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 taste. Mangoes may be considered an exotic fruit, and therefore are not as popular as traditional apples, oranges and bananas. However, mangoes provide a nutritious snack option.
Vitamin A is responsible for many necessary functions in the body. According the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin A keeps the skin and mucous membranes strong, as well as the linings of the intestinal and respiratory tracts. The form of vitamin A from plant sources such as mangoes is beta-carotene. A study published in the journal of "The American Society for Nutritional Sciences" reports that beta-carotene reduces the size of cancerous tumors and protects the body from developing them. One mango provides between 25 and 40 percent of the RDA, which according to the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements is 5,000 IU.
Mangoes are also a good source of vitamins C and E, which are powerful antioxidants right along with vitamin A. The vitamin C content of mangoes is very high, with one cup of sliced mango delivering 45 mg, which is over 70 percent of the RDA. The vitamin E content is 1.8 mg--almost 10 percent of the RDA. While you may think you should skip the mango and simply take an antioxidant supplement, think again. Taking antioxidant supplements does not have the same health effects on the body that getting the antioxidants from fresh fruit and vegetables has. The theory behind this is that there is more than just vitamins C, E and beta-carotene in fruit. There are numerous vitamins and minerals that have to work together and can not function the same when isolated from one another.
If you are watching your weight, or blood pressure, mangoes are a great snack alternative. According to Elements4Health, a respected nutritional research firm, mangoes have a low glycemic index, which is a benefit to those who want to keep their blood sugar in check. With only 60 calories in a half-cup serving, mangoes also contain no fat and no sodium, which is great for those concerned about blood pressure, as well as for anyone who wants to take off, or keep away, those extra pounds. It also contains water and 1 gram of fiber. The average adult needs between 20 and 30 grams of fiber daily.