Mango is a highly popular tropical fruit, even earning the nickname “king of fruits”. And research is showing that this nickname could just as easily refer to the fantastic benefits of mangoes as it could to the delicious flavor.
Mangoes are without a doubt one of the most nutritious whole foods, particularly where vitamins are concerned. They also double as both an incredibly healthy food and a fantastic skincare product (in the form of mango butter).
Be warned: After reading just how many benefits studies have uncovered on mango, you may feel inclined to consume more of this fantastic fruit.
The Background on Mangoes: A Tropical Powerhouse
Mango trees go by the botanical name of Mangifera indica and are native to India and Southeast Asia. If you want to get technical about it, the fruits are known as drupes because they have a pit or stone in the center. (Cherries, plums, peaches, and coconuts are also drupes.)
Experts believe that mangoes have been cultivated for at least 4000 years. At some point, mango seeds were taken to areas outside their native land, and the trees now grow in many tropical and sub-tropical locations.
There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes, though only one or two typically show up in grocery stores outside the tropics. They can have green, red, orange, or yellow skin but typically share the same golden-yellow flesh.
In several countries (India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan to name a few), both mango fruit and mango leaves are used as part of religious ceremonies, weddings, and festivals. The mango tree is frequently mentioned in eastern mythology and is connected to sacred rituals.
Mangoes have also long had value in traditional medicine.
They are considered a nourishing food that brings moisture to the body in Ayurvedic medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, mangoes are strengthening for the digestion, replenish fluids, and help nourish qi.
Top Benefits of Mangoes for Health
Very Rich in Nutrients
Mangoes are rich in several important vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps of most note is their vitamin C content— about 67% of the daily value in just one cup of fresh mango.
That same cup of mango also contains 10% of the DV for vitamin A, 10% of the DV for vitamin E, and 6% of the DV for vitamin K. Plus, you’ll get about 18% of the DV for folate (vitamin B9) and 12% of the DV for vitamin B6 as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins.
To add to this excellent vitamin content are a range of minerals, including copper, potassium, and magnesium. Mangoes also contain a good amount of fiber— about 2.6 grams per cup.
Packed with Anti-Aging Antioxidants
Along with tons of nutrients, mangoes are also extremely rich in antioxidants. The flesh, peel, and even the kernel are packed full of a specific group of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
Polyphenols in general have powerful protective properties for the human body. The fight free radicals, which contribute to aging and age-related diseases, at the cellular level. This means they may help protect you from cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
Some of the specific polyphenols in mangoes— like mangiferin— have been confirmed to powerfully counteract free radical damage and may help fend off certain diseases.
There’s no doubt that this high antioxidant content is a key factor in many of the benefits of mangoes.
Strengthens Immune Function
It should come as no surprise that mangoes are good for immune health given their high vitamin C content.
Vitamin C is one of the top nutrients for your immune system. It encourages the production of certain white blood cells that fight off infection. Studies also indicate that it may shorten the duration of the common cold and lessen the severity of respiratory illnesses.
Vitamin A, which mangoes are also rich in, is essential for proper immune function as well. Not getting enough of it could open you up to a greater risk of infection.
With the addition of other immune-boosting nutrients like copper, B vitamins, and antioxidants, mangoes are definitely a great immune-boosting food.
May Be Beneficial for Blood Sugar (and Diabetes)
Like most other fruits, mangoes are fairly high in sugar. In fact, a one cup serving of fresh mango contains about 22 grams of it.
In spite of this, there’s evidence that there may actually be benefits of mangoes when it comes to blood sugar.
Many studies have already linked a higher intake of fresh fruit with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This indicates that the sugar in raw fruit does not have the same impact on blood sugar that processed sugar does.
There haven’t been enough studies conducted yet for “conclusive” findings, but the results so far show very positive effects of mango on blood sugar levels.
Excellent for Digestion
Mango has more than one benefit for your digestion. At the top of the list is a decent fiber content— perhaps the best substance for promoting regularity that most people don’t get enough of.
Interestingly, one study found that consuming mango daily was more effective for chronic constipation than a supplement made only of a similar amount of fiber. This could be because the fruit also has a high water content and/or other helpful compounds.
Along with fiber, mangoes also contain a digestive enzyme known as amylase. Amylase helps to break down complex carbohydrates and starches into sugars that are more easily absorbed by your body.
Both the dietary fiber and the polyphenols in mango also act as a prebiotic. This means the fruit helps feed the good bacteria in your gut, which is an outstanding property for overall digestion.
Potentially Fights Various Types of Cancer
Because it’s filled with powerful antioxidants, there may be benefits of mangoes for fighting or preventing cancer. Damage from free radicals (known as oxidative stress) is linked to many types of cancer and is something that polyphenols are specifically known to combat.
In fact, mango polyphenols have already been shown to destroy or inhibit various types of cancer cells in lab studies. This includes leukemia, lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancer cells. Animal studies so far have confirmed these effects, although human studies and clinical trials are still lacking.
Other Benefits of Mangoes
When it comes to eating fresh mango, there are almost too many health benefits to list. Here’s a quick look at a few others that deserve at least a mention.
Good for Heart Health— Evidence of mango’s heart-supportive properties keeps accumulating. So far, studies have shown that the antioxidant mangiferin is incredibly protective of the human heart and may lower inflammation and fight oxidative stress in heart cells. It may also help to lower triglyceride levels.
May Support Eye Health— Mangoes are full of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these nutrient antioxidants are supportive of eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly concentrated in the retina and may help protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light.
Boosts Cognitive Function— Mangoes contain a good amount of vitamin B6, a very underrated vitamin for brain health. Studies have linked an insufficiency of vitamin B6 to a greater risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. The polyphenols in mango may also possess neuroprotective properties.
May Support Bone Health— Vitamin K is very important for bone-building and bone density. It appears to work together with vitamin D to increase bone mineral density and may also have a positive effect on calcium absorption. One cup of mango provides about 6% of the DV of this vital nutrient.
Of course, mangoes also have some incredible skincare benefits, which are coming up shortly.
Bonus: How to Cut a Mango
Before we get into the skin benefits of mango, here’s a question many people have: How do you properly cut a mango?
Mangoes can be quite tricky to cut due to their large pit or kernel. To make sure you can easily get the full health-boosting power of fresh mango, here’s a simple and effective way to dice (or slice) this fruit:
- Start by slicing off a small section at the top or bottom of your mango. Then, stand it up with the cut side down to help prevent it from sliding all over.
- Cut vertically along both sides of the pit so that you end up with two oval-shaped halves. (These are sometimes called the “cheeks” of the mango.)
- Take one half and score the flesh with your knife in vertical and horizontal rows to create cubes, or just cut in one direction to make slices.
- Scoop out the cubed or sliced mango flesh with a spoon. Or push on the back of the mango skin until you flip it inside-out and pop off the flesh. Repeat with the other half.
Outstanding Benefits of Mangoes for Skin
Eating mangoes provides your body with good amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A— two excellent skin-boosting nutrients. Applying it to your skin topically in the form of mango better is even better for your complexion.
Mango butter (also called mango seed butter) is made by pressing the kernel of the fruit . The end result is a skin-soothing “butter” (technically an oil that is solid at room temperature) that is creamy white with little to no scent.
Here’s more about what mango butter specifically can do for your skin.
Nourishes and Hydrates
Like the rest of the fruit, the mango kernel is filled with antioxidants and nutrients. This means that mango seed butter “feeds” your skin nourishing vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E whenever you apply it.
Mango seed butter also has the addition of fatty acids like oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, and linoleic acid. This fatty acid combination deeply hydrates skin and helps to seal in moisture. The fatty acids also fill in the gaps that are present with dry, flaky skin, leaving it looking smooth and well-moisturized.
Notably, despite the deep moisturizing properties of mango butter, it’s still considered noncomedogenic. This means it won’t clog pores— and it doesn’t feel greasy or heavy, either.
Boosts Collagen for Younger-Looking Skin
Collagen is one of the most important anti-aging skin proteins. It helps to keep your skin plump and thick, which fends off wrinkles and fine lines. Unfortunately, collagen production declines as you age, which is one of the reasons signs of aging start appearing.
Vitamin C is one of the best natural collagen boosters, which means there are huge benefits of mangoes for younger-looking skin.
In short, applying vitamin C rich mango butter to your skin promotes collagen synthesis and also helps to fade the appearance of dark spots and inflammation. The result is a rejuvenated complexion that looks youthful and healthy.
Fights Signs of Aging with Natural Vitamin A
Boosting collagen with vitamin C is key to fending off signs of aging, but the vitamin A in mango butter adds even more power.
Vitamin A is most familiar in skincare under the name of retinol or retinoids (synthetic or animal-derived forms of the vitamin). Retinol has several documented anti-aging effects, like diminishing wrinkles, dark spots, etc. and improving skin tone. However, it also has major downsides, including being harsh on the skin.
The vitamin A in mango butter is in the completely natural form of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene still fights signs of aging but without the negative side effects of retinol.
Protects Skin & Promotes Skin Repair
Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E (all present in mango butter) don’t just fight existing signs of aging. They also help to protect your skin from UV damage that may cause more signs of aging to appear.
Neutralizing free radicals is another key way antioxidants protect your skin. Free radicals can damage important skin cells and proteins and also contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Topically applied antioxidants have been shown to combat this skin aging process.
In addition to protecting your skin, mango butter has also shown an ability to help cracked and worn skin heal. Apply it to damaged, irritated, and/or dry skin for instant soothing power and speedy skin repair.
What to Look for When Buying Mango Seed Butter
If you want to get the full benefits of mangoes for skin, buying high-quality mango seed butter is key.
The first thing to look for in mango butter is a cold-pressed and unrefined option. This means that neither heat nor chemicals have been used on the butter during extraction or processing. The butter should still have a creamy or yellow tint to it (bleached mango butter is all white).
Also, look for mango butter that is USDA Certified Organic. This ensures that no toxic chemicals were used on the mango trees or added to the product during manufacturing.
To use pure mango butter, just put a small amount in your hand. Once it touches your skin, the butter will quickly warm and turn liquid. You can then apply it to the desired area of skin.
Of course, you can also get the anti-aging benefits of mango butter as part of a quality skincare product…
Mango Seed Butter for Younger-Looking Skin
If you are searching for an outstanding solution for younger-looking skin that provides you mango seed butter and nature’s other most powerful ingredients, look into the Age-Defying Night Cream from Purity Woods.
In addition to the mango seed butter, the Age-Defying Night Cream provides you powerful and unique ingredients — such as organic maple leaf extracts, organic smartweed extract (very high in resveratrol), rosehip seed oil, and turkey tail mushroom extract — that erase signs of aging like nothing else out there (wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark spots, etc.)
The entire formula is USDA Certified Organic, so you don’t need to worry about chemicals, GMOs, or any synthetic ingredients. It’s specifically designed to work deep within your skin as you sleep (during your body’s natural repair cycle).
Learn more about the Age-Defying Night Cream here, and don’t forget to add mangoes to your diet regularly!