Benefits of Mango and Why Mangos Are a Superfood

Susanna Sisson's picture
Mango

Mangos while said to be the most eaten fruit on the planet may be one of the most underappreciated. Growing up in the southern U.S. mangos weren’t exactly part of our diet. I was in my 50’s before I came to appreciate this amazing fruit. Mangos belong to the drupe family meaning the fruit has a pit like peaches and apricots, as well as olives and dates. Mangos are a superfood that is high in fiber, vitamins, anti-oxidants, enzymes, and flavonoids. [1][8]

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Mangos contain over 20 nutrients including.

Quercetin - Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) found in many plants and foods, such as mango, red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, American elder, and others. Buckwheat tea has a large amount of quercetin. People use quercetin as a medicine because it is a potent antioxidant and ant-inflammatory agent and may help reduce prostate inflammation. Quercetin is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems. It is also used for diabetes, cataracts, hay fever, peptic ulcer, schizophrenia, inflammation, asthma, gout, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), preventing cancer, and for treating chronic infections of the prostate. Quercetin is also used to increase endurance and improve athletic performance.

Isoquercitrin – Isoquercitrin is more bioavailable than quercetin and displays a number of chemoprotective effects against oxidative stress, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and allergic reactions. It may also act as to ward off funguses. [2][3] Also see how more Mango could help diabetes, cancer.

Astragalin – Studies show astragalin is an important antioxidant and may help relieve symptoms of asthma and protect the cells of the respiratory tract. Astragalin also decreases inflammatory and allergic responses. [4]

Fisetin - Fisetin is a unique polyphenol flavonoid that has a potent neuroprotective effect and aids in memory improvement. Fisitin is also found in strawberries. demonstrated a high level of neuro protection along with memory improvement by reducing beta amyloids in the brain which have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Fisetin may reduce toxin induced stroke and activate glial cells in the presence of neurotoxins. Extensive scientific studies by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies indicate is has value for general brain health. [5]

Gallic acid - Gallic acid seems to have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and acts as an antioxidant to protect our cells against oxidative damage. Gallic acid was found to show cytotoxicity against cancer cells, without harming healthy cells. Gallic acid is also used to treat some kidney disorders and diabetes. Some ointments to treat psoriasis and external hemorrhoids contain gallic acid.

Methylgallat - This nutrient protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

Tryptophan - Mangoes contain a lot of tryptophan, precursor of the “happiness-hormone” serotonin so may help in the treatment of depression.

Live enzymes - of the mango, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase, and lactase help clean the bowel. [6]

Phytochemicals - Researchers have found that chemicals in the skin of the mango appear to inhibit development of human fat cells. [6]

Vitamin A - Mangos are extremely high in vitamin A is an antioxidant that prevents night blindness and other eye problems, as well as some skin disorders such as acne. This vitamin is necessary for healing and immunity, the formation of teeth and bones, aids in fat storage and protects against colds, influenza and infections. A deficiency of Vitamin A has been linked to migraine headaches.

Vitamin C - If you are an athlete, under unusual stress or smoke your need high amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant necessary for at least 300 functions in the body including tissue growth and repair, collagen formation, protection against abnormal clotting and bruising, adrenal gland function, production of anti-stress hormones and interferon, and is necessary for the metabolism of folic acid, tyrosine and phenylalanine. Vitamin C may also reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol”), while increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or “good cholesterol”), as well as helping prevent atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure. Vitamin C promotes healing of wounds and burns and may prevent the formation of cataracts. Vitamin C works synergistically with beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc which is necessary for immune function and is important in prostate gland function.

Vitamin E - Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant and is important in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is important for normal tissue repair, healthy skin and hair and helps prevent cellular damage by inhibiting the inflammatory processed caused by free radicals.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Thiamine enhances circulation and assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of hydrochloric acid, which is important for proper digestion. Thiamine also optimizes cognitive activity and brain function. It has a positive effect on energy, growth, normal appetite and learning capacity, and is needed for proper muscle tone of the intestines, stomach, and heart. Thiamine is an antioxidant, protecting the body from the degenerative effects of aging, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Beriberi, a nervous system disease that is rare in developed nations, is caused by a deficiency of thiamine. Other symptoms that can result from thiamine deficiency include constipation, edema, enlarged liver, fatigue, forgetfulness, gastrointestinal disturbances, heart changes, irritability, labored breathing, loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, nervousness, numbness of hands and feet, pain and sensitivity, poor coordination, tingling sensations, weak and sore muscles, general weakness and severe weight loss. In fact, see what Mango might do for weight loss and perhaps more.

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Antibiotics, phenytoin (dilantin) a drug used to prevent seizures)), sulfa drugs, oral contraceptives, and heavy alcohol or caffeine consumption may decrease thiamine levels. High carbohydrate diets increase the need for thiamine. Alcoholics are among those most often deficient in thiamine.

Vitamin B3 - (Niacin) - is needed for proper circulation, function of the nervous system and helps in regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Vitamin B5 – (Pantothenic Acid) - B5 is known as the anti-stress vitamin and plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and the formation of antibodies. It aids in vitamin utilization and helps convert fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. B5 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters. Deficiency may result in anemia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, headache, nausea, and tingling in the hands.

Vitamin B6 - (Pyridoxine) - Vitamin B-6 is a regulator vitamin that aids in electrolyte balance and promotes red blood cell formation, normal nervous system and brain function.

Vitamin B9 - (Folic Acid) - Folic acid is “brain food” and is highly important in the formation of red blood cells and is needed for energy production and the regulation of amino acids. Folic acid may help depression and anxiety. A deficiency in folic acid can lead to severe birth defects.

Vitamin K - Vitamin K plays a key role in helping the blood clot and preventing excessive bleeding. This nutrient may also prevent osteoporosis by helping to improve calcium absorption and urinary excretion of calcium which may help prevent kidney stones. Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture.

Calcium - Calcium is necessary for the formation and growth of bones, teeth and for the maintenance of healthy gums. Cardiovascular effects include regulation of the heart. Calcium is necessary for muscles and nerves to function correctly.

Choline - Choline is similar to the B vitamins. It can be made in the liver. It is also found in foods such as liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, wheat germ, eggs, papaya and mango. Choline is used for liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also used for depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, Huntington's chorea, Tourette's disease, a brain disorder called cerebellar ataxia, certain types of seizures, and a mental condition called schizophrenia. Athletes use it for bodybuilding and delaying fatigue in endurance sports. Choline is taken by pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects in their babies and it is used as a supplement in infant formulas. Other uses include preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol, and controlling asthma. Getting enough choline can improve sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Magnesium - Magnesium is a vital catalyst for enzyme activity and energy production and also protects the arterial linings from the destructive effects of stress as well as assisting in the uptake of calcium and potassium. With Vitamin B-6 Magnesium helps prevent and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones. A deficiency can be manifested in symptoms of confusion, insomnia, irritability, poor digestion, rapid heart rate, seizures and symptoms of diabetes. Magnesium is helpful in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, certain forms of cancer and may reduce cholesterol levels.

Phosphorus - Phosphorus is needed for formation of blood clots, healthy bones and teeth, cell growth, contraction of heart muscle, normal heart rhythm and kidney function.

Potassium - Mangos are high in potassium is an electrolyte needed for a healthy nervous system, electrochemical impulses and a regular heart rhythm. Potassium helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction and works with sodium to control the balance of water in the body and helps maintain normal blood pressure.

Fiber - Mango is high in fiber and water content, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract. High fiber diets have bene shown to help lower blood sugar in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, The fiber, potassium and vitamin content in mango all help to ward off heart disease. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, don't miss these 10 bad foods for diabetes and some good alternatives.

Folate - Folate or folic acid is “brain food” and is highly important in the formation of red blood cells and is needed for energy production and the regulation of amino acids. Folic acid may help depression and anxiety. A deficiency in folic acid can lead to severe birth defects.

Omega 3 fatty acids - These nutrients are the building blocks of every cell in the body and are necessary for rebuilding and producing new healthy cells and for proper cell function, especially within the brain. They are known to lower blood pressure, prevent arthritis, prevent the formation of clots, and to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A deficiency can impair the ability to learn and recall information.

Omega-6 fatty acids - Essential fatty acids are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them -- you have to get them through food. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Studies show that children with lose levels of omega 3 and 6 may suffer from attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). A type of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system. They can help regulate pre-menstrual symptoms as well as prevent osteoporosis and help with other menopausal symptoms. Omega -6 can help people who suffer from diabetic neuropathy or arthritis and studies show a benefit in preventing breast cancer. American’s usually get too much of this nutrient due to a diet high in foods friend in vegetable oil. Fruits such as mango, and vegetables are much better sources of omega 6 fatty acids. [7]

Mango is a delicious addition to any diet and clearly a superfood. One of my favorite ways to eat mango is with lime and cayenne pepper or to make chutney with avocado and papaya.

Resources:
1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921.php
2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691514001471
3. http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/papers/25445674
4. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2466/14/122
5. http://www.wellnessresources.com/health/articles/fisetin_for_neuro-protection/
6. http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/mangoes-sooo-goood/#sthash.uyNDLLjl.dpuf
7. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega6-fatty-acids
8. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1952/2

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