Diane’s Dish On… Mangos

Here's a look at some of the health benefits of mango, tips for cooking with it, and other fun facts
Diane's Dish on Mango

Personal chef and culinary nutritionist Diane Henderiks shows us how to incorporate mango into some great dishes


Carotenoid-rich mangos are good for your eyes, skin, and immune system.

Mango is a tropical super fruit that originated in India. Mangos are in a family of fruit-bearing trees that includes cashews and pistachios. The mango is considered a drupe due to the edible flesh surrounding an inedible pit — similar to olives, cherries, and peaches. They are protected by a smooth outer skin and have an orange-yellow flesh with a sweet flavor. Mango season is from April to August.

Nutrition Noshes

  • Mango is an excellent source of carotenoids, a type of vitamin A that provides cancer-fighting antioxidants and supports healthy vision, skin and immunity.
  • Mangos are high in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. 
  • Mangos are high in fiber and act as a pre-biotic, which promotes the formation of healthy bacteria on the intestines.
  • The antioxidants found in mangos can protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Mangos are heart-healthy and can help lower blood pressure and protect against stroke and heart disease.
  • Mangos are also brain-healthy — the B6 found in mangos promotes proper nerve function that manages mood and sleep function.
  • Soluble and insoluble fiber are both found in mangos, making them excellent for fighting high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as promoting weight management.
  • The enzymes found in mangos can help protect against indigestion and keep the skin healthy by opening clogged pores to fight off acne.

Culinary Corner:

  • Unripe mangos have green skin that will turn yellow or orange-red when ripe.
  • A few tricks to cutting a mango:
  1. Using a chef knife, make four cuts around the center pit. Remove the skin either by peeling back the skin and removing the flesh, or by sliding a knife between the skin and flesh. Slice or chop as desired.
  2. For a beautiful presentation, cut the fruit length-wise into three pieces on either side of the seed to make two halves.  Using a paring knife, score the flesh horizontally, then vertically, careful not to cut through skin. Invert the half by pushing the skin inward to present mango cubes.
  • Don’t get rid of the pit right away! The sweetest part of the mango is around the pit, so enjoy the flesh around it.
  • Mangos can be enjoyed alone because of their sweet flavor.
  • Add sliced or chopped mangos to salads, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, or pancakes.
  • Create a sweet and spicy salsa by mixing diced mango with red onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Enjoy with chips, fresh veggies, fish, pork, chicken, or tacos.
  • Blend mangos and place into ice cube trays and freeze for a frozen treat.
  • Create a mango purée that can be used in place of syrup for breakfast foods, in yogurt, or on ice cream.
  • Add mango cubes to kebobs for added sweetness.
  • Instead of jelly, make a PB & Mango sandwich for your next lunch.
  • Make a healthy dessert at your next BBQ by grilling mango slices.

Fun Facts

  • Mango is called “King of the Fruits”
  • Mangos are the most popular fruit in the world.
  • The paisley pattern is based on the shape of a mango.
  • In some cultures, giving someone a basket of mangos is a gesture of friendship.
  • Legend has is Buddha frequently meditated under mango trees due to the tranquility he found there.
  • In India, the mango tree is a symbol of love and is believed to grant wishes.

Click here to see Diane's Crock Maple-Mango BBQ Sauce

Diane Henderiks is a personal chef and culinary nutritionist on a mission to teach America how to cook and eat well. Follow her on Twitter @dhenderiks, "Like" Diane on Facebook, or visit her website.