Mango Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

mango annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Mangos are tropical fruits that are not only juicy, flavorful, and pretty to look at, but are also good for your health. They're high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Years ago, they were hard to find and considered exotic, but these days, mangos are readily available year-round.

Mango Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup of raw mango pieces.

  • Calories: 99
  • Fat: 0.6g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Sugars: 23g
  • Protein: 1.4g

Carbs

One cup of mango pieces has 99 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. You'll get 25 grams of carbs in a single serving. Of that, about 23 grams is naturally occurring sugar and almost 3 grams is fiber.

The glycemic index of mango is estimated to be about 51. Foods with a glycemic index of 55 or lower are generally considered low glycemic foods. The glycemic load of a one-cup serving of mango is estimated to be 8. Glycemic load takes portion size into consideration when estimating a food's effect on blood sugar.

Fat

Mangos are a nearly fat-free food. A one-cup serving provides only about 0.6 grams of fat. Most of the fat is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, both considered to be healthy fats.

Protein

You'll get a small amount of protein (a little over 1 gram) when you consume a cup of fresh mango.

Vitamins and Minerals

Mangos are high in vitamins, particularly vitamin C. A one-cup serving provides 66% of your daily value. You'll also benefit from a healthy dose of vitamin A (11%), vitamin B6 (11%), and smaller amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid.

Minerals in mango include copper, potassium, and magnesium.

Health Benefits

The vitamins in mango provide several health benefits.

Improves Cell Function

Vitamin C helps improve cell health in the body. Vitamin C is essential for immune system function, strong connective tissue, and healthy blood vessel walls. Vitamin C deficiency is rare in the United States, but getting an insufficient amount of the vitamin can lead poor wound healing, joint pain, and, in extreme cases, scurvy, which can be fatal if untreated.

Aids Fluid Balance

The potassium in mango (and lack of sodium) may help regulate blood pressure and body fluid balance, particularly plasma volume.

Adults are advised to consume at least 2,600 milligrams of potassium (for women) to 3,400 milligrams of potassium (for men) each day. A single serving of mango provides 277 milligrams.

Protects Against Cell Damage

Mangos also contain quercetin, mangiferin, and norathyriol, which are antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants can help protect or delay your body's cells from damage from free radicals (which experts believe may be a cause of cancer, atherosclerosis, and other diseases).

Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

A review of studies investigating the health benefits of mango determined that the fruit provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Study authors wrote that mango is "a fruit that should be included in everyone’s diet for its multifaceted biochemical actions and health-enhancing properties."

Other Benefits

Mango is also a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for normal vision, healthy skin, reproductive health, and normal cell development.

Allergies

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), the allergen profile of mango is complicated. It is possible to have a mango allergy and cross-reactivity has been demonstrated between mango and several other foods including cashew, pistachio, and papaya.

Also, those who are especially sensitive to poison ivy should be careful when handling mango. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) reports that because mango is in the same botanical family as poison ivy, touching the skin of mango may cause a reaction in some people.

The sap of the tree and the rind of the mango fruit contain urushiol, the oil that causes the poison ivy rash. However, the pulp of the mango fruit does not contain urushiol. ACAAI advises that if you are sensitive to poison ivy, have someone else peel the fruit. If you have no exposure to the skin, you should be able to eat the fruit without harm. They also state that it is not a good idea to fall asleep under a mango tree if you are sensitive to poison ivy.

Varieties

There are several different varieties of mango, each with its own unique look. Honey mangos are bright yellow, Francis mangos are yellow-green, Haden mangos are red-yellow, Keitt and Kent mangos are green, Tommy Atkins mangos are green-red, and Palmer mangos have a purple hue.

All mango varieties are sweet, but the size of the pit varies.

When It’s Best

The peak season for mangos varies based on the type of mango you choose. Most varieties are available in the spring and summer with a few varieties available in the fall or winter.

If fresh mangos are not available in your area, frozen, canned, and jarred mangos are also often available. However, they are sometimes packed with added sweeteners (such as fruit juice). This will substantially change the nutrition facts for the fruit.

For example, one popular brand of canned mango provides 26 grams of carbohydrate and 25 grams of sugar per (roughly) half-cup serving. Because the fruit is packed in heavy syrup, it contains much more sugar than an equivalent serving of fresh mango.

If you are looking for the healthiest alternative to fresh mango, look for frozen fruit that contains no added sugar. Some canned and jarred varieties may also be packed without syrup, but they are usually more expensive.

Lastly, dried mango is an option. But when fruit is dried, the sugar becomes more concentrated. Some dried mango may also be dusted with sugar, so you'll consume more carbs and more sugar per serving.

Storage and Food Safety

Mangos should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe. If you buy an unripe mango, place it in a paper bag at room temperature.

Mangos should not be refrigerated before they are ripe, but once they reach a soft, ripe texture, you can move them to the refrigerator to slow ripening.

According to the National Mango Board, whole, ripe mangos may be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator. They also suggest that the fruit can be peeled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to six months.

How to Prepare

A mango has one large seed on the inside which makes it a little tricky to cut the fruit. Effective methods include cubing it along the skin or cutting long slices.

Serve fresh mangos as a snack with a little yogurt dip, scatter mango pieces over a salad at lunch, make into a topping for a main course, or serve them with a little whipped cream and chopped nuts for a sweet dessert.

Frozen mango chunks are perfect for fruit smoothies. They pair well with other tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples or blend them with plain low-fat yogurt and almond milk.

Although not many people choose to eat mango skin, it is edible. If you want to give it a try, know that you might find that it tastes slightly bitter, chewy, and possibly tough.

Recipes

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Article Sources
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