Mangoes are tropical fruits known for their bright orange color, juicy texture and sweet taste. They can help you meet the daily recommended minimum of 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables, which most Americans lack. For nutritional wellness and protection from chronic diseases, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends incorporating a variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables into your eating routine.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in your bloodstream that your body uses for energy. If your triglyceride levels become excessive, you stand at high risk for serious conditions, such as heart disease. In a study published in "Food Research International" in June 2011, researchers examined the effects of 200 grams of whole or fresh-cut mango on the blood health of 30 adults, ages 20 to 50, for 30 days. By the study's end, the participants demonstrated similar, significant reductions in triglyceride levels. Researchers concluded that adding mango to a generally healthy diet could help manage high triglyceride levels.
Fiber is an indigestible form of carbohydrate that promotes digestive function, appetite control and positive cholesterol levels. One mango provides 3.7 grams of fiber, or nearly a quarter of women's minimum daily recommended intake, or RDI, of 20 grams. To increase your fiber intake, snack on mangoes instead of low-fiber foods, such as pretzels, potato chips or ice cream, and add sliced or cubed mango to breakfast cereals, smoothies and salads.
Mangoes contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals. One cup of mango supplies 100 percent of adults' recommended daily intake of the antioxidant vitamin C, which boosts immune function, increasing your body's ability to heal from and resist infections and disease. One cup of mango also provides 35 percent of adults' RDI of vitamin A in the form of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Vitamin A helps regulate your immune system and promote eye, skin, urinary tract and intestinal health.
Unlike added sugars -- such as the high-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar that contribute to weight gain and blood sugar imbalances in many Americans' diets -- naturally-sweet mangoes might help you reach and maintain your weight goals. Mangos and other fruits are not energy-dense. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains that this means that they contain fewer calories-per-serving than denser foods. Hence, you can eat more mangos while still staying within your caloric needs. For example, one cup of mango provides 100 calories, while a cup of low-fat frozen yogurt contains 400 calories. The rich fiber and water content of mangoes also helps you feel full faster. For best results, replace processed snack foods and sugary desserts with fresh or frozen, unsweetened mango.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; "Dietary Guidelines for Americans"; 2010
- "Food Research International"; "Influence of Whole and Fresh-Cut Mango Intake on plasma lipids and Antioxidant Capacity of Healthy Adults"; Maribel Robles-Sánchez et al; June 2011
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Fiber Content of Selected Foods
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber -- Start Roughing It
- Centers for Disease Control And Prevention: Can Fruits and Vegetables Help People to Manage their Weight?
- University of Arizona: Calcium and Calorie Content of Selected Foods
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.