The mango is considered a superfruit and is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia where it grows on trees. It ripens in three to six months and, depending on the cultivar, can be yellow, red, green, or orange. Additionally, there are over 400 varities of mango, and they’re cultivated around the world, although India is the largest producer.
One medium mango contains about 107 calories, which is high for fruit. It’s also high in natural sugar because 1 cup contains 24 grams of natural sugar. However, mangoes have a low glycemic load and so diabetics can enjoy them.
The mango has acquired a title as a superfruit because it’s a high-volume, fiber-rich food that contains vitamins and minerals. It also has phytochemicals, which are plant-derived chemical compounds purported to have health-promoting properties. The mango is also an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium. Mangoes also contain powerful antioxidants, and those help control free radicals that cause disease.
Mangoes have a variety of heath benefits. They
- Aid in digestion
- Assist and aid in weight loss
- Improve hormonal function
- Protect against heart disease
- Reduce constipation
- Reduce fever
- Reduce inflammation related to asthma
- Reduce the risk of colon and cervical cancers
- Soothe respiratory problems
Mangoes are part of the Anacardiaceae family and are related
Mangoes are available throughout the year, although various types are in season at different points. Here’s when the different mangoes are available:
- Mexico—These are usually big mangoes in shades of green to reddish orange, and they appear March through April.
- Florida—These mangoes hit the supermarket May through September, and they are usually yellow or orange to reddish orange.
- Haitian—These flat mangoes are available January through September, and they ripen from lime green to yellow and are available January through September.
- Brazilian—This yellow variety is found September through January.
If you purchase mangoes and don’t eat them quickly enough, you can puree and freeze them before they go bad. Then, you can add the frozen puree to smoothies or serve frozen slices with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Another tasty treat is a frozen mango lassi: Mix 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 pureed mango, and honey to taste.