe mango will have some give when you gently squeeze it. You can also smell the stem. If it has a sweet, fruity odor, it means it’s ripe.
It’s safe to eat unripe mangos, but they’re very tough and sour.
Refrigerate mangos when they’re ripe.
Unripe mangos should be stored room temperature. This will allow them to ripen.
However, once they’re ripe, move them to the refrigerator. The lower temperature will slow down the ripening process.
Wash before cutting.
Even though the peel isn’t edible, you should still wash mangos before you cut them.
The peel might have germs on it. These germs can transfer to the flesh when you cut through the mango.