Mango is considered as the national fruit of India and also king of fruits. Mango is one of the most widely grown fruits of the tropical countries. Mostly, it is available in all parts of India, except the hilly areas. In the sacred Vedas, Mango is described as the “Food of the Gods“. The main season of mango is summer, it is available in plenty. Mango word is derived from the Portuguese term ‘manga‘, which is probably from Malayalam ‘manga‘.
‘Mangifera Indica’ is the botanically name of Mango. Over 100 varieties of mangoes are available in India in a range of colors, sizes, and shapes. The common names used in context of the fruit are Mangot, Manga, and Mangou. Mango contains rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. One medium sized mango comprises of: Calories – 107, Protein – 0.84 g, Carbohydrate – 28 g, Total Fat – 0.45 g, Fiber – 3 g, Vitamin A – 6425 IU, Vitamin C – 45.7mg, Magnesium – 18 mg, Potassium – 300 mg, Calcium – 20 g, Cholesterol – 0 g, Saturated fat – 0 g and Traces of manganese, selenium, iron, sodium and phosphorus.
Mangoes come with different sizes, ranging from 7 to 12 cm in width and 10 to 25 cm in length. The maximum weight of the single can be as heavy as 2.5 kg. The fruit is available in a wide variety of colors, such as yellow, red, and dull green. Mango has a flat, oblong seed in the center, which is covered by the sweet pulp. This pulp is again covered with a thin layer of skin, which is flaked off before eating the fruit. When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinct, resinous sweet smell.
Mango also has mythology and history. There are many stories of mangoes- the famous Indian poet Kalidasa sang its praise. Along with Hieun Tsang, Alexander the great savored the taste of mangoes. The great Mughal king, Akbar is said to have planted more than 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga (modern Bihar). The perfectly ripe mango is often held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment in Hinduism while Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of the goddess Saraswati. During weddings and celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi, Indians use mango leaves to decorate archways and doors.
Different Indian embroidery styles include Mango motifs and paisleys which are mainly found in Kashmiri shawls, Kanchipuram silk sarees, etc. Paisleys are also common to Iranian art, because of its pre-Islamic Zoroastrian past. Mostly mangoes are available from May to September and some varieties are exported to other countries like China, Jamaica, Mexico, and Cuba. Mango has high sugar content, although they are slightly acid in taste. It is used to make salads, pickles, juice, and even in some parts of the world they are roasted. It is advisable to cut mango at the time of serving to conserve the aroma. A fruit indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, mango belongs to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceous.
Varieties of Mango:
A large number of mango varieties can be found in India. The most popular ones are Alphonso (also called Hapoos), Amrapali, Bangalora, Banganapalli (also known as Benishaan), Bombay Green, Chausa, Chinna Rasalu, Dashaheri (Daseri), Fazli, Fernandian, Gulabkhas, Himayath (a.k.a. Imam Pasand), Himsagar, Jehangir, Kesar, Kishen Bhog, Lalbaug, Langda (Langra), Mallika, Mankurad, Mulgoa, Neelam, Pairi, Pedda Rasalu, Rajapuri, Safeda, Suvarnarekha, Totapuri, Vanraj and Zardalu.
Health & Nutrition Benefits and uses of eating Mangoes:
- Mangoes are full packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and contain like all fruits very few proteins, fats and calories. They are perfect to replenish salts, vitamins and energy after physical exercise.
- Mango, being high in calories and carbohydrates, is good for those who are trying to gain weight.
- The mango-milk cure is an ideal treatment for loss of weight.
- Mangoes are thought to help stop bleeding, to strengthen the heart and benefit the brain.
- Taking Mango regularly makes the complexion fair and the skin soft and shining.
- Mango is believed to be effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin.
- It is being said that Vitamin E present in mango helps hormonal system function more efficiently and thus boosts sex life.
- Being high in iron, mango is said to be very good for pregnant women as well as for people suffering from anemia.
- Mangoes have been found to be quite helpful in treating acidity and poor digestion.
- The phenolic compound found in mangoes has been found to be powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties.
- It is a mineral packed chemical free food that has amazing benefits for our health.
- Dietary fiber has a protective effect against degenerative diseases, especially with regards to the heart; may help prevent certain types of cancer as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels.
- Feeding the powder of dried kernel of Mango seeds with fresh water cures the habit of eating soil in kinds.
- The vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E and selenium present in mangoes provide protection against heart disease.
Video of Mango Nutrition from Youtube: