With lots of new and old, tasty recipes to drool over, Mango is one of the most loved fruit, cherished all around the world. Available in more than 600 varieties all over the world, the origins and cultivation of the first mango tree can be dated back to more than 4000 years.
Woah! That’s quite old! Ain’t it? Well, now we know another reason why Mangoes are known as ‘The King of Fruits’. Digging deep into its origins, Mango is a juicy fruit that is cultivated mostly in the areas of Southern and Southeast Asia. While the cultivars of Mango can be found in Australia, Madagascar, Brazil, East of Africa, Central America and Mango can also be grown in subtropical areas with favourable climate like Florida, Israel, Cyprus, South Africa and Egypt.
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Interesting Facts about Mango?
Belonging to the subfamily of Mangifera – a genus of the flowering plants of the cashew family, mangoes are tropical fruits that are usually available during the summer time. Having an ovoid shape, mangoes are often available in different colours like pale yellow, red, green or even in gradient tones. The ripe mangoes have a succulent, scrumptious and sweet pulp along with a hard covered seed enclosed in its pulp.
If you love to grow plants in your own kitchen garden, here’s a way you can utilize the hard shelled seed of this fruit.
- Take a very ripe mango, and eat the pulp or remove it from the stone like seed found at the centre of the mango without cutting through the husk. Make sure you don’t damage the husk or pierce the outer shell while performing this process.
- Now, cut the husk open using a sharp knife. Be careful to not damage the seed that is inside. Remove the seed and throw away the leftover part.
- Now, fill a planting pot (with drainage holes) with potting soil. Wet the soil and make a small hole at the centre. Place the seed in the hole with its eye facing up.
- Cover the seed with half an inch of soil and watch the seed should sprout within a few weeks. You can water your plant occasionally with lukewarm water whenever you see the soil is getting dry. Mangoes don’t need a lot of water to grow, so make sure you don’t water it a lot.
- Replant the shoot outdoors when it’s strong enough and watch your mango plant turn into a big tree.
Benefits and Uses of Mango
Apart from being a yummy fruit that all of us have been eating since our childhood, Mango also has some health benefits attached to it.
1. A great way to lose weight
According to researches conducted in Australia, mangoes prove to be a great way to help you lose weight. The skin of Mango that we generally discard while we eat the fruit, is said to hinder the growth of fat cells in the human body. This is due to the phytochemicals that burn fat and are only found on the outside of the fruits.
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
A study titled ‘New Concepts in Nutraceuticals as Alternative for Pharmaceuticals’ states that mangoes contain a naturally occurring soluble fibre, Pectin that is said to lower down the cholesterol levels in the body. Apart from this, mangoes also contain fibres and vitamin C which are known to lower down the bad cholesterol also known as Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL).
3. Helpful in the treatment of diabetes
Having a low glycemic index (relative ranking of carbohydrates in food), mango peel is said to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes. According to a recent research quoted in Journal of Food Science and Technology, ‘ethanolic extract of mango peel was analysed for its bioactive compounds, evaluated for α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory properties, oral glucose tolerance test, antioxidant properties, plasma insulin level and biochemical parameters related to diabetes.’ The study concludes that the peel extract contain antidiabetic properties.
4. Improves Digestion
Mangoes contain enzymes that break the food down into smaller proteins for better digestion. As per a book Healing Foods, mangoes are said to contain fibres which facilitate a smooth flow of food and waste through the digestive tract and eliminate it with ease.
5. Helps fight heat stroke
According to the journal of Pharmacognosy Review, mango juice acts as a restorative tonic during hear stroke. Possessing energising elements mangoes have the ability to keep the body hydrated and allowing one to cool off.
6. Stimulates immunity
A study titled ‘Effect of Mangifera indica kernel as a feed additive on immunity and resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila in Labeo rohita fingerlings.’ quotes that mango kernels stimulate the immunity. Mangoes also contain Vitamin C and Zinc which play a vital role in maintaining the overall health of the immune system.
7. Protects against oxidative stress
According to an extract from Asian Journal of Andrology, Mango pulp extract/lupeol is said to combat oxidative stress – an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, and the diseases associated with this type of stress.
8. Prevents heart diseases
As per Oklahoma State University, mangoes are a rich source of minerals and phytochemical that could stimulate the levels of glucose and burn & regulate the fat present in body. Mangoes also contain beta carotene – a predecessor of vitamin A and an antioxidant that helps combat radicals that are responsible for causing or aggravating heart diseases.
9. Prevents Asthma
An excellent source of vitamin C, many studies have correlated that the presence of vitamin C in Mangoes can help cure Asthma. But due to insufficient information available on the topic, other studies are required to back this up.
10. Helps lower blood pressure
A rich source of potassium which is responsible for keeping the levels of blood pressure in check, Mangoes can help regulate blood pressure. According to Chuo Fang, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, ‘daily consumption of mango lowers down the blood pressure in individuals, and benefits obese people by maintaining long-term glucose homeostasis.’
Also Read: Benefits Of Figs | Benefits Of Watermelon
Nutritional Value of Mangoes
According to the website SelfNutrition Data, 1 cup of sliced mangoes include:
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|Vitamin A||1262 IU||0.25|
|Vitamin C||45.7 mg||0.76|
Vitamin C: Rich in Vitamin C, Mangoes prove to be a good option for those who suffer from high levels of cholesterol and have immunity issues.
Potassium: Mangoes have a high amount of potassium and are thus helpful in lowering the blood pressure of people who suffer from high BP.
Also Read: Jackfruit Calories | Custard Apple Nutrition
Risks or Precautions when consuming Mangoes
Mangoes if eaten in high amount may lead to:
Diarrhoea: Mangoes contain the high amount of fibre and if eaten in excess these fibres can cause Diarrhoea.
Increases Blood Sugar Levels: A rich source of sugar, ripe mangoes, if eaten in excess, can prove to be a bad choice for those who suffer from increased blood sugar levels as the sugar levels may instantly shoot up.
Weight Gain: Though mangoes may help you lose weight, consuming mangoes in excess can lead you to gain more weight instead of losing some. Laden with calories and high sugar level, mangoes should be consumed in small quantities if you want to flaunt that perfect waistline.
How to Consume Mango
While choosing the right pick, you need to keep these few things in your mind:
- Fragrance: A mango is said to be ripe when it smells sweet and is fragrant.
- Firmness: If a mango is firm when held in hand and effuses sap when pressed gently, the mango can be called ripe even if it’s not of the right colour yet.
- Tenderness: A perfectly ripe mango feels tender when you touch it.
Mangoes as fruits can be consumed in a number of ways like deserts, ice creams etc. But they will benefit only if consumed ripe and freshly cut or in the form of mango juice. Fresh mangoes and mango juice helps the body get energy and essential nutrients that it requires making you feel more active and energetic throughout.
One of the most creative ways in which you can consume mangoes is by cutting the portion of mango along with its peel and fragmenting it in the hedgehog style keeping the peel intact. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and enjoy your savoury creative mango.
Fun Facts about Mango
- Mango has a long journey chronicled in the history of Mango’s origins. It is said that around 300 or 400 A.D. travellers took Mango seeds from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and finally to South America.
- Can you see the resemblance between the paisley pattern and the shape of a mango? Yes, you got that right.
- Bangladesh, in 2010 declared the Mango tree as its National Tree. Earlier, there was no National Tree in Bangladesh.
- Mango trees are said to have a long life. According to some sources, the oldest known Mango Tree is 300 years old and is found in East Khandesh. And the surprising part is that it still bears scrumptious fruits.
- Mango is a rich source of Vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamin D, thus making it a go-to fruit which helps in keeping the immune system strong, manages body weight and strengthens the bones.
- The name ‘Mango’ is derived from ‘Mangkay’ or ‘Man-gay’ a Tamil word that means ‘mang fruit’. When the Portuguese traders settled in Western India, they named ‘Mangay’ as ‘manga’ which further came to be known as Mango.
Apart from being a tasty fruit to savour, Mangoes also have lots of health benefits that do wonders if taken in an appropriate dosage. Before deciding the quantity of mango to be consumed, always consult your doctor in case you suffer from conditions like high BP, Heart Diseases, Asthma and Diabetes.