With a world production of over 18 million tons per year, the mango is thought to be the popular fruit consumed in the World. Native the southeast Asia, today, Mexico is the largest producer of this delicious food due to its popularity in the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. Mangoes are an ancient fruit, having been cultivated for more than 6,000 years. Today, there are over 50 varieties of mangos sold around the world.
Of the mango varieties available today, the Mexican mango is by far the most popular. Typically colored green and yellow, the Mexican mango can also produce a red to orange hue as they ripen. Florida is another major region of mango production, with the Tommy Atkins variety reigning supreme in this State. With an orange to yellow outer shell, this oval fruit has a bright yellow flesh which is sweet and juicy and slightly fibrous. Additional varieties of mangos include the Hayden, the Keith, the Palmer and Haitian mangos.
Mangoes are a great source of vitamin C, carotene, copper and B vitamins. Mangoes are also a great source of dietary fiber and are low in both saturated and unsaturated fat.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine is an important vitamin since it breaks down sugars in the body. Thiamine also helps to support nerve and heart health.
Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 helps to keep your immune system in good working order. It aids in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids while helping to maintain the health of lymph nodes. Additionally, vitamin B6 helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
Vitamin B9 – Folate is an important vitamin for liver function.
Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 helps to preserve neurological function and DNA synthesis. It also plays a key role in the health of red blood cells. The nervous system relies on vitamin B12 for proper function as well.
Dietary Fiber – Dietary Fiber stimulates digestion and peristalsis, helping to relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
Beta Carotene – Beta carotene has been well-studied as a dietary antioxidant. Carotenoids are also thought to benefit eye health. Some studies support a role of carotenoids in reducing macular degeneration.
Vitamin C – Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infections and scavenges harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Vitamin C also helps to prevent respiratory problems such as asthma and lung cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to lower blood pressure, and therefore lessen the probability of hypertension.
Copper – Copper is an essential mineral which helps to promote proper growth, enzymatic reactions, healthy connective tissues and proper heart rhythm.
The Mango season varies from variety to variety. Some mango trees prefer a winter climate in the tropics, while others enjoy the summer months. For this reason, you can find Mangos in your supermarket year round.
Per 1 cup (165 grams):
Calories (cKal): 99
Protein (grams): 1.35
Total Fat (grams): .63
Carbohydrates (grams): 24.72
Fiber (grams): 2.6
Buying and Storing
When buying mangos, make sure the fruit is soft to the touch and free of blemishes. When storing at home, you can store on your countertop if the fruit is not fully ripened for up to one week. Once ripe, place in the refrigerator and store up to five days.
Best Way to Add to Diet
Mango makes a great afternoon snack when served with a bit of granola or roasted peanuts. Mango also makes a great addition to a fruit salad, stir fry or shrimp dish.