Boosting Immunity With Mango

  • Catrin Emily Jones Bachelor of Science - BS, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing, Swansea University, UK


The job that our immune system has is an important one; it protects our bodies from disease-causing germs known as pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses, parasites and cancerous cells). It is vital to keep our immune system strong and healthy, as it will have an easier time concurrently protecting healthy tissue and fighting pathogens. Therefore, people with strong immunity experience fewer infections and are able to recover faster when they are unwell.

Our immune system is complex, and many factors influence it. This article aims to explore an example of one of those factors, which is nutrition. Nutrition is an essential part of human health and development; it contributes to an improved immune system by promoting a diverse gut microbiota

Role of diet in boosting immunity

Nutrition can have an impact on the microbiome, gut barrier function (which helps the absorption of nutrients and fluids), inflammatory processes, and white blood cell function. All of these interconnect, as they impact our immune function. 

An unhealthy diet can precipitate harmful health consequences because the quantity and type of nutrients we consume play a crucial role in supporting the proper functioning of the immune system. Therefore, our immune systems will weaken if there is an inappropriate consumption of nutrients. 1

For example, there is a diet known as the “Western” type, which is typically characterised by overeating, frequent snacking and the large consumption of carbohydrates, added sugars, saturated fats, and calories. 2 A large intake of these food groups can result in the onset of a wide range of metabolic disorders and chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. 3

Conversely, a diet consisting of fruit and vegetables can provide the nutrients that our bodies and immune systems need.3 A fruit that produces positive effects on the immune system is the mango as it has a rich dietary source. 4

Nutritional benefits of mango

The mango is native to South Asia but is grown commercially in over 111 countries. Due to its sweet flavour and nutritional value, the mango is considered the “King” of all fruits.4 Mangoes produce energy and sugar for the eater and contain several beneficial and healthy bioactive components.5

Mangoes contain minerals, namely calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and iron.4,6 Ensuring that we intake the recommended amount of minerals helps the optimal functioning of our immune system. This includes the adaptive immune response, which targets the specific germ that causes infections and remembers it, assisting our bodies to become immune to certain illnesses. 7

The phenolic compound  (antioxidant) gallic acid is found in mangoes.4 Gallic acid can help modulate our immune systems and act as a natural defence mechanism against microbial infections.8

The mango is known as a “functional food”; functional foods serve beneficial effects in one or more physiological functions and protect against disease via multiple mechanisms.9, 4

Mangoes contain Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, a water-soluble vitamin that is predominantly found in citrus fruits and diverse vegetables (e.g. peppers, cabbage and potatoes).4, 10 Vitamin C is not stored within our bodies in large amounts. As a result of this, incorporating foods that are rich in vitamin C in our diet is important for growth, repairing bones, teeth, skin and tissues, the prevention of cell damage and maintaining the health of our immune system by protecting it from infections and health conditions. 4 Some examples of these health conditions include diabetes, the common cold, atherosclerosis, cataracts, glaucoma, strokes, heart disease, COVID-19 and cancer.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

1 cup (165 grams) of mango can provide the eater with nearly 67% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. The recommended daily value for vitamin C for each individual is:

  • 90mg for adults who were assigned male at birth
  • 75mg for adults who were assigned female at birth
  • 85mg for those who are pregnant

If you are a smoker, you require an additional 35mg of vitamin C per day than what would have been typically recommended for you in the above statistics. Find further information here for the recommended vitamin C daily value for children of specific ages.

Antioxidants in mango

Mangoes contain antioxidants, which are molecules that can assist your body in fighting off harmful free radicals, which have associations with health conditions such as cancer and diabetes. Antioxidants are associated with a collection of various anti-ageing compounds that can promote longevity for humans. Antioxidant compounds directly or indirectly combat oxidation.19

To achieve balance after oxidative stress, the human body reacts with antioxidants from endogenous (metabolic antioxidants) and/or exogenous (nutrient antioxidants) sources. By increasing the body’s antioxidant defences through the consumption of dietary supplements or food that is rich with antioxidants, many chronic diseases – as well as disease progression – can be respectively prevented or slowed.19

One of the antioxidants in mangoes is called carotenoids. Carotenoids are an essential part of the human diet as they have positive effects on antioxidation, preventing vitamin A deficiency, and supply dietary sources for decreasing the incidence of age-related eye diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease; these play a vital role in human health and nutrition.20 Two examples of carotenoids are lutein and zeaxanthin.21

Fibre content in mango

Dietary fibre (DF) is a vital health benefit component that is predominantly found in the fruit and vegetable food groups.22 Characteristically, DF is a structure that is built by a variety of polysaccharides  (carbohydrates) such as cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, gums, and B-glucans.23 Incorporating DF into our daily diets promises health benefits; this includes the prevention and treatment of diabetes, colon cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disorder, and atherosclerosis.22

DF assists with a human’s digestive system, maintaining the movement of food throughout our gut and pushing waste out of the body.22

One cup of mango (165 grams) contains 2.6 grams of fibre. Government guidelines advise that humans’ dietary fibre intake should be increased to 30g a day if we want to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

Children do not require as much fibre in their diet as adults do; however, government guidelines advise that a child’s daily fibre intake is nevertheless increased. On average:

  • 2-5-year-olds require approximately 15g of fibre per day
  • 5-11 year olds require approximately 20g of fibre per day
  • 11-16 year olds require approximately 25g of fibre per day

Incorporating mango into the diet

Mangoes have a rich content of antioxidants and fibre. Therefore, the health benefits that could arise from including this fruit in your daily diet include improved digestive health as well as boosting your immunity.  

Here are some ideas you could explore to incorporate mango into your diet: 

  • You could make mango smoothies (a drink containing fruit, yoghurt or milk), which are flavoursome but are also very beneficial for the immune system due to their content of vitamin C and protein (from the milk or yoghurt)24
  • Additionally, mango can be used to make jellies, ice cream, milkshakes and fruit cocktails
  • You could purchase canned mango slices or frozen mango to enjoy as a snack or add them to your meals (i.e. breakfast meals or salad)
  • You could purchase mango juice if you would prefer to incorporate mango into your diet as a drink.
  • Mango is available as jams and chutneys25

Precautions and considerations

An allergy to mangoes is caused by urushiol, an oily resin that is found in the Anacardiaceae family (to which the mango belongs). An allergy to mangoes can occur in two ways: either the immediate hypersensitivity reaction or the late reaction. 26

The immediate hypersensitivity can manifest as wheezing dyspnoea, anaphylaxis, erythema, urticaria, and angioedema.

The late reaction typically presents as contact dermatitis and periorbital oedema. 26

Consult your General Practitioner (GP) or healthcare professional if you believe that you or your child has an allergy. Your GP may arrange some allergy tests or refer you to a specialist allergy clinic to undergo tests. 


The mango is a popular fruit choice due to its flavoursome taste and richness of nutrients. Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre, mangoes offer many health benefits and the potential to enhance immune function. The mango’s ability to additionally combat oxidative stress helps to prevent health conditions such as cancer and diabetes and contributes to heart and eye health, highlighting its role in boosting the body’s defence mechanisms. Incorporate mango into your diet to help obtain your body’s required balance of minerals. It would be a nutritious and full-of-flavour strategy to promote overall well-being and strengthen immune resilience.


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This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Catrin Emily Jones

Bachelor of Science - BS, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing, Swansea University

Cat is a qualified mental health nurse who has worked across multiple sectors, such as hospital wards and in the community. Cat has several years of experience in geriatric nursing, specifically dementia care. She is bilingual and is fluent in both the English and Welsh languages. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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