It is always delightful biting into sweet, delicious, and fleshy mangoes. Not only are they super tasty, but are loaded with nutrients, which makes them much better than any sugar-laden treat. Mangoes contain very high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, which are powerful antioxidants. They also contain many phytochemicals, which are natural compounds produced by plants that are extremely beneficial for your health. Mangiferin is the most abundantly occurring phytochemical in mangoes. They are also rich in carotenoids, which are responsible for imparting the bright orange-yellow color to the fruit. These phytochemicals actually account for the fruit’s immense health benefits. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of mangoes.
1. They Help You Stay Younger For Longer
Mangoes are extremely rich in antioxidants. They contain carotenoids which increase continuously during their ripening process, unlike carotenoids in grapes, which peak just before they start to ripen and fall during the ripening process. A group of researchers from India’s Sri Venkateswara University tested samples of wine made from 7 different varieties of mangoes to see how well the carotenoid levels held up during the entire winemaking process. They found that even when mangoes are made into wine, most of their carotenoids survive the process and remain intact. Three of the wines made from the varieties, Alphonso, Banginapalli, and Sindhura, showed the strongest antioxidant properties. The findings of the study were published in the October 2011 issue of “Journal of Food Biochemistry.”1
When you are exposed to cigarette smoke, stress, pollution, and direct sunlight, your body produces free radicals which cause age-related cell damage. Antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent them from damaging your cells. A regular consumption of mangoes will provide your body a healthy dose of antioxidants that will keep you younger for longer.
2. They Are An Anti-HIV Agent
In this day and age, HIV is a major concern for many. The number of HIV strains that are becoming resistant to antiretroviral drugs that are currently available is increasing steadily. Some Chinese researchers tested mangiferin’s potential against HIV strains to see if it could be used as an alternative therapy against HIV. The team tested the activity of mangiferin against resistant as well as non-resistant strains of the HIV-1 virus. They found that mangiferin was effective in fighting against both the types of strains. The findings of the study were published in the May 2011 issue of the journal “Molecules.”2
3. They Protect You Against Skin Cancer
Mangiferin contains a metabolite known as norathyriol, which is known to have anticancer properties. A U.S.-Chinese research team conducted an experiment to test the effectiveness of the compound as a chemoprotective agent against skin cancer. They exposed some mice to intense ultraviolet radiation and then treated the exposed skin with norathyriol. They concluded that norathyriol is a safe chemopreventive agent that is extremely effective against skin cancer caused by ultraviolet radiation. The researchers published the findings in the January 2012 issue of the journal “Cancer Research.”3
Though mangoes have many health benefits, it is important to keep in mind that they contain a lot of sugar too. Due to this reason, eating mangoes to your fill on a regular basis can lead to weight gain. A single serving of mangoes contains 100 grams of the fruit, which is a little more than half a cup. Women should stick to 1 serving a day and men to 2 or less. You should consult your doctor before consuming the fruit if you have diabetes.
|↑1||Varakumar, Sadineni, Yannam Sudheer Kumar, and Obulam Vijaya Sarathi Reddy. “Carotenoid composition of mango (Mangifera indica L.) wine and its antioxidant activity.” Journal of Food Biochemistry 35, no. 5. 2011.|
|↑2||Wang, Rui-Rui, Yue-Dong Gao, Chun-Hui Ma, Xing-Jie Zhang, Cheng-Gang Huang, Jing-Fei Huang, and Yong-Tang Zheng. “Mangiferin, an anti-HIV-1 agent targeting protease and effective against resistant strains.” Molecules 16, no. 5. 2011.|
|↑3||Li, Jixia, Margarita Malakhova, Madhusoodanan Mottamal, Kanamata Reddy, Igor Kurinov, Andria Carper, Alyssa Langfald et al. “Norathyriol suppresses skin cancers induced by solar ultraviolet radiation by targeting ERK kinases.” Cancer research 72, no. 1. 2012.|