Mango Madness – The “King” of fruits
The nutritious, delicious, and juicy mango has long been one of the world’s most popular fruits. The fruit’s flavor is often described as an exotic mix of pineapple and peach. Besides adding a tropical twist to any meal, the mango has some powerful health and nutrition benefits.
Native to southeast Asia and India, the nutritious mango is said to be the most widely consumed frest fruit in the world. Mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, with most mangoes imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall, and will fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.
How many calories are in a Mango?
A medium size mango, (about a 3 ½ ounce serving), contains 66 calories, 0.5 g of protein, 17g total carbohydrate, <1g fat, 0 cholesterol, and 2mg of sodium. Plus a whopping 4.5 grams of soluble fiber, more than most fruits, other than berries.
What is the nutrition and health benefits of Mangoes?
- Mangoes are very good sources of vitamins A, C, E, and selenium—all the recognized anti oxidants that help to prevent free radical injury and thus reduce the risk of certain cancers. Vitamin A also helps maintain the health of your eyes.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Mangos are also rich in soluble fiber which helps lower the bad cholesterol (LDL levels) which clogs arteries that can result in heart attacks or strokes. One mango can contain almost 20% of the daily amount of fiber needed.
- Regulates Digestion: Like papaya, mangoes also have special digestive enzymes, esters and terpenes, that aid in breaking down food, and reducing stomach acid.
- High in potassium: For those who are physically active or always on the go, mangoes are a great way to replenish all that lost potassium in a hurry.
How to choose and store mangoes:
Most varieties will have beautiful coloring blending from yellow to orange to red, but coloring is not always an indicator of maturity as there are some varieties that retain some green coloring.
Choose mangos that yield to gentle pressure, with no dark spots or blemishes. Use your nose: a ripe mango will have a very fragrant aroma. Ripe mangos can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days. If they are still too hard and green, place them in a brown paper bag.
How to cut a mango?
Let’s face it, slicing these nutritious treats can leave us with a big mess. Check out how to cut a mango, and you will be on your way to mango freedom!
Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, curries, pickles, or side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. Other common dishes are pudding, custard, desserts, (think mango upside down cake), juices, milk shakes, smoothies, mango powder, jams and marmalades.
Try out this recipe for Mango lassi, a popular drink made throughout South Asia that is created by mixing ripe mangoes or mango pulp with yogurt and sugar.
More interesting tips on how to use nutritious Mangoes:
Make a marinade –Mango is a great tenderizer. Mash a very ripe mango in to a pulp. Add 1 T each lime juice, sugar, and vinegar. Add ¼ c orange juice, ½ cup water, and ¼ rum (optional) Add seeded and chopped jalapeno and cilantro to taste. Marinate 2-24 hours – Great with chicken or pork.
Mango salsa – Combine 2 diced mangoes, 1 small chopped red onion, ¼ c sliced green onion, 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced, 3 T apple cider vinegar or lime juice. Add dash of salt and pepper to taste, and stir gently. Chill ½ hour before use. * Add tomato or peppers for a different flavor. Serve with chicken or seafood.
Add new life to your oatmeal – Add chopped mango, shredded coconut and toasted almonds. Also stir in to cold cereal, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Make a mango mud mask – Put 3 T oatmeal, and 1 T raw almonds in a food processor, and blend to a fine powder. Cut mango in half, reserving half for later use. Add to food processor and blend until it’s a creamy texture. Smooth over face, and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Your skin will be soft and firm.
Start enjoying this nutritious, delicious and aromatic tropical fruit now through the end of September.