Everyone loves a mango or at least they should. But rarely are they touted as a health food and talked about for their gut healing properties. Well, as it turns out they are great for your health especially good for your gut health. Although the mango flesh is mainly consumed, since ancient times, the consumption of mango stem bark and leaves, mainly as infusions, has been reported, for pharmacological purposes and traditional medicine, especially in countries of Southeast Asia and Africa. So you can use the whole mango and parts of the tree. Acne and cancer are among the many health conditions benefited by mango consumption which show up on a quick search of scientific journals.
While there are more than 1000 different types of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) it ranks fifth among the most cultivated fruit crops in the world and is naturally rich in phytochemicals such as lupeol, mangiferin and phenolic acids (e.g. gallotannins (typically found in berries) and gallic acid (which gives green tea many of its health properties), chlorogenic acid and vanillic acid). Mangoes are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, E and A as well as B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium and other beneficial minerals. It is also rich in the Carotenoids which typically give it its colour.
Mangoes rich in prebiotic fibers and polyphenols have been shown in may studies to benefit the gut bacteria favouring the growth of good gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacteria spp. and Akkermansia muciniphila (amongst many) along with the enhanced production of short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) especially butyric acid, resulting in intestinal health benefits.
The intestinal microbiome plays a crucial role in building and maintaining intestinal barrier function, metabolizing unabsorbed food components, and regulating the intestinal immune system. In several studies, the prebiotic effects of mango polyphenols and dietary fiber, their potential contribution to lower intestinal inflammation and promotion of intestinal integrity have been demonstrated and in the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Mango polyphenols have been shown to exhibit various pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, gastroprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti cancer benefits, especially in breast cancers. The anti-inflammatory effect of mango has been demonstrated to prevent or lower inflammation and other symptoms associated with chronic intestinal diseases, colon cancer, leaky intestines, and constipation as well as improve intestinal health.
One study reported that mango supplementation (200 to 400 g) for 8 weeks was effective along with conventional medications to treat gut dysbiosis in IBD patients. The intake of mango pulp significantly increased the relative abundance of L. plantarum, L. reuteri, and L. lactis and enhanced the production of butyric acid one of the short chain fatty acids essential for good gut health. Another study showed the 4-week consumption of mango fruit (300 g) significantly improved constipation symptoms including stool frequency, consistency, and shape, and increased gastrin levels essential for moving food through the gut, while lowering endotoxin (toxins produced in the gut) and inflammation in comparison to an equivalent amount of dietary fiber. So it was better than just the fiber alone. Imagine how good it is for all those kids with constipation?
Mango peel is also a promising source of polyphenols including mangiferin, a unique bioactive compound in mango, quercetin derivatives, rhamnetin, kaempferol. So if you have your own home grown or organic you can dry if and make it into a tea, which is done in some countries.
So next time the kids ask for a mango make sure you tell them how good it is for them.
Molecules. 2021 May; 26(9): 2732. Published online 2021 May 6. doi: 10.3390/molecules26092732 PMCID: PMC8124428 PMID: 34066494 Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Polyphenols: Anti-Inflammatory Intestinal Microbial Health Benefits, and Associated Mechanisms of Actions Hyemee Kim,1,* Maria Joselyn Castellon-Chicas,2 Shirley Arbizu,2 Stephen T. Talcott,2 Nicholas L. Drury,2 Shayna Smith,2 and Susanne U. Mertens-Talcott2,*
PMID: 35897945 Action of Mangifera indica Leaf Extract on Acne-Prone Skin through Sebum Harmonization and Targeting C. acnes Morgane De Tollenaere,1,* Cloé Boira,1 Emilie Chapuis,1 Laura Lapierre,1 Cyrille Jarrin,2 Patrick Robe,2 Catherine Zanchetta,2 David Vilanova,3 Bénédicte Sennelier-Portet,4 Jessy Martinez,4 Amandine Scandolera,1 Daniel Auriol,2 and Romain Reynaud2