Mangoes are better at relieving digestive problems than many high-fibre foods, a study has found.
The fruit, which contains both fibre and nutrients called polyphenols, is said to treat constipation and gut inflammation more effectively than an equivalent amount of fibre powder.
One in five adults is thought to suffer from a long-term digestive condition.
For the four-week study, 36 men and women with chronic constipation were divided into two groups: one given a daily dose of 300 grammes of mango, or roughly one fruit, the other an equivalent amount of fibre supplement.
Aside from this, their diet was kept constant for calories, carbohydrates, fibre, protein and fat. At the end of the month, both groups showed reduced constipation but mangoes were found to be more effective at easing symptoms than fibre alone.
The fruit also helped improve the make-up of bacteria in the gut and reduced inflammation.
Co-author Professor Susanne Mertens-Talcott, of Texas A&M University, said fibre supplements and laxatives could effectively treat constipation but do not address other symptoms such as inflammation. She added: ‘Our findings suggest mango offers an advantage over fibre supplement.’ The study appears in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.