Mangoes are so sweet, you might think you are cheating on your diet when you eat one. Don't worry -- a mango fits into a healthy diet plan without guilt. However, it helps to vary mangoes with other fruits in your diet to get all the nutrients you need.
The USDA's MyPlate recommends fruit as part of a healthy plate. The plate model helps you make a healthy meal by encouraging you to put a pattern of food groups on your plate. MyPlate suggests filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The amount of fruit you need varies depending on your age, but most women need 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit each day. One mango is the equivalent of about 2 cups, which would fulfill your daily requirement of fruit.
One mango contains about 200 calories. Fruits usually contain more calories than vegetables because they contain the natural sugar fructose. Refined sugar is not good for you, but the sugar in fruit accompanies other benefits like vitamins, minerals and fiber, making fruit a healthy choice. You should still watch your portion size of fruit, though, because it is easy to overeat. One mango could make two great snacks if cut in half, or an indulgent dessert after dinner.
One mango contains 564 milligrams of potassium, an important nutrient for your heart. It may also be beneficial to your bones, according to Dr. Susan E. Brown, a bone health expert. The adequate intake of potassium developed by the Institute of Medicine is 4,700 milligrams per day, but the average intake of potassium is only 2,200 milligrams daily for women, reports Dr. Brown. One mango would provide about 12 percent of the AI of potassium.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a crucial element of tissue building. Most other mammals make vitamin C, but humans do not and must get it from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A mango contains 122 milligrams of vitamin C, or about 163 percent of the average woman's recommended daily allowance of 75 milligrams. Without vitamin C, you might get sick more easily or get scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums.
One mango also contains 181 micrograms of vitamin A, another antioxidant. Vitamin A is crucial for vision -- a lack may cause night blindness, which can be cured by correcting the deficiency. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene can be found in orange, yellow and dark green fruits and vegetables like mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli. The RDA for vitamin A is 700 micrograms per day, so a mango will give you 26 percent of your needs.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Fruit Is Needed Daily?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data For Mangoes, Raw
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Estimated Average Requirements
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Vitamin C as an Antioxidant: Evaluation of Its Role in Disease Prevention
- Medline Plus: Vitamin A
Samantha Scruggs is a registered dietitian who is passionate about nutrition, healthy living and exercise. She works in a clinic with dialysis patients. Scruggs earned a bachelor's degree in public health nutrition from the University of North Carolina.