The addition of wellness-boosting moringa elevates this mango smoothie to delicious new heights. An enticing blend of tropical fruit and nutrient-rich greens, it’s sure to become one of your favourites!
The magnificent mango
Mangoes have long been one of the world’s most popular fruits. With their sweet, juicy taste and appetising scent, it’s easy to see why! They’re wonderfully versatile, enabling us to use them in everything from a mango smoothie to salads, chutneys, and desserts. In fact, they’re so beloved that they’re the national fruit of not one but three countries: India, Pakistan, and The Philippines. As a bonus, mango is also the national tree of Bangladesh. It’s believed mangoes were first grown in India approximately 5,000 years ago.(1) The country is still the biggest producer of the fruit, although most of them are for domestic consumption. Beyond being delicious, mangoes have cultural significance too. It’s said that Buddha meditated in the peaceful shade of a mango tree, and so the fruit is considered sacred in Buddhism. Likewise, mango leaves are a common decoration in Hindu festivals. Here in the UK, we source our mangoes from all over the globe, including Brazil, Peru, and the Ivory Coast. Botanically speaking, scientists classify mangoes as drupes – fleshy fruits with a thick skin and central stone containing the seed. This puts them in the same family as cherries, plums, and even pecans. There are hundreds of different varieties, each with a unique flavour, colour, and shape. Unfortunately, we tend to only find one or two kinds in the supermarket! To enjoy mangoes at their best, try to pick one that’s slightly soft to the touch. If it’s hard, it’s not ripe yet. Conversely, avoid ones which feel mushy or have very soft spots. You should store unripe mangoes at room temperature – putting them in a paper bag can speed up the ripening process. Meanwhile, pop ripe mangoes in the fridge to stay fresh and flavourful, ready to use in a mango smoothie!
The health benefits of mango
It’s not just its gorgeous flavour that earned the mango its nickname as the king of fruits. Mangoes also have an impressive nutritional profile, giving the humble mango smoothie a wide variety of potential health benefits. For example, mangoes are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which protect our bodies from harm caused by free radicals.(2) This is important because research has linked free radical damage to a range of chronic diseases and signs of ageing.(3) These polyphenols could also have anti-cancer properties, with studies finding that they may help prevent the growth of cancer cells.(4) One of the most valuable polyphenols in mango is mangiferin. Research indicates that in addition to its anti-cancer effects, mangiferin helps support the health of your heart.(5) It does so by lowering levels of cholesterol in the blood, as well as protecting against inflammation. This is bolstered by the fact that mangoes contain the minerals magnesium and potassium, which help to reduce blood pressure.(6) Treating yourself to a mango smoothie could also be good for the health of your eyes. That’s because mangoes are rich in two carotenoids called lutein and zeaxanthin. These can help fight against age-related macular degeneration.(7) They may additionally protect the retina from sunlight, and even the blue light that digital devices emit.(8) Moreover, mangoes contain plenty of vitamin A, which further supports your vision. Finally, mangoes can be great for your digestive health. This is partly because they’re high in fibre, but also as a result of other beneficial compounds the fruit contains.(9) Thus mangoes could be helpful for conditions such as constipation and diarrhoea, as well as reducing gut inflammation.
Tropical meets earthy: our moringa and mango smoothie recipe
You probably already have a good idea of how to make a mango smoothie. However, we’ve made a few tweaks to the standard recipe! Our moringa and mango smoothie recipe is more of a green smoothie than a typical tropical drink. This gives it a highly nuanced flavour and elevates its nutritional value even further. In addition to the mango, we recommend using half an avocado to give the smoothie a beautifully creamy consistency. We’ve also included half a cup of spinach to make sure you get that lush green colour. Both these ingredients bring their own fantastic health benefits too, which we’ll look at in a minute! To this base, you want to add the juice of half a lemon for a lovely hint of citrus. Yuzu and lime both make great alternatives if you’d like to mix things up a bit! You’ll note that the recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of raw honey or agave nectar, but you can also use maple syrup. Feel free to adjust the amount so that you get the perfect level of sweetness to suit your tastes! Lastly, we’ve suggested using two cups of oat milk to ensure all the ingredients blend together smoothly. Of course, you can swap this for another type of plant-based milk, such as coconut, if you prefer. Naturally, the star of this moringa and mango smoothie is the moringa powder. It has a slightly bitter, grassy, and peppery taste t