Mango is a tropical tree cultivated in many regions of India and now distributed wide across the world in many continents. Usually, fruits grow at the end of a long, string like stem, with sometimes more than one fruit to a stem.
Each fruit measures 5 to 15 cm in length and about 4 to 10 cm in width, and has typical “mango” shape, or sometimes oval or round. Its weight ranges from 150 gm to around 750 gm. Outer skin is smooth and is green in un-ripe mangoes but turns into golden yellow, bright yellow or orange-red when ripen depending on the cultivar.
Internally, juicy flesh has orange-yellow in color with numerous soft fibrils radiating from the husk (enveloping a single large kidney-shaped seed). Flavor is pleasant and rich, and tastes sweet with mild tartness. A high quality mango fruit should feature no or very less fiber content and minimal sour taste. Mango seed may either has a single embryo, or sometimes polyembryonic.
Health benefits of Mangoes
- Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.
- According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
- Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene,and beta-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 mg or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin A. Together; these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Fresh mango is a very rich source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production in the brain. It also controls homocystiene levels in the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in CAD and stroke.
- Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
- Mango peels are also rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.
Mango fruit (Mangifera indica), fresh,
Nutrition Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.27 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.80 g||4.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.160 mg||1%|
|Pyridoxine (vit B-6)||0.134 mg||10%|
|Vitamin C||27.7 mg||46%|
|Vitamin A||765 IU||25.5%|
|Vitamin E||1.12 mg||7.5%|
|Vitamin K||4.2 µg||3.5%|
Selection and storage
Mangoes are seasonal fruits; fresh mango fruit season begins in the month of May, when the rich fragrance of the fruit heralds its arrival.
Mangoes usually harvested while they are green but perfectly mature. Un-ripe ones are extremely sour in taste. Organic mangoes are left to ripen on the tree but over-ripen fruits falls off from the tree and be spoiled.
|Sindhuri (kesar) mangoes|
In the store, mangoes come with various sizes and colors; therefore select the one based on the serving size and variety of fruit you love to devour. “Alphanso” variety from India (Maharashtra state) and “sindhuri” (kesar) varieties from Pakistan are known for their uniqueness. Choose the ones with intact skin without any bruises or cuts.
Unripe mangoes can be kept at room temperature for few days, and to ripen, keep them in paper covers. Ripen ones should be stored in the refrigerator. Bring back to normal temperature when the fruit is to be eaten to get the natural taste and flavor.
Preparation and serving method
To enjoy, wash mangoes in cold running water to remove dust and any pesticide residues. Mop dry outer surface using soft cloth. Mango fruit should be eaten all alone without any additions to experience its rich flavor.
Cut the fruit lengthwise into three pieces in such a way that the middle portion consists of husky seed. Slice underneath the skin to separate the skin from the pulp. Then, chop the pulp into small cubes.
Also, using a sharp knife, cut through the flesh down either side of the central seed. This way you get two big haves of a mango fruit. Then, take one half and score the flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern taking care not to cut deep through skin. Invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo:
Here are some serving tips:
- Mango fruit can be enjoyed all alone without any additions.
- Fresh mango cubes are a great addition to fruit salads.
- Mango juice with ice cubes is a popular, delicious drink.
- Mango fruit juice blended with milk as “mango-milk shake”. Mango fruit is also used to prepare jam, ice cream and in candy industries.
- The unripe, raw, green mango has been used in the preparation of pickles and chutney in the Asian countries.
|Raw green mango.Mango latex allergy especially with raw, unripe mangoes is common in some sensitized individuals. Immediate reactions may include itchiness at the angle of the mouth, lips and tip of the tongue. In some people, the reactions can be severe, with manifestations like swelling of the lips, ulceration at the mouth angles, respiratory difficulty, vomiting, and diarrhea.|