Mango Nutrition: Benefits, Risks, Recipes and More

Mangoes are rich in antioxidants and can benefit your skin and digestive health.
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Mango is a beloved tropical fruit that is sweet enough to stand alone as a dessert, but still nutrient-packed enough to be a staple part of your diet. Including mango in your meals adds antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fiber.

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Typically picked before they are fully ripe, mangoes are ripened at room temperature and then refrigerated, per the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A mango typically weighs about ¼ pound to 3 pounds. As the fruit matures, it turns from green to the yellow, orange, purple or red hues you might see at the supermarket.

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Juicy and sweet mangoes are typically eaten fresh as a dessert fruit but may also be used as juice or turned into preserves, dried fruit, chutney and pickles. They can also be a delicious part of salsa, sauce and ice cream recipes.

Mango Nutrition Facts

One cup of mango pieces is equal to a single serving. One cup of mango contains:

  • ​Calories​:​ 99
  • ​​Total fat​:​ 0.6 g
    • ​Saturated fat​:​ 0.2 g
  • ​Cholesterol​:​ 0 mg
  • ​Sodium​:​ 1.7 mg
  • ​Total carbs​:​ 24.7 g
    • ​​Dietary fiber​:​ 2.6 g
    • ​​Sugar​:​ 22.5 g
  • ​Protein​:​ 1.4 g

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Mango Macros

  • ​Total fat​:​ One cup of mango has 0.6 grams of total fat, which includes 0.1 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0.2 grams of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat.
  • ​Carbohydrates​:​ One cup of mango has 24.7 grams of carbs, which includes 2.6 grams of fiber and 22.5 grams of natural sugars.
  • ​Protein​:​ One cup of mango has 1.4 grams of protein.

Vitamins, Minerals and Other Micronutrients

  • Vitamin C:​​ 67% of your Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin A, IU:​ 60% DV
  • Copper:​ 20% DV
  • Folate (B9):​ 18% DV
  • Vitamin B6:​ 12% DV
  • Vitamin E:​ 10% DV
  • Niacin (B3):​ 7% DV
  • Vitamin B5:​ 7% DV
  • Potassium:​ 6% DV
  • Vitamin K:​ 6% DV
  • Potassium:​ 6% DV
  • Manganese:​ 5% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2):​ 5% DV
  • Thiamin (B1):​ 4% DV
  • Magnesium:​ 4% DV

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Is Dried Mango Healthy?

While 1 cup of fresh fruit is considered a serving, just ½ cup of dried fruit is a serving, per the USDA.

A 1/2 cup of dried mango has:

  • ​Calories​:​ 140
  • ​​Total fat​:​ 0 g
    • ​Saturated fat​:​ 0 g
  • ​Cholesterol​:​ 0 mg
  • ​Sodium​:​ 0 mg
  • ​Total carbs​:​ 34 g
    • ​​Dietary fiber​:​ 2 g
    • ​​Sugar​:​ 24 g
  • ​Protein​:​ 1 g

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Dried mango is good for you as long as you eat it in moderation!

Dried fruit actually contains more antioxidants called phenols and fiber per ounce than fresh fruit, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Fiber is linked to warding off heart disease, obesity and some types of cancer.

But, there's a caveat: Many dried fruit snacks come with added sugars. Even though dried mango may be smaller than fresh mango, it's important to stick to the serving size so you don't overload on calories.

The Health Benefits of Mango

They're not just delicious: Mangoes can contribute to beautiful skin, protect your cells from damage and keep your digestive system running smoothly. Here are the sweet benefits you can expect from this tropical fruit.

1. Mango Is Great for Healthy Skin

If you want glowing, tout skin throughout the years, incorporating mango into your diet is a great place to start. Mango contains nearly 70 percent of the DV for vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a key role in supporting your body's collagen production.

Skincare fans know all about collagen: It's a structural protein that gives your skin elasticity. But, the amount of vitamin C in your skin and your natural production of collagen decreases with age, per Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute.

That, in turn, can lead to wrinkles and crepey skin. Besides aging, a poor diet is the most common cause of low levels of collagen in the body, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Another antioxidant nutrient for your skin that you'll find in mangoes is vitamin A — they contain 60 percent of your DV. "Vitamin A plays many important functions in the body, especially for the skin and eyes," says dietitian Kasey Hageman, RD.

Foods high in carotenoids, precursors to vitamin A, can help prevent cell damage, premature skin aging, and skin cancer, per a June 2013 study in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics.

In fact, people who got high amounts of vitamin A in their diets had a 17 percent reduced risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer among those with fair skin, in a July 2019 study in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

2. Mango Is Rich in Immune-Supporting Antioxidants

In addition to vitamins A and C, mangoes are a good source of copper — with 20 percent of the DV. They also contain smaller amounts of zinc and selenium.

Copper, zinc and selenium are all minerals that act as antioxidants, meaning they can counteract free radicals, per Harvard Health Publishing. These unstable molecules are troublesome because they can damage DNA, cell membranes and other cell parts. Antioxidants basically turn these free radicals off by neutralizing them with their electrons, helping to break a chain reaction that can affect cells throughout the body.

Your body creates free radicals naturally as a byproduct of normal cell processes, and in response to environmental factors like tobacco smoke, ultraviolet rays and air pollution. Although lab research and large-scale observational studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants is beneficial (especially by way of colorful vegetables and fruits), randomized controlled trials of antioxidant supplements do not show the same benefits.

In other words, it's best to get your antioxidants from delicious fruits like mangoes. As a bonus, you'll also be getting other perks from eating the whole fruit, like heart-healthy fiber.

3. Mango Can Support Your Digestion

Although mangoes are quite sweet, they may actually improve your blood sugar levels.

Adults with obesity who ate 10 grams of ground, freeze-dried mango pulp every day for 12 weeks experienced decreased fasting blood glucose levels in a small August 2014 study in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights.​ Hip circumference also decreased in male participants (but not female participants). But, the study only involved 20 adults. Larger studies that include control groups are needed to further support the findings.

Mangoes also contain some fiber, with 2.6 grams per cup. In general, a high-fiber diet helps to normalize bowel movements, maintain bowel health and control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, per the Mayo Clinic.

Plus, their vitamin C can have an extra perk for digestion. "Vitamin C is essential for iron absorption," says Hageman.

Iron is an essential part of proteins that deliver oxygen throughout your body, and it's also required for your body to make certain hormones, per the National Institutes of Health. Iron deficiency is not uncommon, particularly in women under 50, pregnant people and young children.

Mango Health Risks

Mango Allergy

Some people are allergic to mangoes — or they may have a reaction to mangoes if they're allergic to other foods. For instance, there can be cross-reactivity between mango, papaya and cashew nuts, per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Cross-reactivity occurs when the proteins in one substance are similar to those found in another substance, per the AAAAI. For instance, if you are allergic to birch tree pollen, you might also get a reaction from eating apples.

Allergic reactions to mango can also manifest as oral allergy syndrome, per an April 2011 study in Asia Pacific Allergy. This syndrome is characterized by tingling or burning in the mouth within a few minutes of eating a food, like mangoes. It occurs because of cross-reactivity between certain foods and pollen, house dust mites, latex and other allergens. Mangoes can cross-react with substances such as artemisia pollen, birch pollen, poison ivy, poison oak and mugwort.

Mangoes may cause contact dermatitis in some, leading to skin rash, per the study. It's possible that people who have been exposed to poison ivy or oak are sensitized to mango because of common substances like urushiol, found in both mangoes and poison ivy or oak.

Mango allergy has also occasionally been reported in people with latex hypersensitivity.

Look out for common allergy symptoms. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these can include:

  • Rash or hives
  • Itchiness
  • Watery/red eyes
  • Hay fever
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening)

Drug Interactions

Per a May 2011 review in the Journal of Food Science, mangoes may interfere with the following medications:

  • Midazolam
  • Diclofenac (Flector, Cambia, Zorvolex)
  • Chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte DSC, Lorzone)
  • Verapamil (Calan SR, Verelan, Verelan PM)

It's important to speak to your doctor about potential food and drug interactions when you start taking a new medication.

Mango Preparation and Helpful Tips

Mangoes make an excellent addition to a meal or are tasty when eaten alone. There are different varieties of mangoes, but all have a soft, sweet flavor.

Because of that sweet taste, mangoes can easily replace more processed sugars in recipes like salsa or sauces (or even dessert!).

"Mango salsa is a delicious way to include mangoes in your diet," says Hageman. "Also, adding it to smoothies can be a simple way to sweeten your smoothie and add a nutritional punch."

Follow these tips to shop for mangoes and add them to your diet:

Choose a fresh mango:​ Color actually isn't the best indicator of a mango's ripeness, per the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

It's best to go by feel — gently squeeze the mango. If it's a little soft, it's ready to eat. If it's firm, it needs a little longer to ripen at room temperature (similar to avocados). You can speed up that process by placing the mango in a brown paper bag, closing the bag and allowing it to sit at room temperature for 2 days.

Safely cut a mango:​ Cutting a mango can be difficult but slicing it into cubes will make it easier, per the extension service.

Cut a small piece off the bottom of the mango to create a stable base, and place the mango upright. Slice the mango apart on both sides (cut ¼ inch from the stem on both sides). Next, cut parallel slices into the flesh one piece, but don't go all the way through the skin. Cut vertically to make a checkerboard pattern, then use a spoon to scoop out the cubes. Repeat with the other piece of the mango.

Try mango in versatile ways:​ Mangoes are delicious with salt, lime juice or chili powder, per the National Mango Board. They also have natural tenderizing properties, which makes them ideal for marinades.

Mango Recipes

Alternatives to Mango

Mangoes are considered tropical fruits. You can enjoy many of their benefits in other major tropical fruits such as papayas, pineapples and avocados.

Additional tropical fruits that are produced and traded in smaller volumes are known as "minor tropical fruits," per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. These include lychees, durian, rambutan, guavas and passionfruit.

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