Mangoes Are Good for Women’s Cardiovascular and Gut Health, Recent Studies Say
We all know that Indians love their mangoes. But now, especially for women, there’s another reason to celebrate mango season.
A new study from the University of California has found that two cups of mangoes daily can be beneficial to women’s cardiovascular and gut health. Mangoes help regulate blood pressure in postmenopausal women and help relax blood vessels in the body. Some participants even showed signs of positive influence on gut fermentation.
“This is the first study to demonstrate positive vascular effects of mango intake in humans,” reveals 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 mangoes to promote health.”
The researchers believe the concentration of bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and gallic acid (among others), may be what’s responsible for making mangoes healthy for people.
The study had 24 postmenopausal women consume 2 cups of honey mango daily for a 14 days. Importantly, the choice of using honey mango was selected based on its high levels of polyphenols. After fourteen days of consuming mangoes, the participants were asked to resumed their regular daily diets, eliminating the consumption of mangoes entirely for 13 days. Participants had their blood pressure, heart rate, blood and breath samples regularly monitored during the study.
Researchers found that at the start of the study, participants’ blood pressures were somewhat unchanged during initial visits. However, when they added mango to their diet, there was a significant lowering in systolic blood pressure (the upper number in blood pressure readings) as well as pulse pressure (an indicator of heart health), just within two hours of eating it.
Another aspect that researchers analyzed was gut fermentation of microbes. By checking participants’ breath, they found that some women had reduced levels of methane after consuming mangoes, which signifies better gut health. This conclusion is backed by another recent study also analyzing the effect of mangoes on gut health using bother men and women as participants.
“Our findings suggest that mango offers an advantage over fiber supplements because of the bioactive polyphenols contained in mangos that helped reduce markers of inflammation and change the make-up of the microbiome, which includes trillions of bacteria and other microbes living in our digestive track,” explains author Susanne U. Mertens-Talcott, an associate professor in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A&M University.
Together, the studies suggest that mangoes may be beneficial to gut health in both men and women, although researchers conclude they have yet to look into long term impacts of its consumption. And while mangoes may prove to be good for cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, whether those benefits extend to younger women, and men, has yet to be seen. But we remain hopeful.