Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Their sweet, creamy flesh is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients like vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. However, some people may wonder if there are any downsides to eating too many mangoes.
Nutritional Content of Mangoes
First, let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of mangoes. One cup of mango contains:
|Vitamin A||54% DV|
|Vitamin C||77% DV|
|Vitamin B6||11% DV|
As you can see, mangoes are high in carbs and natural sugars but also provide a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Potential Downsides of Eating Too Much Mango
While mangoes are very healthy in moderation, eating too much could potentially cause some issues:
- Weight gain – Like other high-sugar fruits, mangoes are high in calories and carbs. Overdoing it could contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain over time.
- Blood sugar spikes – A cup of mango has over 20 grams of sugar. Eating a lot of mango could spike blood sugar levels, especially for diabetics or prediabetics.
- Gastrointestinal issues – Too much fiber from mango skin or flesh could cause gas, bloating, diarrhea or other digestive problems in sensitive people.
- Allergic reactions – Mangoes contain urushiol, the oil found in poison ivy/oak. People with mango allergy may get an itchy rash.
- High vitamin A intake – While vitamin A is beneficial, excessive amounts over time can cause nausea, liver damage, and other problems.
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Mango
What exactly could happen if you regularly eat several mangoes per day? Here are some potential side effects:
Mangoes are high in natural sugar with a medium-sized mango containing around 50 grams of sugar and over 200 calories. If you’re eating multiple mangoes daily, the excess calories, carbs, and sugar could easily add up leading to increased body weight over time.
In one case study, a woman with diabetes was diagnosed with mango-induced hyperglycemia after eating around 2-3 mangoes per day for several weeks. Her blood sugar levels spiked after mango binges.
While fruits are healthy, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and the natural sugar content of very sweet fruits like mangoes.
For some people, eating a lot of mango may cause symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain
This is likely due to the high fiber content. Large amounts can irritate the digestive tract. The peel, sap, and pit of mangoes also contain irritating resin and oils.
In one report, a man in India developed severe diarrhea and dehydration after bingeing on mangoes. His symptoms resolved after discontinuing mango consumption.
Dangerously High Potassium Levels
Hyperkalemia means high blood levels of potassium. While potassium is an essential nutrient, too much can be dangerous.
In rare cases, regularly eating extremely large amounts of mangoes could potentially cause excessively high potassium levels, though this is very uncommon.
People with kidney disorders may be more susceptible to hyperkalemia if consuming mangoes in excess.
Adverse Drug Interactions
Mangoes contain a digestive enzyme called maganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). This enzyme may adversely interact with certain medications.
In particular, drugs broken down by the liver’s cytochrome P450 system appear most susceptible. These drug classes include:
- Calcium channel blockers
- Beta blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Those taking these types of medications may want to limit mango intake to avoid reduced drug efficacy. However, more research is still needed.
Increased Fiber Intake
Mango peel and flesh are excellent sources of fiber. However, sharply increasing your fiber intake can sometimes cause temporary digestive issues.
Possible side effects of suddenly eating much more mango fiber include:
Gradually increasing mango intake can help minimize adverse effects. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to aid fiber digestion.
Some people may experience allergic reactions to mangoes. This is often related to mango urushiol, the same compound found in poison ivy/oak.
Potential mango allergy symptoms include:
- Itchy rash
- Swelling of lips, face, tongue
- Upset stomach
In severe cases, anaphylaxis may occur leading to throat tightness and difficulty breathing. People with mango allergy should avoid consumption.
Excess Vitamin A Intake
Mangoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A. However, vitamin A is fat soluble and can accumulate to excess levels in the body.
Consuming extremely high amounts over prolonged periods can lead to vitamin A toxicity. Symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Skin irritation
- Joint and bone pain
- Liver damage
This side effect is quite rare but possible with bingeing on large quantities of mangoes daily.
Recommended Mango Intake
So how much mango is too much? Here are some recommendations for healthy mango consumption:
- 1 medium mango 2-3 times per week is a healthy, moderate amount for most people.
- No more than 1-2 cups of mango per day.
- Limit mango smoothies to around 1 cup of chopped fruit.
- Avoid eating mangoes on an empty stomach or in excess.
- Pay attention to portion sizes and your overall calorie intake.
As with any fruit, it’s ideal to enjoy mangoes in moderation as part of a balanced, healthy diet. Be cautious about overdoing it.
While mangoes are nutritious, some individuals should use caution with high intake:
- Diabetics – Monitor blood sugar levels carefully when eating mangoes.
- Weight loss dieters – Account for the calories and sugar in mangoes.
- Those prone to diarrhea – High fiber content may exacerbate diarrhea.
- Allergy sufferers – Discontinue consumption if you suspect a mango allergy.
- Kidney disorders – Mangoes may affect potassium levels.
- Medication interactions – Consult your doctor about possible mango interactions.
Mangoes are a delicious tropical fruit that can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. While they provide beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and more, eating too much mango may cause side effects like digestive issues, weight gain, dangerous medication interactions and more in some individuals.
For most people, 1 or 2 mangoes two to three times per week is a safe and healthy amount. But be cautious about overindulging. Pay attention to portion sizes, calories, and how your body responds.
Overall, mangoes are a nutritious fruit that are best enjoyed in moderation by most healthy individuals.