Mango is a stone fruit that is mainly enjoyed raw. When I get my hands on a fresh supply of mangoes, I can gorge myself till I feel full. Mango falls into a category of fruits you can enjoy as a quick breakfast or include in your actual breakfast. It can be constantly rotated with other fruits like peaches and pineapples.
If you haven’t had mango, you might be wondering what all the fuss is all about. You don’t have to wonder much, mango is easily recognizable if you set eyes on it. If you are a stranger to what it tastes like, or how you can use it in your day-to-day diet, here’s what to expect.
What does mango taste like? If the mango you are having has been naturally ripened, it has a sweet taste that is accompanied by a hint of citrus. Unripe mango on hand has a tart taste that is heavily laced with citrus. To some, the taste of mango reminds them of peach. The ripe mango has a soft and creamy texture while the unripe mango is usually green, rigid, and hard. The flavor of mango can remind you of turpentine; which is made out of pine.
When mango is ripe, the taste is sweet. If you bite in a piece of mango fruit and it tastes sour, this signifies that it is unripe. There are different varieties of mango; some of these varieties have a tropical flower flavor.
Nutritional Benefits of Mango
Mango is a good-tasting fruit, like every other fruit, it comes loaded with several health benefits. It has a fibrous texture, and this deceives people into thinking that it has a high fiber content. But in a cup serving, mango has just around 3 to 4 grams of fiber.
A cup of ripe mango is about 170 grams. In that, you have a calorie count of around 100 to 110 and 25 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. This is very good because it means that mango fruit has a good blend of carbs and calories. It doesn’t have a high calorie or carb count, so you do not have to worry about your waistline.
Mango takes another point on the scoreboard for health benefits because it doesn’t contain any fat. Some kinds of fats are healthy for the body but could be dangerous if unchecked. Mango has zero fat and that makes it very healthy for consumption.
It plays host to different kinds of vitamins. In mango, you have vitamins C, A, E, and B6. One cup of mango delivers about a quarter of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A, which is not only essential for eye health but can also help the immune system function properly. This vitamin also plays an important role in skin and hair health.
Mango may have anti-cancer properties. It contains more than 12 polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds that have antioxidant capabilities. They protect cells in the body from DNA damage that can result in degenerative diseases, including cancer and type-2 diabetes. Research has been carried out on animals and it shows that mango contains antioxidants that suppress the growth of breast cancer cells.
Culinary Uses of Mango
Mango is often referred to as the “king of fruits” due to its luscious texture and sweet taste. It is a tropical fruit that feels like bliss when you take a bite. It is delicious, and yet still contributes a lot of health benefits to the body.
Instead of biting into the mango fruit and making a mess, there are a few decent ways to eat it raw. One way to go about it is to cut the mango down the sides while being mindful of the pit that is situated in the middle of the fruit. You can go ahead to chop the big slices into smaller sections or eat them like that.
Mango is popular in many cuisines around the world. You can find it being used in Mexican dishes, Philippine dishes, Thai dishes, and Indian dishes. Mango can be chopped into cubes and added to smoothies or juice to add some flavor. Mango can also feature in a fruit salad.
Where is Mango Grown? How to Procure It?
Mango originates from India. To be precise, it is believed to have originated from northwestern Myanmar, Bangladesh, and northeastern India. The word mango has its origin in the Portuguese word “manga”.
The scientific name for mango is Mangifera indica; it has been cultivated in South Asia for centuries. These days, there are several hundred cultivars of mango, but we have two popular cultivars of mango, they are known as the “Indian type” and the “Southeast Asian type”. Depending on which cultivar, mango is characterized by pale yellow, green, gold, or orange flesh. In countries like the Philippines, India, and Pakistan mango stands as their national fruit.
Mango is usually available all year round in the United States, so it is easy to procure at grocery stores or farmers’ markets.
Which is Sweeter a Mango or a Cantaloupe?
Mango is sweeter than papaya, for this reason, it has been compared with cantaloupe. It is not as sweet as mango, the fruits that can be compared at the level of sweetness with mango are peaches and nectarines.
Facts You Don’t Know About Mangoes
- The mango tree is the official national tree of Bangladesh.
- The majority of mango fruits can be found in the region known as the Malesian ecoregion.
- Mango was introduced from Asia to East Africa in the 9th to 10th century. It was not recorded until the 14th century when it was reported by Ibn Battuta at Mogadishu.
- Mango was introduced to West Africa by the Portuguese when they extended their colony in Goa to East and West Africa.