The Many Health Benefits of Mexican Mango Fruit

Although there are multiple varieties, the Ataulfo mango is the main one, which confers its high antioxidant potential and several health benefits.

The Many Health Benefits of Mexican Mango Fruit
Health Benefits of Mexican Mango (Mangifera indica L.). Photo by Shardar Tarikul Islam / Unsplash

If the exquisite flavor of mango was not enough to convince you that it is a food that you should incorporate into your regular diet, today we share valuable information so that this season you can take advantage of a fruit that is full of health benefits.

Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is a fruit native to southern Asia, whose cultivation has spread to other tropical climate sites. Mexico is the world's leading exporter, as well as the fifth-largest producer with almost two million tons. The main international markets are the United States and Canada, whose import demand is mostly satisfied (approximately 2/3) by Mexican mangoes.

Although there are multiple varieties, the Ataulfo mango is the main one of Mexican origin, as well as one of those that stand out for its soluble fiber content, vitamin C, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds, which confer its high antioxidant potential and several health benefits.

Mango helps regulate digestion

Most of the fruit is composed of water (approximately 84%), in addition to offering significant amounts of fiber that promote gastrointestinal and general health of the consumer. Bioactive compounds, mainly fiber, can exert effects on the intestinal flora and protect the liver, among others. This allows for maintaining a healthy digestive process and avoiding discomfort in this system.

Mango exerts anti-diabetic effects

Mango has traditionally been restricted in diabetic patients due to its sugar content; however, recent research shows that its phenolic compounds can exert preventive and therapeutic effects. For example, they can modulate the digestive process to slow glucose absorption and promote insulin sensitivity, among others. The mechanism of action is by inhibiting alpha-amylase and beta-galactosidase enzymes.

Mango is a cardioprotective fruit

Mango fiber and micronutrients are also able to exert improvements in the consumer's serum lipids, specifically, helping to maintain the concentration of cholesterol and triacylglycerols within an adequate range. These effects are considered protective of the heart and cardiovascular system in general since alterations in them are associated with ischemic cardiovascular events (commonly known as heart attacks). Its phenolic compounds can inhibit lipase, reducing the absorption of lipids from the diet.

Mango maintains skin health

Mangoes also contain a wide range of carotenoids, compounds that give them their characteristic yellow to red hues. Consuming them regularly can have a protective effect on the skin against UV radiation, thanks to their ability to absorb it before the cells are damaged. This can help prevent disease and maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.

Mango strengthens the immune system

Adequate intake of vitamins A and C and phenolic compounds from mango and other sources is required to maintain the immune system. Their positive effects counteract inflammatory processes by inhibiting multiple inflammatory genes. Maintaining healthy intestinal flora through mango consumption can also have effects on this system, thanks in part to the fact that it stimulates the immune cells located in the colon, thus helping to neutralize possible pathogens before they can generate an infection.

Mango has anticancer effects

Mango micronutrients can exert effects to prevent the development of cancer, inhibiting the action of free radicals and oxidative stress. For example, a diet rich in mango and other fruits is associated with a lower incidence of colorectal cancer, as well as cancer of other organs. These effects are due in part to the fact that they prevent uncontrolled cell proliferation, in addition to favoring apoptosis (programmed cell death) in those cells that are already in an advanced state of deterioration.

Source: J. Abraham Domínguez Ávila and Gustavo González-Aguilar, researchers of the Laboratory of Antioxidants and Functional Foods of the Coordination of Food Technology of Plant Origin of CIAD.