4 Healthy Reasons You Should Add Mango to Everything From Salsas to Smoothies

This tropical treat is packed with fiber, antioxidants, immunity-boosting vitamins, and tons more benefits.

Mango Health Benefits: Whole and chopped mango pattern on pink background
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

What's your favorite way to eat mango? Whether it's diced in a flavorful salsa, whirled into a smoothie, or baked under a crumble, you're smart to sneak this superfood in wherever you can. They're not only tasty and mildly tart—mangoes are a naturally sweet fruit rich in nutrients and health benefits, says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN.

Mangoes originated in India over 5,000 years ago, and mango seeds traveled to the Middle East, Eastern Africa, and South America as early as 300 to 400 B.C.E. Today, most of the mangoes we eat in the U.S. are grown in South and Central America, Mexico, and Haiti. Though mangoes are considered a stone fruit, they're botanical cousins of cashews and pistachios (who knew?).

Mango Health Benefits

They are loaded with fiber.

Mangoes, which are about 83 percent water, support gut health and regularity. And 1 cup of mango contains 7 percent of your daily fiber intake. That fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar, which can regulate your blood sugar. Individuals who consume the daily recommended amount of fiber have a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, GERD, obesity, and hypertension.

They support your immune system.

Mangoes contain over 20 valuable nutrients, including 50 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C and 7 percent of your daily value of vitamin A. Vitamin C not only protects your body from oxidative stress, but it also protects your skin from sun damage. Vitamin A helps your body to fight off infections, promotes growth and development, and is anti-inflammatory, which is necessary for a strong immune response.

They protect your eyes.

This is because the tropical fruit contains carotenoids, which prevent eye damage. "Natural carotenoids have been shown to protect the eye from blue light damage," Manaker explains. "Two such carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in mangoes and, when eaten in adequate amounts, may help keep your peepers healthy—especially if you've been staring at screens more often." Sources of blue light include TVs, smartphones, and computers.

They help fight diabetes and cancer.

"Mangoes naturally contain mangiferin, an antioxidant that's been shown to have antidiabetic and anticancer properties," according to Manaker. When consumed regularly, mangiferin helps to lower plasma glucose and triglycerides, as well as improve kidney functions in diabetics. This antioxidant also helps to suppress the growth of tumors and cancer cells, and it's especially beneficial for preventing lung, colon, breast, and neuronal cancers.

Easy and Delicious Mango Recipes

This Mango Turmeric Smoothie is so much healthier than it tastes.
Caitlin Bensel

Mango-Turmeric Smoothie

One sip of this creamy and vibrant smoothie will transport you to a tropical paradise. Even better, it's so much healthier than it tastes.

Get the recipe.

Tropical Instant Oatmeal Mix
Victor Protasio

Tropical Instant Oatmeal Mix

Shake up your usual morning oats with the bright, warm flavors of mango and coconut. Packed with nuts, seeds, and fruit, it's a healthy bowl of superfoods that tastes like a treat.

Get the recipe.

Tropical Fruit Salad
Victor Protasio

Tropical Fruit Salad

Introducing the sunniest, most stunning salad you'll ever serve! Diced kiwi, mango, and papaya are topped with flaked coconut for a divine summer side.

Get the recipe.

Victor Protasio

Mango Pound Cake

A not-too-sweet loaf that folds in fresh chopped mango, while a blend of coconut oil and melted butter makes for a perfectly moist texture. Not only does coconut oil add delicious tropical flavor, but it also draws out the floral notes of mango.

Get the recipe.

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  5. Widjaja-Adhi MAK, Ramkumar S, von Lintig J. Protective role of carotenoids in the visual cycle [published online ahead of print, 2018 Jun 8]FASEB J. 2018;32(11):fj201800467R. doi:10.1096/fj.201800467R

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