Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Enjoy Those Mangoes

Photo my Desirae Hayes-Vitor

Although native to Southern Asia, especially India, mangoes are the most widely consumed fruit worldwide. They are also commonly grown in Southern USA, Mexico, and the Caribbean. June is Mango month and a good time to enjoy this nutritious fruit and come up with interesting recipe ideas. Mangoes are considered superfruits. One whole mango is about 200 calories, but a serving size is about ¾ cup which is 70 calories. One serving contains 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 19 grams of carbohydrates, is fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free.

Health benefits of Mangoes

  • Rich in antioxidants as it contains beta-carotene causing yellow-orange color of fruit
  • Supports health health-has magnesium and potassium, lowers blood pressure, contains a compound called mangiferin which reduces inflammation of the heart
  • Rich in vitamins
    • Vitamin C -provides about 50% of daily recommended dose, reduces signs of aging skin, provides a glow to skin, helps with immunity and also promotes wound healing
    • Vitamin A-single serving has 8% of daily dose of vitamin A, helps in eye health
    • Vitamin K- helps your blood clot effectively
    • Folate-important for healthy cell division and DNA duplication
    • Vitamin B6-helps with metabolism, brain health, and immune function
  • Contains carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eye from sunlight and also blue light from digital devices
  • Helps in digestion as has fiber content
  • Helps with weight loss-makes you feel fuller for longer

Of note, mango skin contains urushiol which is also found in poison ivy. Mango skin contains less urushiol than poison ivy but we do need to be aware of contact dermatitis, or rashes and allergic responses that can occur, especially when peeling the fruit. However, this is rare.

Mango month is a perfect time to incorporate mangoes into our diet. Some ideas are:

  • smoothies
  • shakes
  • jam
  • ice cubes to add to water and cocktails
  • grilled mango
  • salsas
  • salads