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The Many Health Benefits of Mangoes

Updated on July 30, 2019
Schatzie Speaks profile image

Schatzie has bachelor's degrees in animal science and English. She has a master's in education and is a certified teacher.



Despite being a member of the Anacardiaceae family (as are poison ivy and poison oak) and therefore producing the irritating chemical urushiol, the mango has a much better reputation than its renowned rash-inducing relatives.

Most people will never come in contact with the mango parts that harbor high irritant concentrations, such as its vines or mango tree sap, and only a few susceptible individuals react negatively to mango skin; therefore, a majority of the population has everything to gain and nothing to lose by eating the nutritious and delicious mango.

There are countless ways the mango is credited with improving health, including but not limited to the following:


Although it has substantially fewer antioxidants than the acai berry or pomegranate, its high fiber and vitamin C content together with its several phenols and enzymes give the mango promising anti-carcinogenic properties (9).

Consuming pectin, the form of fiber found in mangoes, lowers the risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers (9, 12).

Vitamin C protects against free radical damage, also reducing cancer risk (13).

When colon and breast cancer cells were exposed to mango extract (containing the active ingredient gallotannin, a polyphenol) by Texas AgrLife scientists, the cells stopped growing and dividing and began to systematically die (1). Because the division of these cells was halted, scientists believe mangoes may prevent cancers by interrupting the process by which mutant cells proliferate to form cancerous growths (1).

Texas AgrLife scientists also determined that mangoes have negative effects on lung, leukemia, and prostate cancer cells as well; however, not as strong an effect as on colon and breast cancer cells (1).



Scientists at the University of Queensland analyzed the peels of different mango varieties and found that a few (the Irwin and Nam Doc Mai) contained bioactives with the ability to inhibit fat cell development (5).

In another experiment by the University of Yaounde, 102 overweight individuals were given either mango seed extract or a placebo two times a day over a ten week period; the placebo group lost virtually no weight, while those given the extract lost an average of 28 pounds (2). Scientists found that ingredients in the mango seed altered the metabolism of these individuals and reduced their overall body fat production (2).


This same Yaounde University study showed promising effects on cholesterol as well; the participants receiving mango seed extract not only lost weight but experienced reductions in LDL cholesterol levels (2).

In addition to the cholesterol reducing effects of the mango seed, extracts from mango plant leaves containing mangiferin have similarly proven beneficial. Laboratory animals exhibited lower levels of overall cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) coupled with increases in HDL cholesterol (the good kind) after being administered mangiferin-rich extracts for 28 days (3).

Mango has also been studied extensively in combination with other fruits and herbs. When laboratory animals fed a high-fat diet were given mango extract along with Hawthorn herb, expected increases in cholesterol levels did not occur (3). In fact, when combined with gooseberry, mango sped up the rate at which cholesterol was broken down and eliminated from the body (3).


Vitamins A and C are essential for collagen production and keeping skin supple, firm, and strong; mangoes are excellent sources of these nutrients (6, 27). Vitamins C and E fight the effects of aging and minimize sun damage (6). The carotenoid pigments in the mango, a type of pigment also found naturally beneath the skin, boost pale complexions and provide a healthy, natural glow (8).

Applied externally, slices of the fruit can prevent acne outbreaks and blemishes by unclogging pores (7).

Try it: After peeling and eating a mango, save its skin: rub it over your face and let it dry for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with a cleanser. Skin should be noticeably soft and, with a few treatments, blemish-free!


Although mangoes have only a little iron, they are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which along with other benefits enhances iron absorption from other plant-based sources (8). In fact, eating the mango flesh or drinking its juice while consuming iron-rich foods reduces the risk of developing iron deficiency anemia (4). This is especially important for women, infants and children, vegetarians, and routine blood donors who are at a higher risk for this condition (4).



The vitamin A in mangoes is a nutrient necessary for maintaining eye health and preventing various eye-related disorders such as night blindness, dry eye, errors of refraction, soft cornea, and general ocular discomfort (9).


The mango has an alkalizing (de-acidifying) effect on the body, as do many other fruits and vegetables (13, 15). Eating mangoes is therefore beneficial as they help maintain the normal and slightly alkaline pH of the blood between a healthy 7.35 and 7.45. In contrast, a diet filled with high amounts of dairy, meat, and grains can have an acidifying effect and lower blood pH (15).

Acidic blood is linked to several problems including chronic metabolic acidosis, kidney disease, muscle impairment, and weakened bones (15). In contrast, alkaline blood within the normal and ideal parameters holds more oxygen, increasing energy levels, and counters weight gain, pain, digestive problems, and osteoporosis (14).

Mango nutrition per 1 cup serving

% DV
Vitamin A
1262 IU
Vitamin C
45.7 mg
Vitamin E
1.8 mg
Vitamin K
6.9 mcg
0.1 mg
0.1 mg
1.0 mg
Vitamin B6
23.1 mg
16.5 mg
0.2 mg
257 mg


In a study involving mice, water-based mango bark extract was found to be as effective in reducing pain as morphine (19). Ethanol-based extract was equated with the potency of methimazole sodium, a nonnarcotic analgesic (19).


Extracts taken from the mango leaf and root inhibit the proper functioning of various bacteria and fungi (19). In fact, scientists believe their research may allow natural extracts, such as that of the mango, to eventually replace commercially utilized synthetic preservatives as healthier alternatives (20).


With a glycemic index between 41 and 60 on a scale from 0 to 100, mangoes do not cause large spikes in blood sugar if eaten in moderation (9, 16). In fact, the mango has proven short and long-term benefits for diabetics.

When diabetic rats were fed mango extract in levels of 150 and 250 mg/kg their blood glucose levels declined dramatically after two hours (19). Mango fiber given to diabetic rats reduced their body’s uptake of glucose within the span of a month (19).

Mango leaves stabilize insulin levels, also helpful to those with diabetes (9). This benefit is achieved by seeping leaves in hot water overnight and drinking the filtered fluid as a tea each morning (9, 18). A half teaspoon of the dried, powdered version of the leaves taken twice daily is an alternative version of this homeopathic treatment (18).



When mangiferin was injected into rats immediately after training sessions they demonstrated enhanced recognition of novel objects (22).

The antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C, both in mangoes, are known to improve memory and reasoning ability and to protect the brain from free radical damage (23, 17).

In a three-year-long study on senior citizens, daily dietary vitamin E was found to improve memory recall and to diminish symptoms and prevent onset of Alzheimer’s disease (24). Mangoes are a great source of this vitamin.

This Pineapple, Honeydew, and Mango with Ginger and Fresh Herbs recipe from Epicurious pairs the pectin-fiber-filled mango with ginger, an herb renowned for its digestive benefits, in a delicious, savory (and bowel-regularizing) fruit salad.


The vitamin E contained in high levels in mangoes assists hormone regulation and gives libido a boost (12).


Folate and vitamin B6 in mangoes aid the digestion of proteins and conversion of food into energy (11). Pectin fiber helps with the elimination of waste, normalizing bowel movements and preventing constipation (9, 11, 12).

Mango extract inhibits the formation of stomach ulcers when given to mice in laboratory studies (19). In addition, the extract minimizes the secretion of acid and increases the production of mucous within the murine stomach (19).


A one month long study in which 40 obese patients were fed a daily amount of 1050 mg mango seed extract revealed that many experienced lowered systolic blood pressure as a favorable, unanticipated side effect (19).

Diets filled with vegetarian foods including whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits (such as the mango) are linked to lower blood pressure as they have little sodium or fat and no cholesterol; in contrast, diets composed mostly of meat, dairy, and animal fats are linked to higher blood pressure (21).

The potassium contained in the mango has proven helpful in lowering blood pressure levels as well (21).


A boiled mango juiced and combined with cumin seeds, honey, jiggery, salt and pepper is a medicinal cure for those suffering from heat stroke (25).


Mango’s vitamin A is essential for an optimally functioning immune system as it maintains healthy skin and mucosal membranes, minimizing the risk of pathogen entry and infection (10, 26, 27). It also helps fight current infections by stimulating the growth of pathogen engulfing white blood cells (27).

Mango’s vitamin C keeps skin structurally sound and prevents tears and the entry of infectious particles (27). It also boosts white blood cell formation, stimulates these antibodies once formed, and together with vitamin E and carotenoids (also in the mango) strengthens immunity (26, 27).


Southern Indians fold and chew the ends off mango leaves, then rub them along the teeth for cleaning purposes (29). The midrib of the leaves, which is removed before teeth are cleaned, is afterwards used on the tongue (29). Mangiferin present in the leaves was found to kill off strains of four different bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Pneumoccocci, Staphylococci, and Streptococci and this unique oral practice delivered results comparable to individuals using toothbrushes (29).

In Samoa infusions made from mango bark are used to fight mouth infections and in Tonga mango leaf infusions mixed with orange prevent sickness relapse (31).

Hindu alternative medicine utilizes green, unripe mangos to cleanse the intestines and colon and to fight diarrhea, constipation, morning sickness and inflamed hemorrhoids (30).


Traditional Chinese Medicine believes in the balance of yin and yang, or hot and cold, to prevent illness (28). Yin energy cools the body and keeps it moist; deficiencies in yin cause dryness and inadequate bodily cooling (28). Mangos are considered yin tonic foods that can be eaten frequently in moderate amounts; foods such as cinnamon, sugar, lobster, and caffeine are yang foods to be avoided when possible (28).

The application of burnt, dried mango flowers is an ancient Hindu mosquito repellent; tonics made from mango bark are drunk to cure menstrual complaints; gum made from mango sap, mud, lime, aloe, and turmeric is used as a traditional joint and ligament pain reliever (30). The sap of the mango tree is also an externally applied treatment for skin afflicted with psoriasis or ringworm and even to treat scorpion bites and bee stings (30, 31).


































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    • Sam Shepards profile image

      Sam Shepards 

      2 years ago from Europe

      I love mango's, I like using them in smoothies or just eating one when watching a movie instead of snacks, the taste is so good. Glad they are so healthy.

    • profile image

      Maui OXO 

      3 years ago

      Aloha from Maui. We have a huge Mango tree in our backyard and every day at least one Mango goes into our smoothie - either fresh off the tree or from our frozen stash when it's off season.

    • Nicole Young 07 profile image

      Nicole Young 07 

      3 years ago from Chicago Illinois

      The use of fruits and vegetables as a way to beat cancer has long been suggested by mostly practitioners of alternative cancer treatment method, along with exercise and therapies, acupuncture and even chiropractic treatment. Aside from mango, there are other claims of being able to cure cancer using ginger, broccoli, garlic, tomatoes and others. However, there are no solid evidences yet, but mango is high in vitamins and beta carotene which are known to help fight cancer so it would be good to include it as part of your regular diet. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that one-third of all cancer deaths are related with diet, and New Hope Unlimited stated that there is a link between cancer and the food we eat. Thus, diet plays a major part in your battle against the disease. And even if further studies and research are needed, we should not discredit the importance of mango and other food to our overall health.

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      LJ Scott 

      3 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

      A long Hub ...but worth it... very informative!!!! I will heed these words and info thanx!!!

    • Wilma Henry profile image

      Wilma Henry 

      3 years ago from Kentucky

      Your article on mangoes has been a real eye- opener for me, thank you!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You need a better handle, bump.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of PISSANTS Promisem and Dean Traylor 

      3 years ago

      Excellent information BUT...did you know your hub page appears verbatim here:

      Is that also yours or has that site plagiarized your hub page?

    • Maria Thomson profile image

      Maria Thomson 

      3 years ago

      I don't know about all those claims..... there was a related show by James Oliver showing how inaccurately non-scientists interpret various scientific papers.

    • BeatsMe profile image


      3 years ago

      I didn't know that mango comes from the family of poison ivy. Thanks for a good info.

    • wali sazon profile image

      waliur rahman 

      3 years ago from sreemangol moulvibazar Bangladesh

      Thanks for good information

    • naomi carla profile image

      Naomi Carla 

      3 years ago from NY, USA

      I love Mangoes, I think that every fruit is good for our health not only Mangoes

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      3 years ago from sunny Florida

      What a powerful food....I guess it might be considered a superfood. It is one of the few foods I am allergic to so I will seek others to provide the benefits provided by them.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • darlarenee profile image

      Darla Armstrong 

      3 years ago from Tracy, CA

      Great article! Thanks for all the thorough information!

    • profile image

      Carol Draper 

      3 years ago

      I remember when we in the Caribbean were being discouraged from eating too many mangoes, because the fruit was thought to be too high in sugar content, thus leading to diabetes and other ailments. Now with research this has been proven to be otherwise. The Caribbean peoples were told to abandon many dietary staples, which are now the 'in thing' for others. The world is indeed a crazy place. People, go back to your fish, complex carbs and fruit. We were eating well all along. Free range chicken anyone? We call them 'yard fowl' because they wander from yard to yard, eating anything they could get, worms, small insects etc.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You helped me a lot.

    • profile image

      Compton Padavatton 

      3 years ago

      I love mangoes and have eaten them most of my life. I sometimes eat them with pepper sauce and some salt even those that are ripe , they taste great. I was unaware of the many health benefits. Maybe that is why I am so blessed physically, no signs of any significant diseases or sickness and I am approaching sixty. God's creations.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Nice article. Cool that you provided all reference links

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Mangoes are our most favorite fresh fruits eating after lunch or in dinnertime. As i'm on my home country on vacation time. And thanks for sharing all u'r reasearch.

    • SigneMc profile image

      Signe McDaniel 

      3 years ago from Seattle

      Great hub! I knew mangos were good for you but I had no idea how good. Thanks for your sharing all your research. And I love the squirrel pic too, great choice!

      Happy Mango Munching!


    • Taranwanderer profile image


      4 years ago

      What a super article on an excellent - and often overlooked - superfood. I'm definitely including mangoes in my smoothies from this day forward! I think a combination of mango peel and Greek yogurt will really rev up the body's fat-blasting potential.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This was a fascinating hub. My brother loves mangoes for his salsa. I love mango flavored spring water. I would give it a try someday, when it's on sale. Voted up for useful!

    • profile image

      Diana Abrahamson 

      4 years ago

      I love mangoes and if they have all these health benefits...well that is a real plus!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for this, I will add mangos to my diet! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have hard that mango leaves can be used to cure chronic alcoholism,is it true?

    • sfshine profile image


      5 years ago from Michigan

      Mango lowers blood sugar. I have experienced that by eating very sweet mango and then testing blood sugar level after half an hour and an hour. Good informative hub.

    • profile image

      aslam warsi 

      5 years ago

      lots of thanks for righting

    • healthbeautynut profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for this post. Learned a great deal. I also love mango!

    • oldiesmusic profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Probably my most favorite fruit, either it be raw (which is used for savory dishes most of the time) and of course sweet. Then I should eat more mangoes then! Thanks for giving the mango much props. :)

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago


      Haha, exactly! Your most welcome for giving you the excuses you need to have a mango-themed breakfast, lunch, and dinner! ;)


    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago


      Yes you should! Have you ever tried the Indian drink, the mango lassi? They are so good! Or Thai mango and sticky rice? Or the never fail, easy peasy, throw in a blender with a bunch of other fruits and voila! Yummy, satisfying, and healthy smoothies for a post-workout refresher or early morning pick-me-up!



    • Hendrika profile image


      6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Thanks for this, Now I have good reason to pig out on them this summer.

    • Darren Owens profile image

      Darren Owens 

      6 years ago from Bay Area, California

      I should really eat more mango's. Very informative hub! Enjoyed it!

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago

      Hi Milyas32,

      I've been buying frozen mango chunks during off seasons and making them into fruit smoothies so that I can enjoy mango year round. Too good (and too good for you) not to have a ready supply on hand at all times! ;) Thanks for your comment.


    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago

      Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I couldn't believe mangoes are this healthy because they are just too yummy, but I was pleasantly surprised. :) I know, I couldn't resist putting the squirrel in there! I was trying to find a picture of a really wrinkly puppy for the skin segment but wikimedia didn't have any good ones.

      Thanks again for the comment!


    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      I love mangos. I had no idea they had so many health benefits! And, I really love the pic of the fat squirrel. He is so cute!


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