Could mango minimize weight gain?  Scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus — home of the Dole Nutrition Research Lab — found that mango worked magic in a mouse study, dramatically blocking many effects of a high-fat diet.

Researchers fed mice high-fat chow — with or without mango mixed in — for two months. Though overall caloric intake was the same, the mango-fed mice ended up gaining 84% less fat weight than those on the straight high-fat diet. In fact, the mango mice gained just 5% more weight than a control group on a normal diet! The tropical fruit also helped restrain cholesterol levels, which ended up 20% lower among mango mice. According to study co-author Penny Perkins-Veazie, PhD, “The mango mice were basically protected from gaining fat weight, even while on a high-fat diet!”

Why might this be? The credit may go partly to mango phytochemicals, speculated to help enhance fat burning.  Also, per cup mangos contain 80% of daily vitamin C, higher levels of which were found to boost the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Of course, weight management is but one reason to munch on mangos: Prostate health.  Mango-fed mice had a 75% reduction in prostate enlargement, in one Indian study. Enjoy mango in our recipe Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa.

Bonus: Tropical fruit like mangos may help minimize mercury absorption. Top fish with mango salsa, or use your Yonanas® to enjoy a frozen mango dessert.

Published July 1, 2012