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Why mango really is a superfood

HealthBy Sunday World
Why mango really is a superfood

Regularly eating mango can aid good bacteria in the gut, new research claims.

Scientists at Oklahoma State University have studied how consuming the tropical fruit impacts health and found that it can prevent the loss of beneficial gut bacteria which can be caused by a high-fat diet. They claim the specific bacteria in the intestinal tract may play a role in obesity and obesity-related complications, such as Type 2 diabetes.

For the study, the researchers put 60 mice in one of four dietary treatment groups for 12 weeks.

This included a control group where 10 per cent of calories consumed were from fat, a high fat group where 60 per cent of calories were from fat, or a high fat diet where one or 10 per cent of it was mango.

All high-fat diets had similar macronutrient, calcium, phosphorus, and fibre content.

When samples were compared from the beginning to the end of the study period, those which were supplemented with mango lost the least beneficial gut bacteria often induced by a high-fat diet.

“Fibre and other bioactive compounds in plant-based foods are suggested to prevent gut dysbiosis caused by a high-fat diet,” said lead researcher Dr Edralin A. Lucas. “Mango is a good source of fibre and has been reported in previous studies to have anti-obesogenic, hypoglycemic and immunomodulatory properties. The results of this animal study showed that adding mango to the diet may help maintain and regulate gut health and levels of beneficial bacteria levels.”

The results add to a growing body of evidence the tropical fruit, which is native to southern Asia, has various health-boosting properties.

Previous studies found compounds in mango exhibit anti-inflammatory activities with its high fibre-content aiding digestion.

One cup of mango is bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals and provides a good source of fibre, the researchers claim in their report.

Dr Lucas now hopes to conduct further research into the fruit to see if the study results can be replicated in humans.

The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, was commissioned by the National Mango Board which promotes consumption of the fruit in the U.S.

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