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Mango (Aam): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects by Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

Mangoes and summer seasons are a match made in heaven! The sweet and juicy taste coupled with countless health benefits justify why mango is called the “king of fruits”. Mangifera indica, mango or aam, is an important fruit in Ayurveda. It belongs to the genus Mangifera, and family Anacardiaceae which contains 30 different species. India ranks first among the major mango-producing countries. India is famous for its wide range of mango varieties, like Alphonso variety of Ratnagiri, Badami variety of Karnataka, Dasheri variety of Lucknow and Kesar variety of Gujarat to name a few. Mangoes are good for our taste buds and our health. They are also a rich source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like mangiferin and glucosyl xanthone. Let us read more about some mango benefits.1 

Nutritional Value of mango: 

In my opinion, eating mangoes might be a way of giving your body a natural defence against certain diseases. Mangoes might have superpowers against certain types of cancers. Yes, it’s true! Thanks to the magical combination of beta-carotene and other special substances, mangoes might help against leukaemia and even slow down the progression of prostate and colon cancers.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Mango (Aam) is packed with various nutritional components that are given as follows. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like mangiferin and glucosyl xanthone, and carotenes. 

Nutritional components Value per 100 g 
Energy 60 kcal 
Carbohydrates 14.98 g 
Fibre 1.6 g 
Protein 0.82 g 
Fat 0.38 g 
Vitamin A 1082 IU 
Potassium 168 mg 
Vitamin C 36.4 mg 
Phosphorus 14 mg 
Calcium 11 mg 
Magnesium 10 mg 
Vitamin E 1.12 mg 
Vitamin B3 669µg  
Iron 160µg  
Vitamin B5 160µg  
Vitamin B6 119µg  
Copper 110µg  
Zinc  90µg  
Folates 43µg  
Vitamin B2 38µg  
Vitamin B1 28µg 
Manganese 27µg  
Vitamin K 4.2µg  

Table 1: Nutritional value of mango2 

Properties of Mango: 

The mango shows numerous scientifically proven properties; some of these properties are mentioned below: 

  • It may have antioxidant properties. 
  • It may act as an anticancer agent. 
  • It may have anti-diabetic properties. 
  • It may have cardio-protective properties. 
  • It may have anti-ageing properties. 
  • It might have an anti-inflammatory effect.2 

Potential Uses of Mango for Overall Health: 

Let me tell you a secret. Mangoes are not just delicious; they’re also packed with a special ingredient called mangiferin! This fancy-sounding compound can be found in various parts of the mango fruit, like the peel, stalks, leaves, barks, kernel, and even the stone. Mangiferin might be just the secret weapon as it is high in antioxidants.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Some of the potential benefits of mango are described as follows: 

1. Potential uses of mango for breast cancer  

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, leading to pre-mature death of females globally. Natural products are now becoming important sources for the discovery of anti-cancer agents. Mangifera indica may have the potential for the management of breast cancers. Banerjee et al. conducted a study in 2015 to assess the effect of mangoes on breast cancer xenografts in mice. This study showed that polyphenols like gallic acid, galloyl glycosides and gallotannins in mangoes might have a chemotherapeutic potential against breast cancer. This indicates that mangoes may help in managing breast cancer. However, more studies are required to support these claims.3 

2. Potential uses of Mango in ulcerative colitis 

From my perspective, eating mangoes can be a tasty solution to help with constipation. In a study, it was found that munching on mangoes might actually improve the symptoms of constipation. Thus, mangoes may be a delicious way to keep things flowing smoothly in your digestive system!

Dr. Smita Barode,  B.A.M.S, M.S.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the colon and rectum. Mangoes may help in reducing inflammation because of the presence of polyphenols like gallotannins and gallic acid. Kim et al. conducted a study in 2016 to assess mango’s anti-inflammatory effects in a preclinical colitis model. The results of this study showed that mango consumption might help in managing ulcerative colitis. However, more human studies are required to ascertain these claims.4 

3. Potential uses of Mango for managing blood glucose 

Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of bioactive compounds which may help in managing the blood glucose level. The study conducted by Evans et al. 2014 showed that mangoes may reduce blood glucose levels in both females and males. The mango contains tocopherols, carotenoids, dietary fibre, ascorbic acid, gallic acid, quercetin and mangiferin. These biologically active compounds may help in normalising blood glucose levels. However, to claim all these benefits further research and confirmation are needed. If you suspect high blood glucose levels, consult your doctor and do not self-medicate.5 

4. Potential uses of mango for skin and hair 

Mangoes, if consumed in moderate amounts, may help achieve healthy hair and nourished skin due to its high Vitamin A content. Additionally, mangoes may act as a natural sunblock by protecting our skin and hair from damage caused due to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, there is a possibility that the consumption of mango can benefit skin and hair, but we need more human studies to support these claims.6 If you have any skin and hair related problems, consult a doctor and do not self-medicate. 

5. Potential uses of mango for managing macular degeneration 

Macular degeneration is a common eye disorder which causes vision loss. Mangoes are rich in antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin and Vitamin A, which may help deal with macular degeneration. Mango is also rich in carotene which may help in vision. Thus, it may indicate that consuming mango may help manage macular degeneration. However, there is a lack of studies to support these claims.6 

6. Potential uses of mango on nutrient intake 

Mangoes are a good source of nutrients in the diet. The nutrient intake of mango consumers vs. non-consumers was obtained from the NHANES database. It was observed that people who consumed mangoes had a higher intake of magnesium, potassium, folate, Vitamin A, C and E and dietary fibre compared to the non-consumers. This may indicate that the consumption of mangoes can help improve nutrient intake and diet quality. However, more studies need to be conducted to support these claims.7 

7. Other potential uses of mango 

  • Mango may help reduce weight in those fighting with obesity.6 
  • Being a good source of carotene, it may help improve vision.6 
  • It may help improve digestion because of the presence of amylases which helps in the breakdown of foods.6 
  • It may help in boosting immunity because of the presence of Vitamin A and C.6 
  • It may help increase your good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) level.8 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of Mango in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of Mango on human health.  

How to Use Mango? 

This super versatile fruit can be used in the following ways: 

  • Mangoes can be consumed directly after being thoroughly washed and peeled. 
  • It is also used to make juice, jams, jellies, chutneys, ice creams and smoothies.2 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements or mangoes in large quantities. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Mango: 

A few side effects related to the consumption of mango include: 

  • After consuming certain mango species, some people may experience throat pain or allergy (stomach pain, sneezing and runny nose). 
  • Consuming mangoes in excess can result in gastrointestinal problems like stomach pain, indigestion and diarrhoea.9 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to mango, it is advised to discontinue its intake and immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you. They will be able to guide you appropriately for your symptoms. 

Precautions to take with Mango: 

Eating mango is beneficial if taken in moderate amounts. However, general precautions must be followed in the given conditions: 

  • It is advised to soak mangoes in water for about an hour before consumption. This increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals present in mangoes. 
  • It is advised to avoid consuming mangoes along with meals, as it can result in weight gain and spike postprandial blood glucose.9 

Also Read: Can You Eat Mango Skin? Unraveling the Truth with Scientific Evidence

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

Mangoes inhibit the cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are known to metabolize certain drugs like warfarin, propranolol, theophylline, etc. Inhibition of these enzymes can alter the blood concentration of drugs metabolized by this pathway. Therefore, you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of raw mangoes with other drugs and follow the prescription thoroughly, as they will know your health condition and other medications you are taking.10 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is the scientific name of mango (Aam)? 

The scientific name of mango is Mangifera Indica and it belongs to the family Anacardiaceae.1 

2) Can mango help in breast cancer? 

Animal cell line studies support the use of mangoes for managing breast cancers. However, more studies are needed to claim these effects. Thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper treatment.3 

3) Which fruit is known as the king of fruits?  

Mango is also known as the “king of fruits”.1 

4) Can mango help improve vision? 

Yes. As mango is a rich source of Vitamin A, it may improve vision. However, it is advised to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis for vision related problems and not consider the consumption of mango as an alternative to modern medicine.6 

5) What are the side effects of mango consumption? 

Consumption of mangoes in excess can cause short-term gastrointestinal disorders like stomach pain and diarrhoea and allergies in allergy-prone individuals.10 

References: 

  1. Shah KA, Patel MB, Patel RJ, Parmar PK. Mangifera indica (mango). Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jan;4(7):42-8. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.65325. PMID: 22228940; PMCID: PMC3249901. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249901/ 
  1. Lauricella, Marianna et al. “Multifaceted Health Benefits of Mangifera indica L. (Mango): The Inestimable Value of Orchards Recently Planted in Sicilian Rural Areas.” Nutrients vol. 9,5 525. 20 May. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9050525. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452255/ 
  1. Banerjee Nivedita, Kim Hyemee, Krenek Kimberly, Talcott Stephen T., Mertens-Talcott Susanne U., Mango polyphenolics suppressed tumor growth in breast cancer xenografts in mice: Role of the PI3K/AKT pathway and associated microRNAs, Nutrition Research (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.06.00. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531715001360 
  1. Kim, Hyemee et al. “Comparison of anti-inflammatory mechanisms of mango (Mangifera Indica L.) and pomegranate (Punica Granatum L.) in a preclinical model of colitis.” Molecular nutrition & food research vol. 60,9 (2016): 1912-23. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201501008. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026564/ 
  1. Evans, Shirley F et al. “Mango supplementation improves blood glucose in obese individuals.” Nutrition and metabolic insights vol. 7 77-84. 28 Aug. 2014, doi:10.4137/NMI.S17028. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4155986/  
  1. Garg, D.P. (2022) 9 health benefits of mangoes – weight loss, immunity, good for skin & more – pharmeasy, PharmEasy Blog. Available at: https://pharmeasy.in/blog/health-benefits-of-mangoes/ (Accessed: November 25, 2022). 
  1. Papanikolaou, Yanni, and Victor L Fulgoni 3rd. “Mango Consumption Is Associated with Improved Nutrient Intakes, Diet Quality, and Weight-Related Health Outcomes.” Nutrients vol. 14,1 59. 24 Dec. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu14010059. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8746860/ 
  1. O’Hara, Crystal et al. “Acute Freeze-Dried Mango Consumption With a High-Fat Meal has Minimal Effects on Postprandial Metabolism, Inflammation and Antioxidant Enzymes.” Nutrition and metabolic insights vol. 12 1178638819869946. 19 Aug. 2019, doi:10.1177/1178638819869946. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700848/ 
  1.  Singh, S. (2022) Mango benefits: 25 healthy reasons to eat mangoes – fitelo, Mango Benefits 25 Healthy Reasons To Eat Mangoes Comments. Available at: https://fitelo.co/mango-benefits/ (Accessed: November 25, 2022).   
  1. Rodríguez-Fragoso, L., Martínez-Arismendi, J.L., Orozco-Bustos, D., Reyes-Esparza, J., Torres, E. and Burchiel, S.W. (2011), Potential Risks Resulting from Fruit/Vegetable–Drug Interactions: Effects on Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes and Drug Transporters. Journal of Food Science, 76: R112-R124. Available at: https://ift.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02155.x 

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