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2 studies report positive health outcomes from mango consumption

mangos benefit health
As low fruit and vegetable consumption continues to contribute to diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, two new studies find regular mango consumption may improve diets and help manage key risk factors that contribute to chronic disease.

The first study, published in Nutrients, found positive outcomes in nutrient intakes, diet quality, and weight-related health outcomes in individuals who consume mangos versus those who do not. Researchers used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2018 data to compare the diets and nutrient intakes of mango consumers to people who did not consume mangos.

Results showed children who regularly ate mango had higher intakes of immune-boosting vitamins A, C and B6, as well as fiber and potassium. Fiber and potassium are two of the four “nutrients of concern” as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which means many Americans are not meeting recommendations for these. In adults, researchers found similar results, showing that mango consumption was associated with significantly greater daily intakes of fiber and potassium but also vitamins A, B12, C, E and folate, a vitamin critical during pregnancy and fetal development. For both children and adults, consuming mango was associated with a reduced intake in sodium and sugar, and for adults was associated with a reduced intake of cholesterol.

A separate pilot study, published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, examined mango as a snack and found consuming whole mangos as a snack versus a control snack had better health outcomes in overweight and obese adults.

Researchers compared snacking on 100 calories of fresh mango daily to snacking on low-fat cookies that were equal in calories. Twenty-seven adults participated in the study, all classified as overweight or obese based on body mass index (BMI) and reported no known health conditions. Participants were given either mango or low-fat cookies as a snack while maintaining their usual diet and physical level for 12 weeks, and after a four-week washout period the alternating snack was given for another 12 weeks. Researchers measured the effects on glucose, insulin, lipid profiles, liver function enzymes and inflammation. At the end of the trial period, findings indicated that mango consumption improved glycemic control (an individual’s ability to manage blood glucose levels, an important factor in preventing and managing diabetes) and reduced inflammation.

Results showed there was no drop in blood glucose when participants snacked on low-fat cookies. However, when snacking on mangos there was a statiscally significant (p= 0.004) decrease in blood glucose levels at four weeks and again at 12 weeks, even though there was twice as much sugar, naturally occurring, in the mangos compared to the cookies. Researchers also observed statistically significant improvements to inflammation markers, total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and C-reactive protein (CRP), when snacking on mangos. TAC is a measurement of overall antioxidant capacity, or how well foods can prevent oxidation in cells. CRP is biomarker used to measure inflammation in the body. The findings suggest the antioxidants abundant in mangos offered more protection against inflammation compared to the cookies.

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