Mango is a tropical fruit
which weights from 300 g to 2 kg. It is a drupe (or stone fruit); its flesh adheres to a large, flat and
slippery core. It can be round, oval or kidney-shaped, and has a skin which can be yellow, green or red. Its
flesh is dark yellow, creamy, rich and sweet. It has a taste almost between peach and flower. Mango has a
very pleasant smell. Depending on the varieties or when the fruit is too ripe, the flesh can be
Health Benefits of
epidemiological studies have shown that a high consumption of fruits, including mangoes, and vegetables
decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and other chronic diseases that appall our
society. The presence of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables play a major role in these protective effects.
The mango is a good source of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, and E, as well as some minerals such as zinc. It is
great for your skin, eyes, lungs, prostate (see mango and prostate
cancer), and other others.
Mango and Cancer Prevention
One of the few studies
conducted specifically on mango demonstrated that the juice has anticancer effect on cells in vitro. However,
other studies are needed to determine if these properties remain after digestion or absorption of the juice
by the human body. Overall, the researchers believe the anticancer effect of mangoes can be explained by
their polyphenol content. The scientists study different types of the fruit. They conclude the varieties
Haden and Ataulfo possess superior anti-cancer properties than others. But this is not conclusive considering
there are so many varieties of mango all over the world.
Mango and Breast Cancer
There is no conclusive
findings yet on mango and breast cancer. But it is known that regular consumption of the fruit helps prevent
many cancers; Women are therefore encouraged to eat plenty of fruits including mangos to reduce their risk.
Mangos are sweet and tasty; even children love them. Another good thing is the fact you don’t need to prepare
extract to obtain the benefits. Just wash and eat them, and you will receive all the health benefits. Mango
is rich in polyphenols, carotenoids, and fiber.
Mango is greatly
different from other tropical fruits due to its high content of polyphenols (or phenolics). The main
polyphenol found in a ripe mango is gallic acid, a type of a water soluble phenolic acid. Phenolic compounds
are found in plant foods. Their antioxidant capacity would protect body cells from damage caused by free
radicals. They decrease the risk of developing several diseases, including cancer. Their abundance and
composition differ depending on the variety. For example, the Ataulfo variety contains more polyphenols,
vitamin C and beta-carotene and antioxidant capacity greater than the other varieties such as Tommy Atkins,
Haden, Kent and Keitt. The concentration of
phenolic compounds can also vary greatly between fruit of the same variety, within the same culture and
Mangoes also contain
mangiferin, one of the most potent antioxidants; gallotannin, also known as Tannic Acid; tannin, a
water-soluble polyphenol that binds and precipitates proteins. These three compounds are however present in
much higher proportion in the core and the skin of the fruit. Mangiferin has been studied mainly from
extracts of the bark of the mango tree. In addition to cancer, studies show it has beneficial properties
against diabetes, inflammation, oxidative stress and high cholesterol. However, the fruit would contain 400
times less mangiferin than that the bark of the tree, which is not sufficient to cause the observed effects.
violaxanthin are two major carotenoids in the fruit. These pigments, which have antioxidant properties, give
an orange-red color to fruits and vegetables that contain them in large amount, such as mango. In some
varieties, beta-carotene, would account for 20% to almost 100% of total carotenoids. Beta-carotene is an
important precursor to vitamin A in the body; it helps prevent lung cancer (see mango and lung
cancer). However, the different
varieties of mango as well as the ripening stage greatly influences the amounts of these carotenoids. One
study showed that ripe mangos should have a higher antioxidant activity than the unripe. Mangos also contain
other types of carotenoids such as beta-cryptoxanthin, but in smaller quantities.
As of today, there is no scientific
study on mango and colon cancer. But the fact the edible part
of the fruit contains fiber, half of which is soluble fiber, scientists believe it can health the colon
tissue to remain healthy. The proportion tends to increase with ripening of the fruit. Soluble fibers help
reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers through their ability to lower blood
cholesterol. Most soluble fibers in mangoes would arise in the form of pectin in an amount comparable to that
of apple or banana, 2 fruits well known for their high pectin content.
Mango can interact with anticoagulant (blood thinner) warfarin, and alter blood
concentration. Warfarin is prescribed as an anticoagulant medication. Therefore, it is recommended that
people taking the drug to consult with their health care professional before consuming mangoes or other foods
that may alter the effects of warfarin on blood clotting.
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