Believed to have originated more than 5,000 years ago in Eastern India, where according to Hindu writings, it was the Buddhist monks who first cultivated the fruit, mango traveled with humans a long way before seeds were introduced to South America sometime around 300 A.D.
Mango is the national tree of Bangladesh as of 2010 and the national fruit of India, the Philippines, and Pakistan, where the fruits are often seen as a token of friendship and love. In India, the mango is a very sacred tree because it is believed that Buddha himself meditated under a mango or Aam tree and devotes plant and worship mango, which is often personified with various gods.
Mango as a medicinal fruit
Aside from being a staple ingredient in tropical and subtropical cuisines, mango is also a medicinal fruit with many nutritional benefits. It contains minerals, vitamins, and Omega 3s, making it an ideal fruit to be incorporated in a vegetarian and vegan diet.
Minerals in mango:
Vitamins in Mango:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B5
One mango fruit has 61.1mg Omega-3 fatty acids and 23.1mg Omega-6 fatty acids, two important nutrients that promote heart health, reduce the risk of cancer and delay cognitive aging, especially when the ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s is higher as in the case of mango fruits.
Eating one mango every day will also help prevent stomach issues and digestive problems such as constipation because mango is rich in fiber and fiber has been shown to promote healthy bowel habits.
Mango as a natural remedy for skin issues
Mango is especially suitable for treating acne, dark spots and for fighting skin aging.
- Because it contains a number of anti-oxidants and a great amount of Vitamin A (100 grams of mango provide 21% of the daily value), mango helps generate more collagen protein which in turn slows down skin aging.
- Used as a face mask, mango also unclogs pores and helps remove pimples while also brightening the skin color.
- Regular consumption of mango fruit makes the skin softer and the complexion fair.
- Raw or ripe mango skin works as a de-tanning agent, reducing unnatural tanning.
- Above all, mango is most suitable for sensitive skin and can be used to cleanse the face without negative effects.
Mango as a food ingredient
Particularly in the tropics, but not just, mango is one of the most common foods used to create side dishes, drinks, and desserts.
- In South Asia, mango pulp is mixed with buttermilk and sugar to obtain mango lassi, a traditional drink that may also contain milk and spices. It is often prepared to accompany hot curry meals.
- Aamras is a popular summer dessert in Western India made from mango pulp which is then flavored with saffron or cardamom. Depending on the flavor and the natural sweetness of the fruit, sugar can be added and water or milk to reduce the consistency.
- Mango salsa is another popular food that accompanies fish very well, salads and chicken.
- Mango can also be used to marinade chicken, pork or tofu, the fruit’s tenderizing properties giving BBQ chicken a nice and flavorful touch.
- When dehydrated, mangoes are healthy substitutes to unhealthy snacks.