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It’s no secret that snacking on fruit is a healthy – and not to mention, delicious! – alternative to the preservative-packed processed foods that are all too commonly found lining the shelves.
But what is it, exactly, that makes munching on a mango so good for us?
Well, as it turns out, that’s a pretty complex answer – because mangoes are particularly packed with plenty of natural goodness that does so much more than taste awesome.
A short list of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients found inside mangoes includes:
One of the most powerful nutrients out there, vitamin C is the true superpower behind most super foods – and mangoes are no exception, with just one cup of the stuff containing a whopping 67% of the daily recommended dose.
And what is it about vitamin C that makes the nutrient so special? For starters, the laundry list of body parts it’s known to help out, which includes everything from bones, teeth, hair and nails to joints and skin!
It may sound strange to say a plant contains something we much more commonly picture as a metal, but, at its core, copper is actually a mineral – and a pretty important one to our bodies, at that.
The penny-making material plays a big role in keeping our blood vessels healthy, and has also been known to improve brain health.
And inside all those copper-fortified blood vessels swim a number of blood cells, which are improved by vitamin B6!
The water-soluble vitamin helps maintain red blood cells, in particular, but it’s also good for helping keep our metabolism on point and our neurotransmitters firing.
Usually associated with strikingly-colored fruits, this vitamin is responsible for helping create beautiful shades of red and orange.
But vitamin A also helps keep our insides beautiful, playing a role in everything from heart, lung and kidney health to boosted vision to reproductive health in women.
A relatively rare fat-soluble vitamin, this nutrient represents yet another major player in the human body.
Vitamin E is nothing if not a multi-tasker, getting involved in everything from eye and skin health to strengthening our immune systems – and with 9.7% of the daily recommended amount found in just one cup, mangoes offer a pretty solid source for the stuff.
What They Do
While the numerous compounds on this (abbreviated!) list may sound individually impressive, together, they truly form something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
It’s part of the reason why mangoes have rightfully acquired the “superfood” nickname over the years.
Just a few ways these delicious treats can help us include:
You can chalk this up mostly to the healthy dose of vitamin A mangoes provide. The mineral not only helps actively fight infections, but the lack of vitamin A has been scientifically linked to a greater risk for contracting an illness.
Add that to other germ-fighting powerhouses like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and folate – all of which also reside in the mango – and you’ve got yourself something on par with a hot bowl of chicken soup.
Better Heart Health
This is thanks, in part, to the one-two punch of magnesium and potassium delivered in a bite of mango. The minerals are both particularly noted for their role in maintaining blood vessel health and helping keep blood pressure low.
But scientists have also discovered a mango-specific antioxidant, called mangiferin, which can help protect the cells that make up the heart from inflammation and oxidative stress. Pretty incredible!
Smoother Digestive Health
When it comes to keeping things moving, mangoes have a lot of help to offer.
The fruits are venerable warehouses of a group of digestive enzymes called amylases. The job of these chemical compounds? To help break down complex carbs – a pretty useful trick for anyone hoping to boost their digestive process.
Mangoes are also really good sources of water and dietary fiber, which are classic ways to fight unfortunate conditions like constipation and diarrhea.
Improved Eye Health
Vitamin A certainly plays a role here, as a classic aid for vision. But mangoes are no one-trick pony.
The nutritious fruits are also home to a pair of antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as a type of sunscreen—inside our eyes! Blocking excess light and potentially harmful blue light from our irises, these antioxidants help us maintain better vision even in tough conditions.
Naturally Shining Skin and Hair
While mangoes have a number of antioxidative effects—meaning their components can help remove or repair stressed-out cells that are largely responsible for making us look older—a lion’s share of the mango’s skin and hair benefits come from its high amount of vitamins A and C.
The duo tag-team the problem of saggy skin and dry hair by helping boost the body’s capacity for creating collagen, a miracle substance responsible for putting all the bounce in skin and body in hair.
What That Means
Mangoes are always a tasty and healthy snack, but the delicious treats might be an especially good idea if you’re concerned with:
- Naturally nicer skin and hair.
- Anemia – the vitamin K inside mangoes has been shown to help prevent it.
- Maintaining lower blood pressure.
- Relieving some digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea.
They might be one of the more annoying fruits to cut into, but believe us – your body will thank you for the effort!