Mangoes are a tropical hardwood tree, whose fruits are amongst the sweetest and most beloved in the world. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors yet they are all flavorful . Unripe mangoes are enjoyed for their tanginess and crunch, while soft, ripe mangoes are incredibly sweet with subtle differences between varieties.
Mangoes are eaten raw, put in shakes or used in dishes all around the world. Here in the Philippines we are very lucky to enjoy a local, high quality supply of this delicious and nutritious fruit. While some varieties sell for quite a bit at market, others can be picked off the ground in some places.
Effects on The Immunity
As we can see, mango is extremely high in Vitamin C , a fact that is widely recognized. 100 grams of the fruit provides you with a whopping 46% of the recommended daily intake. Given that a many mangoes weigh upwards of 250 grams it is easy to get your daily dose. Consuming more than your daily requirement of Vitamin C has also shown to have potent health effects. This nutrient is needed for our body to produce many of our immune cells. The specialized cells of the Adaptive Immunity need Vitamin C to create unique, custom defenses against viruses.
Vitamin A is also present in a significant amount. This vitamin is essential in maintaining respiratory health as it is used in production of mucous, as well as antibodies that protect those surfaces (IgA).
Antioxidants in Mangos
Mangoes are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. These are very effective in protecting your body against oxidative stress. The strongest of these is called Mangiferin, which is found in high levels in mango more than any other food. This particular antioxidant has been shown to provide inhibition of the proliferation of the COVID virus similar to the drug hydroxychloroquine, without the potential negative side effects. 1 2
COVID RESISTANCE: Vitamin A is the number one nutrient for protecting our respiratory system, bolstering your first(mucous) line of defense, and also produces antibodies (IgA) that protect your lungs. Vitamin C is essential for adaptive immunity which will protect you from variants of the virus. Recent research has shown that Antioxidants are key in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation which lead to progression to severe COVID symptoms.
Mangoes grow all over the Philippines, with several varieties providing us with this fruit about 4-6 months in the year. Mangoes are fairly easy to propagate as fresh or dried seeds will germinate in any good soil. You will have to wait 5-10 years until the tree bears fruit however.
Depending on the variety, mangoes may be heavily treated with chemicals. Most Carabao Mango (yellow mango) plantations suffer from disease, malnutrition and pest outbreaks, due to monocropping and poor soil health. This means that commercial mango farms use the whole spectrum of harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides herbicides and fertilizers. If you are eating yellow mangoes, please be aware of this and find an organic producer.
Indian (Green) mangoes on the other hand tend to be grown organically simply because they are very hardy and low maintenance. Furthermore, most of those on sale are from small-scale producers with 1-10 trees rather than conventional orchards. It is still good to verify that they were grown without chemicals but be prepared to get a surprised laugh from the seller from time to time when you do.