Can a Mango a Day Lower Blood Pressure and Boost Gut Health?
Researchers at the University of California found eating two cups of mangoes per day relaxed blood vessels, which lowered the blood pressure and pulse pressure of postmenopausal women. The fruit also improved an indicator of gut health.
“This is the first study to demonstrate positive vascular effects of mango intake in humans,” said lead researcher Robert Hackman, with the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. “Our results build on previous animal and cell studies that point to the potential benefits of mango[e]s to promote health.”
Mangoes are good sources of several polyphenols, including mangiferin, gallotannins, quercetin and gallic acid, that have been the subject of previous research investigating the health properties of the fruit. Authors of the study said these compounds may be responsible for the newly discovered benefits.
Researchers Conclude Mangoes May Decrease Heart Disease Risk
The participants, 24 healthy postmenopausal women, ate two cups of mangoes for two weeks. Ataulfo mangoes, also called honey mangoes, were selected for the study because the variety has a high content of polyphenols. During each visit, blood pressure and heart rate were measured and blood and breath samples were taken. The results showed that systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were significantly reduced two hours after mango consumption compared to baseline measurements.
Systolic pressure is the upper number in blood pressure readings; it shows the amount of pressure on arterial walls during a heart contraction. Pulse pressure is the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure reading; it reveals the force generated by the heart during each beat.
Breath measurements of hydrogen and methane indicate the degree of microbial fermentation in the gut. Some participants produced both gases or neither gas, while some produced one or the other of the gases. Six individuals produced methane, and of these, half showed a significant decrease after eating mangoes. Because this gas is a sign of poor intestinal health, the reduction was considered a favorable effect.
The researchers concluded that mangoes might help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Their findings were recently presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting, Nutrition 2018 and published in The FASEB Journal.
Study Finds Mangoes Effectively Relieve Constipation
Results from the above study were released on the heels of those from another mango study from Texas A&M University. The four-week experiment involved 36 adults with chronic constipation. Participants were divided into two groups: one took a daily dose of 300 grams of mango, which is the equivalent of one fruit; and the other took an equitable amount of fiber supplement. Other aspects of the dietary intake of the two groups, such as calories and fat content, were kept constant.
After four weeks, both groups experienced a decrease in constipation, but the mangoes proved more effective in relieving symptoms than the fiber supplement. In addition, the mangoes improved the health of the bacterial community in the gut and lowered inflammation.
Co-author Professor Susanne Mertens-Talcott said that fiber supplements can help relieve constipation, but they don’t fully alleviate accompanying symptoms like inflammation. The study was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Previous research shows mangoes provide an array of other health benefits. According to wellness physician Dr. Josh Axe, they may have value in lowering blood sugar, boosting brain function, strengthening bones, protecting against macular degeneration, fighting cancer, increasing immunity and treating anemia.
Looking for a fresh way to add a mango to your daily diet? We’re serving up a turmeric mango smoothie bowl in our article Recipe Round-Up: The 3 Best Turmeric Smoothie Bowls.
Also, check out the video below for a simple tutorial on cutting and dicing mangoes.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.