Mango And Anti-Inflammatory Properties

  • Georgina Gnan Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Psychology, King's College London


A mango a day keeps inflammation at bay?

Mango is sometimes referred to as “the king of fruits”. It is a tropical fruit that has continued to grow in popularity. It is not only because of its sweet aroma and delicious taste but also because of its other benefits. While you are probably aware that you can eat mangoes raw or processed in several ways: juice, jam, smoothies, canned, frozen, in desserts, as chutneys or as dehydrated products - did you know that they also have many medicinal properties and health benefits? One of these health benefits is the reduction of inflammation. This article will tell you why this is important.

The importance of anti-inflammatory properties in food

Inflammation is part of the body’s defence mechanism when it recognises anything foreign or a toxin, and is a normal part of the healing process if you have an injury or illness. But if inflammation is ongoing, it can have negative consequences on your health.1

Eating anti-inflammatory foods is important as it can lower your risk of certain chronic illnesses such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), arthritis, heart disease and diabetes by protecting you from the damage that can be caused by chronic inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet can also lower your blood pressure and boost your mental health.2

Rich sources of vitamins and minerals 

Mangoes are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. They contain macronutrients (nutrients required in large amounts), such as carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, lipids (like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids), organic acids and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of micronutrients (nutrients required in relatively small amounts), including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins (C and A).3  

Anti-inflammatory compounds in mango

Mangoes are also an excellent source of “bioactive compounds” (compounds which affect a living organism) such as polyphenols and carotenoids. Polyphenols protect the body's tissues against oxidative stress (which occurs when your antioxidant levels are low) and associated pathologies such as cancers, coronary heart disease and inflammation.4 

The polyphenols found in mangoes include gallic acids, gallotannins, quercetin, and mangiferin. Gallic acid is the major polyphenol present in mangoes, and it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Mangiferin is also effective against several oxidative stress and inflammation-associated conditions (e.g. diabetes, arthritis) even in very low concentrations.5 

The anti-inflammatory properties of the bioactive compounds in mangoes are so impressive that studies have been carried out with these bioactive compounds to use them in the design of new medicines with fewer side effects and greater effectiveness than existing treatments.6

Mango is also one of the best sources of carotenoids. Like polyphenols, carotenoids exert antioxidant effects and can improve health. 3

The health benefits of these compounds in mango rely on the “bioavailability” and “bioaccessibility” of the compounds in the human body – the portion of the compound available to be absorbed in the gastrointestinal system and the portion of the compound that reaches the gastrointestinal system after it is absorbed respectively. The polyphenolic profile in mango is complex, and it varies depending on the variety of mango, stage of maturity, food processing and the part of the fruit used (peel, pulp, or seed).7 It has been reported that the quantity of phenolic compounds such as gallic acid and their associated antioxidant capacity decrease as the fruit ripens.4 The carotenoid content also usually changes depending on the fruit maturity stage and the local environment.3

How does it work?

The intestinal (or gut) microbiome (the collection of all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes, that naturally live on our bodies and inside us) plays a crucial role in building and maintaining intestinal barrier function and regulating the intestinal immune system. Using probiotics and prebiotics can change the makeup of the gut microbiome to influence immune response. Polyphenols, such as those rich in mangoes, can act as prebiotics and promote the growth of beneficial gut microbiota, thereby improving gut health.7 Gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcers are due to oxidative processes. 6 Oxidative stress is also considered an important factor for triggering chronic inflammation through the activation of numerous transcription factors.6 A diet rich in compounds with high antioxidant activity, such as polyphenols present in mango, can potentially alleviate many chronic degenerative diseases triggered by oxidative stress,6 by preventing or lessening inflammation and other symptoms associated with these diseases. 

Incorporating mango into the diet for anti-inflammatory benefits

Given the nutritional and medicinal effects of mango, you may be wondering how you can best incorporate mango into your diet. So, what is the best way to do this? How do you make sure you benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties? Well, firstly, you should eat mango regularly to benefit from its anti-inflammatory effects. Combining mango with turmeric and coconut milk, which are also highly anti-inflammatory, to make a smoothie is a really popular way to start the day. 

While the pulp, or flesh, can be made into several high-value products like juice and jam, the peel and seed should not just be seen as byproducts and discarded as waste. The total polyphenols are higher in the peel than in the flesh. Mango seeds are equally rich in polyphenols with potent antioxidative activity.4 They also contain starch, essential amino acids and oil. They are used to produce mango butter and mango seed flour, which are used in the functional food industry.3 Mango seed oil, which is similar in consistency to cocoa butter, can be used in chocolate, margarine, and various desserts, as well as in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.8

Considerations and precautions

If you have had the pleasure of indulging in a sweet mango, then it won’t come as a surprise that the flesh of the mango also contains a relatively large amount of sugar, meaning it doesn’t lack calories either. So, despite the health benefits, it is advised that you consume mango in moderation as part of a balanced diet. 

Mangoes are considered easy to digest and are usually well tolerated. Mango peels can, in rare cases, cause a skin rash, but this is usually if you are exposed to lots of it, for example, working in mango harvesting, and is not caused by just peeling a mango to eat it. It is extremely rare to be allergic to mangoes. 


The consumption of mangoes and other products derived from the mango plant is considered a healthy habit due to its high nutritional value and anti-inflammatory qualities. Mangoes are a true superfood. Who knew that one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents is in your refrigerator rather than your medicine cabinet? 


  1. Stromsnes K, Correas AG, Lehmann J, Gambini J, Olaso-Gonzalez G. Anti-inflammatory properties of diet: role in healthy aging. Biomedicines [Internet]. 2021 Jul 30 [cited 2023 Nov 25];9(8):922. Available from:
  2. Lv X, Sun S, Wang J, Chen H, Li S, Hu Y, et al. Anti-inflammatory dietary diversity and depressive symptoms among older adults: a nationwide cross-sectional analysis. Nutrients [Internet]. 2022 Nov 28 [cited 2023 Nov 25];14(23):5062. Available from:
  3. Lebaka VR, Wee YJ, Ye W, Korivi M. Nutritional composition and bioactive compounds in three different parts of mango fruit. Int J Environ Res Public Health [Internet]. 2021 Jan [cited 2023 Nov 25];18(2):741. Available from:
  4. Masibo M, He Q. Mango bioactive compounds and related nutraceutical properties—a review. Food Reviews International [Internet]. 2009 Sep 29 [cited 2023 Nov 25];25(4):346–70. Available from:
  5. Saha S, Sadhukhan P, Sil PC. Mangiferin: A xanthonoid with multipotent anti‐inflammatory potential. BioFactors [Internet]. 2016 Sep 10 [cited 2023 Nov 25];42(5):459–74. Available from:
  6. Ferreira Gomes CC, Siqueira Oliveira L, Rodrigues DC, Ribeiro PRV, Canuto KM, Duarte ASG, et al. Evidence for antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory potential of mango (mangifera indica l.) in naproxen‐induced gastric lesions in rat. Journal of Food Biochemistry [Internet]. 2022 Mar [cited 2023 Nov 25];46(3). Available from:
  7. Kim H, Castellon-Chicas MJ, Arbizu S, Talcott ST, Drury NL, Smith S, et al. Mango (Mangifera indica L.) polyphenols: anti-inflammatory intestinal microbial health benefits, and associated mechanisms of actions. Molecules [Internet]. 2021 Jan [cited 2023 Nov 25];26(9):2732. Available from:
  8. Köhler A. Domestic Fits. 2023 [cited 2023 Nov 25]. 10 benefits of mango and 2 side effects(+nutrition facts). Available from:
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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Georgina Gnan

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Psychology, King's College London

Georgina is a an early-career researcher working within clinical, health and community psychology. She is passionate about prevention and treatment of mental health problems, with a particular interest in creative methods and holistic approaches to healthcare. 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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