Is mango lassi good for health?

Mango lassi is a popular yogurt-based drink that originated in India. It is made by blending mangoes, yogurt, and water together to create a sweet, creamy beverage. Mango lassi is enjoyed worldwide for its delicious flavor, but many people wonder if this treat is healthy or just a sugary dessert in disguise.

What is mango lassi?

Mango lassi is made by pureeing ripe mangoes with plain yogurt, water, and spices like cardamom. The yogurt provides the tangy, creamy base while the mangoes infuse the drink with natural sweetness. Traditional mango lassi contains no added sugars. The mixture is whisked together until smooth and frothy.

Standard ingredients for mango lassi include:

  • Mangoes – 1-2 cups of chopped ripe mangoes
  • Plain yogurt – 1-2 cups
  • Water – 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup
  • Spices like ground cardamom, saffron, or rose water (optional)
  • Sugar, honey or other sweetener (optional)

The exact ratios can be adjusted based on personal taste preferences for thickness and sweetness. Many modern recipes call for additional ingredients like sugar, honey, evaporated or condensed milk. But traditionally, the natural sweetness of ripe mangoes is enough.

Nutrition facts

The nutrition profile of mango lassi can vary widely depending on the specific ingredients used. Here are some general nutrition facts for a 1-cup serving of plain, homemade mango lassi made with lowfat yogurt and no added sweeteners:

  • Calories: 165
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Sugar: 28g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Calcium: 20% DV
  • Vitamin C: 25% DV

As you can see, a serving of mango lassi is high in vitamins, minerals, and protein from the yogurt. But it also contains around 30 grams of natural sugar, primarily from the mangoes. Variations made with added sweeteners or richer dairy products will increase the calorie, carb, and fat content.

Potential health benefits

When made traditionally without excess sugars or calories, mango lassi can provide some important health upsides, including:

  • Strong bones. The calcium and vitamin D in yogurt promotes healthy, strong bones.
  • Immune boost. Mangoes and yogurt offer vitamin C, zinc, and probiotics to support immune function.
  • Improved digestion. The probiotics in yogurt aid digestion and gut health.
  • Weight control. Protein and fiber help induce feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
  • Hydration. The water and electrolytes in mango lassi rehydrate the body.
  • Skin and vision health. Vitamin A in mangoes benefits skin and eye health.

Additionally, mangoes provide antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, polyphenols, flavonoids, and more that may help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Early research also indicates mangoes may have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and blood sugar regulating benefits.

Potential downsides

While homemade mango lassi made with just yogurt, mangoes, and water is healthy in moderation, some variations may have disadvantages including:

  • High sugar content. Added sugar increases calories and harms blood sugar control.
  • Low protein. Using water instead of yogurt reduces protein intake.
  • High fat. Full-fat dairy options increase unhealthy saturated fat.
  • Limited nutrients. Adding milk over yogurt lowers amounts of probiotics, calcium, and vitamin D.
  • Contamination risk. Raw or poorly prepared mangoes may pose a foodborne illness risk.
  • Allergies. Mangoes and dairy ingredients can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

To maximize benefits while minimizing risks, Traditional mango lassis using just yogurt and fresh mangoes are best. Pasteurized yogurt and washed, ripe mangoes are safest for minimizing contamination hazards.

Help with digestion

One of the biggest advantages frequently attributed to mango lassi is improved digestion. The yogurt contains beneficial probiotic bacteria that can optimize gut health in several ways, including:

  • Aiding lactose digestion for those with dairy intolerance
  • Crowding out and destroying harmful bacteria
  • Producing vitamins and enhancing nutrient absorption
  • Strengthening intestinal barrier function
  • Regulating bowel movements

Multiple studies confirm probiotic yogurt consumption relieves constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, and inflammatory bowel disease. The hydrating liquid also eases digestion.

Best practices for digestive benefits

To get the most digestive benefits from mango lassi, experts recommend:

  • Choose plain, organic yogurt with active cultures
  • Avoid added sugars that can cause GI issues
  • Drink 1-2 cups daily between meals for optimal results
  • Stick to pasteurized yogurt and washed mangoes to avoid foodborne illness

Help with weight loss

Another commonly touted benefit of mango lassi for health is weight control and loss. There are a few reasons this drink may support a healthy body mass index (BMI):

  • High protein. The protein in yogurt increases satiety and reduces appetite between meals.
  • Low calorie. Traditional recipes are naturally low calorie without added sugars.
  • Nutrient density. The vitamins and minerals help regulate metabolism.
  • Probiotics. Gut health supports healthy weight maintenance.

Drinking mango lassi makes you feel fuller than soda, juice, or other sugary beverages. One study found swapping yogurt for other snacks resulted in smaller waist circumference and body fat percentage.

Tips for weight loss with mango lassi

If you’re trying to lose weight, keep these tips in mind when making mango lassi:

  • Avoid added sweeteners and flavorings
  • Use nonfat Greek yogurt for more protein and less fat
  • Add chia seeds, flaxseeds, or whey powder for extra protein
  • Drink before meals to reduce appetite and cravings
  • Be sure mangoes are ripe to avoid needing added sugars

Benefits vs. downsides

To recap, potential benefits of traditional mango lassi include:

  • Stronger bones
  • Enhanced immunity
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthy weight
  • More antioxidants
  • Better hydration

On the other hand, possible disadvantages of some modern mango lassi recipes include:

  • Excessive calories and sugar
  • Low protein
  • High saturated fat
  • Loss of nutrients
  • Contamination risks
  • Allergies

Overall, traditionally prepared mango lassi made simply with yogurt, mangoes, and water has more benefits than downsides for most people. Those with dairy allergies or intolerance may need to avoid it, however.


Is store-bought mango lassi healthy?

Store-bought mango lassi often contains added sugars, preservatives, and thickeners like guar gum. Read labels carefully and choose unsweetened varieties made with just a few whole ingredients for the healthiest options when buying pre-made.

How long does mango lassi last?

Fresh mango lassi lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. For longer storage, freeze it in ice cube trays then defrost portions as needed. Properly frozen mango lassi stays good for 2-3 months.

Can I make mango lassi without yogurt?

Yes, you can use milk or non-dairy milks instead of yogurt. However, this reduces the protein and probiotic content. For best nutrition and health benefits, opt for plain yogurt whenever possible.

Is mango lassi safe during pregnancy?

Unless you have a dairy allergy, mango lassi is generally considered safe to consume during pregnancy. Opt for pasteurized yogurt and thoroughly washed mangoes and avoid raw ingredients to reduce infection risks.


When prepared traditionally, mango lassi is a nutritious and refreshing drink that provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, probiotics, and more. The ingredients work synergistically to promote digestive health, weight control, immunity, and wellbeing for most people.

The optimal way to maximize benefits and minimize risks is to make mango lassi yourself using plain yogurt, ripe mangoes, and water without excess sweeteners or additives. This retains all the nutrition without unnecessary calories or fat.

Pregnant women, children, the elderly, and anyone with dairy allergies or intolerance should exercise more caution with mango lassi. But for most individuals, enjoying this traditional beverage in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle can aid health.

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