What’s juicy, full of pulp, soft and mushy but has a hard center that won’t budge, making all hearts warm and nostalgic just by thinking of it?

Yes, you got it! Indeed, it is our country’s national fruit, The Mango.

One of the most cultivated tropical fruits across the world, with India being the paradise growing more than 50 varieties of mangoes across different states. Mangoes are nature’s way of announcing that summer is here. As always, mother nature has gifted us with a fruit that has a rich nutrition profile to boast; raw and ripe.

What makes mango the king of fruits?

Mangoes can be consumed in 2 forms; ripe and unripe. Both the forms offer a multitude of health benefits and are used to make a series of sweets and savories.
Comparing the nutrition profile (Table 1.) of a ripe with raw mango, we see that the nutrition profile changes with the ripeness of the mangoes. This is mainly due to the enzymatic activity that takes place within the mango as it changes from within and outside; making it sweeter and yellow.

Mangiferin is a plant chemical that is differently distributed in parts of the mango plant and its fruit, making it unique. It is found in the bark of the plant, leaves, root, and pulp of the fruit. The mangiferin content in the fruit varies depending upon the species of the mango plant and the ripening stage of the fruit. Mangiferin is found in the highest amount in the mango skin.

It has a strong ability to neutralize the effects of harmful free radicals including those induced by heavy metal exposure. Although only the pulp is the edible part of the mango, some cultures also consume the mango skin because of its high antioxidant properties. However, in some cases consuming mango skin can cause an allergic reaction due to the presence of an oily organic allergen- urushiol.

Table 1

Nutrition profile

Raw mango, 100 gm

Ripe mango, 100 gm

Energy in Kcals

65 s


Sugars in g



Vitamin A in IU



Vitamin C in mg



Vitamin D in mg



Vitamin K in mcg



Sodium in mg



Calcium in mg



Potassium in mg



Omega-3 fatty acids



Omega 6 fatty acids



Fibre in g




Should I eat it raw or ripe?

While both forms of mango certainly have their own taste, place, and health benefits, let’s take a deeper look into what makes one form preferable to a palette versus the other form.

Raw mangoes

Raw mango gets its sour taste due to the presence of malic acid, oxalic acid, citric acid, and succinic acid. The presence of these biological acids causes the unripe mangoes to have a lower pH value- giving it the acidic or the tangy taste.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the consumption of raw mango in combination with herbs to reduce its pH value to ease digestion and absorption. Some popular preparations of raw mangoes include:

  • Achaar: pickled raw mangoes are perfect as appetizers with Indian meals. This fermented form is rich in probiotics and aids in digestion
  • Aam Panna: a popular cooling drink made with raw mango, jaggery and spices that help treat heat stroke, exhaustion and dehydration by restoring the electrolyte balance within the body
  • Kairi and meetha: raw mango when eaten with honey reduces acid reflux and helps in treating digestive disorders like indigestion, nausea, bloating and flatulence
  • Dals and subzis: used daily in everyday cooking in dals and vegetables, cooked raw mango works as an astringent; has a cooling effect which helps beat the summer heat as it helps regulate body temperature
  • Raw mango/Kairi: when consumed by itself, it boosts liver function by aiding detoxification and formation of new blood cells

Note: Overindulging by eating unripe mangoes in large quantities can lead to throat irritation, digestive disorders like colic, indigestion, vomiting, and watery stools.

Ripe mangoes

Rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and an unbeatable sweetness, ripened mangoes are the highlight of the Indian summer. Some of the important health benefits of consuming ripened mangoes include:

  • Digestive health: ripe mangoes contain a soluble fiber, pectin, which acts as a prebiotic for the gut bacteria; helping the growth of good bacteria. It also contains digestive enzymes like amylases that help breakdown large food molecules into smaller ones
  • Carotenes: mangoes that are ripe contain vitamin A in the form of carotene which provides almost 25% of RDA (Required Dietary Allowance) per 100 gm fresh fruit. Carotenes are essential for good vision, lustrous skin, hair and to protect the body from different types of cancer
  • Blood pressure regulation: a great source of sodium and potassium salts (Table 1.) mangoes help in maintaining the body’s fluid balance which in turn regulates the heart rate and blood pressure
  • Immune system: 1 cup of ripe mango i.e., 100 gm consists of about 50% RDA of vitamin C which is an important nutrient required to fight infections. It also contains, vitamin E, K, folate and several other vitamins, all of which aid in building a powerful immune system.
  • Diabetes, cancer, and cholesterol: mangoes are rich in antioxidants that are responsible for free radical scavenging activities which reduce the risk of today’s lifestyle induced diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and other harmful health conditions like cancer, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke.

Can Diabetics Eat Mangoes?

When consumed in moderation, and under medical supervision, mangoes are perfectly safe for consumption by individuals managing diabetes. Though mangoes are high in sugars, it does have Sodium and Potassium salts that help control and maintain blood sugar levels.

When living with diabetes, it is best not to consume mangoes along with meals. Doing so would spike the blood sugar levels and increase the glycemic load tremendously. Since the meal provides you with the required carbohydrates, proteins and fats, that will be converted to sugars, consuming mangoes would add an additional load on the body’s digestive system and churn out more sugar which would be harmful for a diabetes patient.

It is ideal to eat mangoes as a midday snack in controlled portions. It is best to consult a clinical dietitian or a diabetes education specialist to plan out your meal to strategically distribute the glycemic load and balance it throughout all the meals of the day.

Do Mangoes Support Weight Loss?

Mangoes are rich in calories and are a perfect nutrient power pack snack along with instant sugars to boost energy levels. It a great natural dessert to satiate one’s sweet tooth and also helps reduce hunger pangs. However, eating mango a day will not help you lose weight. It is important to have a balanced diet with the right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals along with regular exercises to lose weight. Incorporating mangoes to a balanced diet is going to support you to maintain this active lifestyle, by satiating your sweet tooth.

Is It Safe for Pregnant Women to Eat Mangoes?

It is often said that mangoes are not safe for pregnant women and may cause abortion, but this is a myth. The fact is both raw and ripe mangoes are equally safe for pregnant women.

Ripe mangoes stimulate appetite, helps in digestion which otherwise is weak during pregnancy, reduces exhaustion, and also improves the luminosity of skin.

Raw mangoes, on the other hand, help combat acidity, morning sickness, and vomiting. Considering mango’s rich nutrition profile, it should be included in the diet to boost the health of the mother and fetus.

Beware of the Artificially Ripened Mangoes!

Though a ripe mango has a solid nutrition content, it can substantially diminish due to the practice of artificial ripening; a prevalent practice today.

Artificially ripened fruits are overly soft and lack the natural sweetness that would otherwise come through natural enzymatic activity in the fruit. In the artificial ripening process, calcium carbide pouches are placed amidst the mangoes. When this chemical comes in contact with moisture acetylene gas is formed which has a similar effect to that of ethylene- a plant hormone that helps ripen the fruit as a part of the natural ripening process.

Ethylene is a plant hormone produced by all parts of grown plants like roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds. It helps stimulating fruit ripening which is a natural method used for the fruit ripening process. The amounts of calcium carbide used depend on the rawness of mangoes. The usage of this chemical is banned by FSSAI as it is hazardous and may cause dizziness, sleepiness, mental confusion, memory distortion, and damage to the nervous system in some cases.

Here is a simple method to check if the mangoes are artificially ripened:
Put the mangoes in a bucket of water. If they sink, they are naturally ripened and if they float it means the mangoes are artificially ripened. You can also notice that artificially ripened mangoes are hard and not succulent.
Mangoes can be naturally ripened at home by placing them in paper bags or rice containers. Or place it along with apple and bananas to quicken the process.

EAT a Mango! This seasonal fruit is loaded with nutrients and its’ best to consume it during the summer season to reap maximum benefits. Try out different recipes with mangoes, ranging from the traditional aamras, or lassi, or shrikhand. Blend it with milk to make an ice-cream or a milkshake or just add it to your breakfast cereal for some mango-lovin’ goodness!

This article was written by the Fitday Nutrition team. For any questions, comments and clarifications please email us at care@fitday.in.

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