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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Jessica

Touted as the most popular fruit in the world, the mango can be a versatile component of a plant-based diet—eaten on its own, incorporated into smoothies, or used to whip up a mango chia pudding. It’s interesting to examine how mangos compare to other fruits in terms of their specific health benefits.

Antioxidants in Mangos

Antioxidants function to help protect against chronic oxidative stress-related diseases. Not all fruits and vegetables are created equal in terms of their antioxidant powers, and studies have been done to compare various food items in terms of their antioxidant effects.

Mangos outdo the popular apples (which have an antioxidant power of 56) and bananas (27), with a score of 108. However, they fall short when compared to berries, with strawberries achieving a score of 315, and blueberries at 367. Dried mangos, which may be more convenient to eat at times, score 78 per one-ounce serving—higher than raisins and prunes.

While mangos may fall in the intermediate range of some of the more popular fruits eaten in the U.S. in terms of antioxidant power, contrast these scores with those of bacon (7) and eggs (8), or bagels and cream cheese (26).

Mangos’ antioxidant effects may relate, in part, to the fact that they have been found to containe inhibitors of TOR, an enzyme that regulates cell growth and proliferation, which occurs in cancer development. 

Mangos and Blood Sugar Control

Although sweet tasting and a good dessert fruit, mangos may actually help to improve blood sugar control. This has been found to be the case even when mangos have been ingested in powdered form (such as in a smoothie), which eliminates any fiber that the fruit originally contained.

Their effect on blood sugar is thought to be due to mangiferin, a phytonutrient component in mangos that may slow absorption of sugar through the intestinal walls, thereby offering better control of sugar in the bloodstream.

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