Mango is not only a delicious fruit, it is also a food with remarkable nourishing properties. Some of the most popular and most consumed varieties are grown in Mexico, Peru and Ecuador
The mango is the fruit of the plant Mangifera indicates that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family.
The plant is native to Asia where it appears to have been cultivated as early as 4.000 years ago. Today mango is grown in almost all tropical countries and is available throughout the year.
The mango has an oval and elongated shape and can weigh up to one kilogram. The skin can be red, yellow, green or a color that encompasses all 3 of these colors, the pulp is orange yellow.
- Chemical Composition
- Weight Loss
- Benefits to the Skin
- Blood Pressure
- Kidney Stones
The largest mango producing nation is Asia, India in particular holds the record for the largest producer. The best known varieties of mango are: Haden, Keitt, Tommy Atkins and Kent, but there are many of them and it seems that around 400 species have been cataloged in India.
Historically this fruit has been grown in tropical areas of India, Africa, Asia and Central America. However, at least 20 years ago, its diffusion allowed the development of some cultivars in Sicily where the favorable subtropical climate and the adapted soils represent the perfect soil to create new production sources for the Sicilian agricultural supply chain.
To date, the use of medicinal plants and bioactive compounds has seen growing interest. The importance of a diet rich in polyphenols has long been publicized because of their action to counteract free radicals, as well as anticancer properties.
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of the different bioactive compounds, including phenolic components, anthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamin E and vitamin C. These have good antioxidant properties and are considered to be an essential component that should be present in everyone’s diet. ( 1 )
The growing interest in Mangifera indicates that it has been the focus of many researchers around tropical and subtropical areas, it must be attributed to its phytochemical content which has qualified the mango fruit as a super fruit model.
|Chemical composition per 100 g of mango|
|Vitamin A, RAE||mcg||54|
Amino acids: glutamic acid, alanine, cystine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, proline, methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine and threonine, arginine, lysine, aspartic acid, leucine and serine.
Its caloric value is low, in fact 100 gr of pulp have a caloric yield equal to 60 kcal.
Currently scientific research pays particular attention to nutrients capable of counteracting oxidative stress. It is known that the phenolic phytochemical compounds commonly present in fruits show free radical contrasting activity.
The great variety of antioxidants, pigments and vitamins present in any part of the mango plant is responsible for the antioxidant and contrast properties of free radicals.
Of all the cultivars analyzed, Langra was found to have the highest content of phenols and antioxidant properties compared to those of four other mango varieties. ( 4 )
Studies have recently begun to explore the antioxidant and anti-aging properties of Sicilian mango extracts by exploiting knowledge in the study of oxidative stress and induction of cell death in cancer systems. ( 5, 6, 7 )
The studies used the fruit extract of the Kensington Pride cultivar cultivated and widely spread in Balestrate (Palermo) and in other Sicilian rural areas. Preliminary results have shown that mango exocarp, mesocarp and endocarp can effectively counteract oxidative damage.
Recent scientific studies have shown that mango has anti-cancer properties . This is thanks to the presence of an antioxidant substance called lupeol , the beneficial effect of which seems to be expressed above all against the pancreas.
The research is investigating the role that his micronutrients have against breast cancer. In an animal study, mango reduced the size of the tumor and suppressed its growth factors. ( 8 )
The bioactive components contained in the different parts of the mango have also shown anti-tumor activity in different tumor cell lines. ( 9 )
A 2014 study reported that an aqueous extract of mango mesocarp exercises antitumor activity in a human colon adenocarcinoma cell line. ( 10 )
A Malaysian study reported that an ethanol extract of mango kernel is able to induce cell death in both cell lines of breast cancer estrogen-positive and negative. ( 11 )
This fruit has important properties when it comes to weight control. Recent studies suggest that its intake may have beneficial effects on fat cells. ( 12 )
Thanks to its high content of substances oligominerali the mango is a fruit with properties slightly laxative and diuretic properties. It therefore represents a very suitable food for those with problems of constipation and water retention. The fibers help prevent constipation and promote regularity and intestinal health.
Its consumption has been shown to positively affect chronic constipation. One study considered a group of people who ate the fruit regularly. The group showed an increase in fatty acids and gastric secretions with a marked improvement in the digestive process.
In several studies, mango extracts have been shown to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in experimental mouse models of ulcerative colitis.
In the study, treatment with an aqueous extract of Mangifera indica bark stem, containing a mixture of polyphenols and flavonoids, it alleviated the symptoms of colitis, such as body weight loss, colon shortening and diarrhea. ( 15 )
A great deal of evidence holds that mango also has gastro-protective properties. Studies have shown that a decoction of mango leaves reduces gastric damage in rats. ( 16 )
With mango it is also possible to cure coughs and colds. For this purpose, its peel is boiled in water and drunk once warm 3 times a day for a week. The peel is rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, carotenoids and polyphenols.
Benefits to the Skin
The skin is the largest organ of our body and we often forget to take care of it. A 2013 study conducted in Korea suggests that fruit extracts counteract skin aging induced by exposure to UVA rays. However, the study was conducted in mice and further evidence is needed in humans to confirm these properties. ( 19, 20 )
According to a German study, vitamin A and beta-carotene help improve skin health. A Chinese study instead informs us about the anti – tumor properties of mango towards the skin. According to the study, in fact, its regular intake would protect the skin from tumors caused by free radicals. ( 21, 22 )
Acne and Boils
To stem acne and boils, the pulp of the ripe fruit can be applied directly on the affected parts for about 10 minutes. The vitamin A present in the fruit has been found effective in curbing the production of fatty substances by the skin. If greasy skin bothers you then you can think of including this fruit in your diet.
The fruit also has a good content of magnesium and sodium which, together with potassium, help to keep blood pressure under control. According to recent studies , hypertension , also called “silent killer”, affects about 70 million American adults. ( 23 )
In a study conducted at the University of Madras in India it was found that mangiferin reduced cholesterol levels in rats. In another study it was discovered that the same substance increases the levels of good HDL cholesterol. ( 25 )
They are rich in iron and are therefore useful for those suffering from anemia. Regular intake can be helpful in treating this condition and increasing the number of red blood cells in the blood. ( 26, 27 )
In addition to this, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron by the body.
Always thanks to the good iron content, the fruit can be useful to pregnant women. In fact, during pregnancy, the presence of this mineral is very important and doctors often prescribe iron-based supplements to pregnant women. However, their use can be avoided with regular consumption of mango.
The fruit also contains vitamins A, C and B6, all compounds that have advantages for pregnant women. According to a recent study, vitamin A helps fight infections and prevents vision problems in infants. ( 28 )
It is Good for the Brain
An abundance of vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. Glutamine in especially enhances memory and concentration.
Recent studies have shown how mango, its leaves to be precise, can be a valuable aid for those suffering from diabetes . To obtain these benefits it is necessary to put a handful of leaves in half a liter of hot water in a container which must then be closed with a lid.
It is left to rest overnight and in the morning, after filtering the mixture, a cup is drunk on an empty stomach. In this way, those suffering from diabetes will receive help in managing blood sugar.
More recent studies have shown the link between the consumption of mango pulp and the lowering of blood sugar in obese adults. Although the fruit has not resulted in a weight reduction, however, it has reduced the blood glucose in the blood. ( 31 )
There are also other studies that associate mango consumption with blood sugar control. ( 32 )
The effect of mango ingestion on the glycemic levels of normal and diabetic rats was studied. The results of this research suggest that mango flour may aid in the treatment of diabetes. ( 33 )
The aqueous extract of the bark was used to examine the anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antidiabetic properties. The different chemical constituents of the plant, in particular polyphenols, flavonoids, triterpenoids and mangiferin, can be involved in anti-inflammatory, analgesic and hypoglycemic effects.
The results of this experimental animal study lend pharmacological credibility to the plant’s suggested folkloric uses in the management and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus. ( 34 )
As we have seen, this fruit helps to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. In addition, mango is rich in antioxidant compounds , especially beta-carotene. These compounds have an active role in countering the effects of free radicals that often cause heart disease.
An Indian study reports that the alcoholic extract of Mangifera indica leaves has cardioprotective properties. ( 35 )
According to an American study, the vitamin B6 present in the fruit could reduce the calcium oxalate that causes kidney stones. Potassium also contributes to the prevention of kidney stones. ( 36 )
The potential anti-diarrhea properties of methanolic and aqueous extracts of mango seeds have been evaluated in cases of experimental diarrhea induced by castor oil and magnesium sulphate in mice. The results show that mango extracts have significant anti-diarrhea activity. ( 37 )
Studies on the Anticancer Properties of Mango
The cells taken into consideration were lung, prostate, colon, leukemia and breast cancers. All diseased cells have been shown to be sensitive to mango extracts, especially the colon and breast cancer cells.
If ongoing experiments continue to yield positive results, new frontiers in the fight against cancer could open up.
If you want to keep it for a long time, it is better to buy it a little bit unripe and put it in the refrigerator. In this way it can keep for a few weeks. To bring it to maturity, simply store it at room temperature for 5-6 days.
It has no contraindications and can be consumed by anyone, except for people suffering from kidney disease and diabetes. This is because of its high sugar content.
It also appears to be an excellent remedy for insomnia. Some sources say that consuming mango before bedtime helps to reconcile it is almost like a sleeping pill.
The cultivation of this exquisite fruit began in Hawaii and Florida in the 19th century.
According to Indian beliefs, mango symbolizes life and is therefore used in almost all the sacred rituals of the country.
Sweet fruits like mango contain a lot of sugar and should therefore be consumed in moderation. However, this type of sugar is different from the industrially processed one because it is balanced by fiber and other nutrients.
In some parts of the world he is called king of fruits. Today there are about 400 the variety of mangoes in the world.
The mango is the national fruit of India and the Philippines and Bangladesh’s national tree.
To Choose Well
When buying a mango it is better to choose one without stains or dents. The color, on the other hand, is unable to teli us whether the fruit is ripe or not, as there are many varieties of mango with different colors.
To choose a more mature one, it is better to feel and push lightly with your fingers. If the pulp is soft and gives slightly then the fruit is ripe. Even a possible fruity scent coming from the stalk testifies that the fruit is ripe.
The leaves have anti-inflammatory properties: it is sufficient to heat them and apply them on the affected part to immediately ascertain their benefits.
Even in case of cystitis, the pulp of tropical fruits can bring significant benefits.
Recall that, if possible, it is always better not to keep it in the refrigerator. In fact, in the fridge it loses some of its organoleptic properties.
The mango is also a great alternative to junk foods as snacks or as they are called pre-packaged snacks.
Mango: Properties and Benefits
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