The mango or mangifera is a fruit tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae family with more than 130 existing species but only 8 officially recognized.
It is a tree native to Asia, despite the fact that many continue to believe that it comes from the American tropics, since the main exporter of mangoes today is Mexico . However, to give you an idea, the mango is the national fruit in India but we find it cultivated in Ecuador , Venezuela , Peru , Mexico , Colombia , Paraguay , Cuba or Costa Rica . Mango is grown in Spain in the area of Granada and Malaga .
The mango is a typical tree in tropical areas that cannot withstand extreme cold or strong winds. On the contrary, it needs moisture and deep soil that is well drained and fertile enough for the mango to develop and grow as it should.
It seems that this species was domesticated about 4,000 years ago. It was carried from India to East Asia around 400-500 BC; later, in the fifteenth century, it began to be cultivated in the Philippines; and in the 16th century in Africa and Brazil by the Portuguese.
The mango is the national fruit of India, the Philippines and Pakistan. It is already mentioned in the 4th century by the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa and before that it is believed that Alexander the Great had already tried it. Emperor Akbar planted 100,000 common mango trees at Darbhanga, Bihar in a place known as Lakh Bagh.
It is currently grown in all the tropical countries of the world and in some of the subtropics, for example in parts of Israel and Andalusia (Motril Almuñécar).
The mango tree is tall and can reach over 30 meters in height in its natural habitat, but this is not usually the case in temperate climates. In fact, mango trees are often pruned when it comes to growing fruit to speed up the harvesting and harvesting process.
The mango behaves aggressively when it comes to fighting to reach the brightness of the sun and is capable of covering other trees of the same height to reach solar radiation.
The seeds germinate easily and for this reason it can become an invasive plant in places where it has been introduced, such as Brazil.
The leaves of the mango remain on the tree for more than a year and the flowers with white petals have a very mild aroma. Pollination takes place through insects and only 1% or less will manage to mature to give a fruit: the famous mango.
The fruit of this tree is green with reddish tones, it is large, has fleshy pulp and is very sweet. It is green at first and turns yellow or orange when it reaches maturity. It takes three to six months to mature. Thompson mangoes are the most widely cultivated varieties.
Mangoes are widely used in the kitchen in chutneys, athanu, pickled in vinegar or eaten raw with salt, chili or soy sauce.
A very popular mango drink in Asia is made by blending ripe mangoes or mango pulp, butter, and sugar. Curries are also made, mango juices, ice creams and other preparations are made.
Nutrients and Phytochemicals
For 100 grams of mango you have:
- 60 kcal
- 0.82 g of protein
- 0.38g fat
- 15g carbs
- 1.6 g of fiber, 13.7 g of sugars.
It has many phytochemicals and nutrients. The fruit pulp is high in dietary fiber and prebiotic vitamin C, various polyphenols, and provitamin A carotenoids.
The mango fruit is rich in (palmitic, myristic, malic and p-coumaric acid), vitamin C and, especially, due to its high content of vitamin A, the mango fruit is a good antioxidant fruit. Among its flavonoids are quercetin and kaempferol.
Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.