Botanical Name: Mangilera indica Mango is one of the most delicious fruits all over the world; they are best eaten as a fresh fruit, but they are also an excellent addition to dessert recipes and salads. Mango is also used making nectars, wines, jams, and jellies. The unripe, raw, green mango has been used in the preparation of pickles and chutney in the Asian countries.
Mango tree can sometimes grow as high as forty feet. Its fruit can vary in size, shape (oval to round), and color (from bright yellow to a mixture of green, orange, and red). The leaves are shiny, deep glossy green and its flowers are yellow or of a reddish hue.
Mango Health Benefits:
- Ripe mango is rich in vitamin A which can help prevent cancer in organs lined by epithelial tissue; it can also prevent night blindness, dryness of the eyes, itching and burning of the eyes. According some studies, mango has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.
- Mango contains glutamine acid which is known to help boost the mental capacity of children.
- Ripe mango is very rich in potassium, mineral that help tone up the heart muscle.
- Mango is high in pectin, a soluble fiber that is important in controlling blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Mango has anti-inflammatory properties; which is beneficial for people suffering from arthritis and asthma.
- Mango juice can help reduce excessive body heat; it is therefore beneficial in bringing down fever.
- Mango is an excellent disinfectant and cleanser to the body; it is therefore beneficial in curing body odor.
- Unripe Mango can help treat gastro-intestinal disorders (like diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation); it is also a very good remedy for bilious disorder (liver disorder), because the acid content of green mango increases the secretion of bile and act as intestinal cleanser.
- Unripe mango can help treat morning sickness.
Mango Nutrition: Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A: 6,350 I.U.
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .06 mg.; Riboflavin .06 mg.; Niacin .9 mg.
- Vitamin C: 41 mg.
- Calcium: 9 mg.
- Iron: .2 mg.
- Phosphorus: 13 mg.
- Fat: .3 gm.
- Protein: .7 gm.
- Calories: 66
- The greener the mangoes (unripe) the more vitamin C it contains, but fully ripe mangoes have more beta-carotene (Vitamin A). Either way you’re getting a fruit with healthy benefits.
- Green or unripe mango is a rich source of pectin which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone.
- Another great thing about mangoes is the fact they are one of the fruits considered least likely to have any harmful pesticide residue on them.
- To retain the aroma of the fresh mango, do not cut until just before serving.
Mango’s Benefit for Skin: Mango may help unclog pores. Therefore people who suffer from acne can benefit from mango. To take advantage of this properties of mango apply thin slices to the area of skin that you want to clear up. Leave the mango there for about ten minutes; then rinse the skin with warm water.
Medicinal Uses of Mango Leaves:
- The young mango leaves is beneficial for diabetes. An infusion is prepared from fresh leaves by soaking them overnight in water and squeezing them well in water before filtering it in the morning. This infused water should be taken every morning to control early diabetes. As an alternative to infusion, leaves can be dried in the shade, powdered and preserved. Half a teaspoonful of this powder should be taken twice a day, in the morning and evening.
- The young mango leaf tea is a good remedy for loss of voice. Just boil 1 cup of leaves to 2 ½ cups of water. Strain and drink few times a day.
- The young mango leaf tea can also be use to cure asthma and cough.
Medicinal Uses of Mango Seed: The mango seeds are beneficial in diarrhea. The seeds should be dried in the shade and powdered. It should be given in doses of about 1 ½ gram to 2 grams with or without honey.
Popular Mango Varieties:
- Tommy Atkins Mango is the variety you will find in the supermarket year round. The fruit itself has yellow-colored skin with tinges of purple and dark red. It is very sweet and the taste combines traces of peach, pineapple and tangerine.
- Ataulfo Mango is another variety that you can always find in the supermarket. The skin color is a greenish yellow but the inside of the fruit is a very deep orange. The mango is sweet but also has acidic qualities.
Buying Tip: Some varieties do not turn red, orange or yellow when ripe. If buying these green varieties, look for other signs that they are ripe like the skin should give a little when pressed, and the mango should smell sweet at the stem end of the fruit.
Storage Tip: If you place an unripe mango in a paper bag in a cool location, it will ripen in 2 or 3 days. (Don’t put it in a sunny spot; this can spoil the flavor.)
- Some people can be allergic to mangoes as they are part of the Anacardiaceae family and are therefore a relative of poison ivy. They contain a substance called urushinol, a toxic resin, which can cause dermatitis. However, the peel and juice are more of a problem than the flesh.
- Unripe mangoes should not be eaten in-excess. Their excessive intake may cause throat irritation, indigestion, dysentery and abdominal colic. One should, therefore, not consume more than one or two green mangoes daily.