The mango originated in Southeast Asia where it has been grown for over 4,000 years. Over the years mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, where the climate allows the mango to grow best. Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall. The mango tree will produce fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Mango trees require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Most of the mangos sold in the United States are imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.
Mangos may be kidney-shaped, oval or round. They come in a colors ranging from gold to orange to red. Mangos can weigh from 4 oz. up to 5 pounds.
Mangos are an ideal source of vitamins A and C as well as potassium. The average mango contains up to 40 percent of the fiber that a person needs each day and they also contain a stomach-smoothing enzyme.
Alkalizes the Whole Body: The tartaric acid, malic acid and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit helps to maintain the alkaline reserve of the body.
Anemia: Mangos are beneficial individuals suffering from anemia because of their iron content.
Boosts Immune System: The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Cancer: Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.
Diabetes: Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
Digestion: Mangos contain digestive enzymes that help break down proteins and aid digestion. It is also valuable to combat acidity and poor digestion because of an enzyme found in the fruit which soothes the stomach. Due to the high amounts of fiber found in mango, it can be a helpful in keeping you regular, thereby helping or preventing constipation.
Eye Health: One cup of sliced mangos supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
Lowers Cholesterol: The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).
Memory: Mangos are useful to children who lack concentration in studies as it contains Glutamine acid which is good to boost memory and keep cells active.
Skin: Mango is effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin. What this means is that people who suffer from acne, which is caused by clogged pores, will benefit from mango. Just remove the mango pulp and apply it on your skin for about 10 minutes before washing it. Eating mango regularly makes the complexion fair and the skin soft and shining.
Selecting the ripeness of mangos can be determined by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emitting from the stem end. Mangos can be considered ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach. The best flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, green, orange or any combination. The ideal post harvest storage temperature for mangos is 55º F. When stored properly a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. We have found that the best way to ripen a mango is at room temperature, on the kitchen counter and if you wish to accelerate the process place in a paper bag overnight (some folks place an apple with the mango in the bag to create more natural ethylene gas and further decrease the ripening time). Once ripened the mango can be refrigerated for a few days, but should be used shortly thereafter.
WAYS OF PREPARING
|1. With a sharp thin-bladed knife, cut off both ends of the fruit.||2. Place fruit on flat end and cut away peel from top to bottom along curvature of the fruit.||3. Cut fruit into slices by carving lengthwise along the pit.|
|With A Spoon|
|1. Use a sharp knife to slice off mango “cheeks” lengthwise.||2. Separate halves as shown, saving the tasty center.||3. Use spoon to scoop out fruit from halves. Enjoy, sweet center over the sink.|
|1. Start with the Mango “cheek”; Fillet off its pit lengthwise.||2. Cut 1/2″ squares by scoring mango with a sharp knife. Do not cut through skin.||3. Turn mango half “inside out,” separating cubes. Slice off squares with a knife.|
|On A Fork|
|1. Cut skin on top of mango crosswise.||2. Pull skin away from fruit in quarters or eighths.||3. Place mango on a fork and serve.|
(Ways of preparing/diagrams – compliments of freshmangos.com)
HOW TO ENJOY
- Add cut pieces into a fruit salad
- Cut the mango into thin slices and dehydrate them under 110 F
- Use them in smoothies or drink the juice by itself.
- Serve sliced mangos topped with yogurt.
- Mangoes make great chutney.
- Use mangos in a salsa.
- Ever tried mango ice cream, it is delicious.
If you have never tried eating a mango, next time you see one in the marked you should try one.