Benefits Of: MANGO

Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)

Mango peel and sap contain uroshiol, an oily organic allergen also found in poison ivy and poison sumac.

Description. Large evergreen tree 25-40 m (80130 ft) tall with a broad crown up to 40 m (130 ft) wide. Alternate, lanceolate leaves 12-30 cm (5-12 in) long by 2-6 cm (0.8-2.4 in) wide, often whorled at tips of branches. Young emerging leaves are reddish, yellowish, or pink in color. Multiple small yellow or reddish flowers are produced in erect terminal panicles, branched and up to 40 cm (16 in) long. Fruits range from 5 to 25 cm (2-10 in) in length and up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) in weight. The aromatic flesh is usually juicy, fibrous or nonfibrous, sweet, and yellow to orange in color. Some varieties have a distinct turpentine smell, especially when not fully ripe. Each fruit contains 1 large flattened and ribbed stone with a single seed.

Benefits Of: MANGO Photo Gallery



Origin and Distribution. Native to southern Asia, where it has been in cultivation for at least 4,000 years. Buddhist monks possibly carried the mango on voyages to Malaysia and eastern Asia in the fourth and fifth centuries BC. Portuguese and Spanish sailors introduced it to Africa and the Americas in the sixteenth century. The tree was first grown in the Caribbean around 1740.

Requires a tropical climate with a distinct dry season for optimal fruit production. High precipitation when the tree is in bloom inhibits fruit production. Mango trees prefer loamy soils and full sun.

Food uses. Ripe mangos are eaten fresh, used in fruit salads, or made into juice. They are commonly made into desserts, jams, and ice cream or sorbets. They are also used as fillings or toppings in bakery goods. Unripe green mangos are often sprinkled with salt and lime juice and eaten out of hand. They are used in salads as well as to make chutneys, jellies, and pie fillings and are pickled or dried and powdered. In Thailand and other regions like Central America, green mangos are eaten by dipping them in a spicy mixture of salt, sugar, chilies, and sometimes soy sauce.

Mango slices are used in a wide variety of savory dishes, including stir-fries, curries, chicken and seafood salads, and sauces throughout tropical Asia. Tender young mango leaves are eaten boiled in parts of Southeast Asia.

Comments. Ripe mangos are a very good source of vitamins A and C and are high in fiber and minerals. They are also known for their high antioxidant content. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines and the national tree of Bangladesh. The tree plays an important role in rituals and religious ceremonies in South and Southeast Asia. Mango leaves are used to decorate homes during weddings and celebrations. The most important producers of mangos are India, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. Mango peel and sap contain uroshiol, an oily organic allergen also found in poison ivy and poison sumac that can cause contact dermatitis in people who are susceptible.

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