There are plenty of good reasons to eat our fruits and vegetables. Now, there might be a very good reason to eat more mangos.
Two new research studies funded by the National Mango Board may spell good news for some of the people hoping to make positive health choices. According to ProduceNews.com, the two studies show that regular mango consumption may help with both improving diets and helping to manage certain risk factors that can lead to chronic disease.
More specifically, the first study indicated that eating mangos may help with a better diet overall as well as intake of nutrients often lacking in both children and adults. The second study, on the other hand, reported that the delicious fruit may help improve glucose control and reduce inflammation.
So let’s take a closer look.
The finding on improving the quality of diet came from a recent observational study published in Nutrients in January 2022. Using data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-18 to compare the diets and nutrient intakes of people (both children and adults) who ate mangos versus those that didn’t. The study found positive outcomes in nutrient intakes, diet quality, and weight.
The study showed that children who regularly ate mango had higher intakes of vitamins A, C, and B6. Similar results were likewise found in adults with increased intakes of vitamins A, B12, C, E, and folate.
All of those nutrients are certainly nothing to be scoffed at as they are all essential to good health. But just to really drive the point home, an increase in fiber and potassium was also noted in both children and adults. These are two of the four nutrients currently labeled as “nutrients of concern” by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Consequently, mangos may be a way to get the nutrients that many Americans are currently not getting enough of.
“We have known for a long time that there is a strong correlation between diet and chronic disease,” Yanni Papanikolaou, a researcher on the project is quoted as saying.
“This study reveals that both children and adults eating mangos tend to have significantly better diet quality overall along with higher intakes of fiber and potassium compared with those who don’t eat mangos. It is also important that mango fits into many diverse cuisines. Whole fruits are under-consumed, and mango can encourage fruit consumption, especially among growing diverse populations.”
Would now be a good time to mention that the study also showed that consuming mango was associated with a reduced intake of sodium and sugar in both children and adults?
Now on to the second study.
This one, a pilot study that was published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, found that opting for mangoes as a snack may be linked to better glucose control and a decrease in inflammation.
The study compared the health outcomes of snacking on fresh mango daily to that of low-fat cookies. All participants were adults with BMIs considered to be either overweight or obese and no reported health conditions. They were given one snack for 12 weeks followed by a 4-week break. This was in turn followed by another 12 weeks during which they consumed the second snack. Throughout these periods, participants maintained their typical diet and activity.
Researchers paid attention to the effects this had on things such as glucose, insulin, and inflammation. At the end of the trial, their findings suggested that eating mango improved glycemic control and reduced inflammation. Eating mangos as a snack showed a significant decrease in blood glucose levels at both the 4 and 12-week marks even with the mangos containing more sugar than the cookie option.
Mee Young Hong, a professor in the school of exercise and nutritional sciences at San Diego State University, and the study lead researcher attributes this to the fruit’s antioxidant, fiber, and polyphenols content as they may help “to offset sugar consumption and aide in glucose control.” However, she also stated that further research would be needed.”
It’s also important to remember that this was a small study (only 27 participants) among other limitations. Still, it may be a good sign for those who want to improve their diet while keeping a little sweetness in their life.
You can read the full story here.