Mango (Mangifera indica), a tropical fruit belonging to the cashew family (Anacardiaceae), is one of the most common and commonly grown fruits in the world. Mango trees are native to southern Asia, particularly Myanmar and India’s Assam state, and various cultivars have been grown. The majority of these species are found as wild mangoes in nature. Some Mangifera species (such as horse mango, Mangifera foetida) are cultivated more regionally. Mangoes are delicious, creamy fruits with a variety of health benefits. They are very well-liked all over the world. The mango belongs to the drupe family. A fleshy outer portion covers a shell, or pit, in this form of plant food. There is a seed in this pit. This family also includes olives, dates, and coconuts.
The tree is evergreen, growing to a height of 15–18 meters (50–60 feet) and continuing to a grand old age. The lanceolate leaves are up to 30 cm (12 inches) long. The flowers are borne in broad terminal panicles and are sweet, pinkish, and fragrant (loose clusters). Some species have stamens as well as pistils, and others only have stamens. The size and flavor of the fruit vary greatly. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, including oval, rectangular, heart-shaped, kidney-shaped, and long and slender. The tiniest mangoes are around the size of plums, while others will weigh up to 2.3 kg (4 to 5 pounds). Some varieties are brightly colored with red and yellow hues, while others are dull green. The flesh surrounding the single big seed is yellow to orange in color, juicy, and has a distinct sweet-spicy flavor.
The mango does not need any special soil, but the finer varieties can only produce good crops if there is a well-defined dry season to encourage fruit production. Anthracnose, a fungal disease that kills flowers and young fruits in rainy regions, is difficult to manage. Grafting or budding are the two methods of propagation. Inarching, also known as approach grafting (when a scion and stock of independently rooted plants are grafted together and the scion is later severed from its original stock), is a common practice in tropical Asia, but it is time-consuming and costly. More effective processes, such as veneer grafting and chip budding, have been developed and are now used commercially in Florida.
Types (Species) of Mangoes
Mangoes are commonly regarded as the world’s most widely grown tropical fruit. As a result, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of different mango species. Mangoes come in a variety of tastes and appearances. Mangoes, on the other hand, have a savory taste, a juicy fibrous pulp, and a thick waxy skin.
Mangoes come in a variety of colors, with reddish-green, yellow, and orange skins. Mangoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including oval and kidney-shaped varieties.
Color, shape, taste, and seed size all differ. The mango’s outer skin can be green, red, yellow, or orange, but the inner flesh is mostly golden yellow. Below are some of most common species of mangoes:
- Tommy Atkins Mango
- Kent Mango
- Alfonso Mango
- Haden Mango
- Francis Mango
- Neelam Mango
- Ataulfo Mango
- Palmer Mango
- Irwin Mango
- Glenn Mango
- Valencia Pride Mango
- Keitt Mango
- Kensington Pride Mango
- Madame Francique (Francis) Mango
- Chaunsa Mango
Tommy Atkins Mango
The “Tommy Atkins” mango hails from Florida and is one of the most widely distributed mango varieties. This mango has an oval appearance and is very wide in size. The stringy, fibrous yellow flesh is sturdy and firm. It has a thick dark red skin with green patches that protects the tasty, slightly sweet pulp. This mango variety isn’t considered one of the sweeter mango varieties, but it is one of the most common.
Tommy Atkins mangoes are available throughout the year, but the spring and summer months are when they are most plentiful. Ripe Tommy Atkins mangoes are perfect for eating fresh or slicing up in a summer fruit salad. The flesh holds well and there should be minimal amounts of juice. To know when the Tommy Atkins variety is ripe, give the mango a gentle squeeze. The mango should be slightly soft but still retaining its firmness.
The Kent variety, which is also from Florida, is indeed a mango fruit with a sweeter flavor than the Tommy Atkins. Kent mangoes have a dark green skin and are a big mango variety. While there may be some red blushing on the skin, shades of yellow indicate that this mango is ready to eat. The Kent mango is less fibrous than other mango varieties, and the flesh is very tender.
During the winter and summer months, these Florida varieties are normally available. Kent mangoes are cultivated in Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, despite their origins in Florida. The ideal way to eat ripe Kent mangoes is to eat them fresh from the tree, juice them, or dry them. They make a perfect smoothie ingredient because of their high juice quality, tender pulp, and low fiber content.
Alfonso mangoes are a kind of mango that originated in India and is known as “the king of mangoes.” This is due to the fact that Alfonso mangoes are very sweet and juicy. The Alfonso mango is such a tasty fruit that it is one of India’s most famous mango varieties. The mango is a big fruit with a rich saffron-colored flesh and a fragrant yellow skin with orange blushing on top.
This Indian mango has a fiberless flesh and a rich creamy flesh that is delightful to consume. When the skin of this mango turns light yellow with red tinges, you know it’s ready to eat. Because of the Alfonso’s non-fibrous flesh, it’s ideal for making sorbets, purees, and smoothies. You may also cut the mango into pieces and eat it fresh from the plate.
The Haden mango is a medium-sized fruit that some people believe is the original Florida mango variety. In reality, the Haden cultivar is similar to majority of Florida mangoes. The rich, deep red skin and herbal fragrance of this type of mango are two of its distinguishing characteristics. The mango begins to turn yellow as it ripens. The mango flesh has tiny fine fibers that help keep the light-yellow flesh firm when it comes to texture. This mango is best purchased in the spring when the fruits are ripe. The Haden mango is a decent all-around mango that tastes good on its own and fits well in recipes.
Francis mangoes are a kind of Haitian mango that grows to be very large and comes in a variety of colors ranging from yellow to orange to light green. Francis mangoes are distinguished by their long S-shape and are a flatter variety of mango. The rich, tender flesh of the deep yellow mango is just mildly fibrous and stringy. As is, this mango variety is delicious to eat. Francis mangoes are available in the spring and summer.
The Neelam mango is another famous Indian mango variety. This mango is so delicious that many people consider it to be the best mango in the universe. Neelam mangos have a long oval shape, bright yellow skin, and fibreless flesh when fully mature. This mango variety has a sweet and mildly acidic flavor. When the Neelam is ripe, the skin turns from green to yellow and emits delicious mango aromas. In the middle of summer, the juiciest and sweetest Neelam mangoes are available.
Because of its sweet, soothing taste, the Ataulfo mango is also known as the “Honey Mango” or “Champagne Mango.” This is one of the smaller mango varieties, with an oval shape. Thick banana skin with traces of green and orange protects the yellow mango flesh. When you bite into an Ataulfo mango, you’ll note that the flesh is smooth, soft, and free of fiber. This makes this mango perfect for salads, smoothies, or just eating on its own.
The yellow skin should be mildly wrinkled and give off a delicious scent when this mango variety is ripe and ready to eat. Although the Ataulfo mango is native to Mexico, it is grown in a variety of countries, including Thailand, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Peru. If you want to try this delicious mango type, it’s normally available from early spring to mid-summer. One of the many reasons to try this mango variety is that the seed is thin, resulting in a much juicier fruit. You may use Ataulfo mangoes in chutneys, sorbets, pancakes, and muffins in addition to eating them fresh. They’re also a great sweet complement to grilled meats and poultry.
Palmer mangoes are among the biggest mango varieties, with some weighing up to 2 lb. (0.9 kg)! This massive Florida variety is now mostly grown in Brazil and is only available late in the season. The long oblong form of this big mango has colors of green and red on it. The thick skin of the mango should be yellowing when it is ripe. The Palmer mango is a large fruit with a smooth orange-yellow flesh and few fibers. This is one of the easiest mangoes to use in smoothies or other nutritious recipes because the flesh isn’t stringy. During the summer and fall, you can hope to see mature Palmer mangoes in supermarkets. Squeeze them gently and see if they’re ripe.
The Irwin mango is a beautiful mango variety with bright red skin when completely mature. This kind of mango is another Florida variety and one of the most common mango varieties. Irwin mangoes, on the other hand, can be found in Australia, Japan, Central America, and Taiwan. The Irwin mango has a distinct apple/mango taste, which is why it’s called a “apple mango.” This is not a stringy mango since the pulp has almost no fibers. When fully ripe, the deep yellow flesh has a wonderful sweet taste. Over the season, you’ll be able to find this kind of mango.
Glenn mangoes are another delicious mango that can be eaten on its own. Glenn mangoes are oval or oblong in shape, with a pointed one end and a rounded other. They are native to Florida. When completely ripened, the skin is thin compared to other mangoes and is light yellow with an orange tinge. This is one of the fiberless mango varieties that originated in Florida. The rich sweet taste and exotic tropical aromas are one of the reasons why others say this is the best mango to eat.
Valencia Pride Mango
Valencia Pride mangoes are a type of big mango fruit that grows in Florida and California. The big, long, oval-shaped mango has a yellow skin with red blushing on it. Due to their excellent eating qualities, these mangoes have become highly popular. The firm, yellow flesh is smooth and fibreless, with a sweet taste. Valencia Pride’s flesh becomes very juicy when fully mature. The Valencia Pride cultivar matures late in the season, with harvest occurring in July and August.
The Keitt mango is a large variety of mango with an oval shape. Keitt is a renowned mango variety from Florida that is grown all over the world. The Keitt variety is a late-season mango, with some mangoes ripening in October, as compared to other types of Florida mangoes. The dark green skin of the big round mango has traces of red blushing. The yellow mango pulp has a sweet/tangy flavor and is fiber-rich. Since the mango remains green even when mature, it’s difficult to tell when it’s ripe, so gently pinch it with your finger to check for ripeness. Keitt mangoes are common in Asian culture, where they are used to make pickles and chutneys due to their tangy flavor.
Kensington Pride Mango
The Kensington Pride mango, also known as the Bowen mango, is an Australian variety of mango that is also the most common. Kensington Pride mangoes are a large mango variety as compared to other mango varieties. The yellowish-green skin of the oval mango fruits may or may not produce light red coloring. The sweet yellow flesh is fibrous and not all that so, and it’s soothing.
Madame Francique (Francis) Mango
When it comes to mango flavor, the Madame Francique (Francis) mango is a Haitian cultivar with a distinct flavor. This mango variety is fairly wide in size and comes in a variety of shades, ranging from yellow to orange to light green. Francis mangoes are distinguished by their long S-shape and are a flatter variety of mango. The rich, tender flesh of the deep yellow mango is just mildly fibrous and stringy. As is, this mango variety is delicious to eat.
Madame Francique mangoes are known as the “Dessert Mango” because of their extraordinary sweetness. This is one of the best types of mango that grows in the Caribbean, according to mango lovers. Francis mangoes are available in the spring and summer.
The Indian mango variety, the Chaunsa mango, is one of the best mango varieties in the world. Chaunsa mangoes come in 3 major varieties – Sweet Chaunsa mangoes, Honey Chaunsa mangoes, and White Chaunsa mangoes. This oblong-shaped kind of mango has a golden yellow skin that has traces of red blush on it. The thick skin covers delicate yellow tissue that barely incorporates any fibers. From most of the mango varieties in the country, Chaunsa mangoes are considered the sweetest. Ripe Chaunsas also have a delightful aroma and the flesh is very juicy
Historical Background (Origin) of Mangoes
Mangoes are inextricably linked to Indian mythology and religious rituals. A mango grove was given to Buddha so that he could rest in its thankful shade. The English and Spanish names for the fruit, mango, are most likely originating from the Malayam manna, which the Portuguese adopted as manga when they arrived in Kerala in 1498 for the spice trade. The tree was not introduced into the Western Hemisphere until about 1700, when it was cultivated in Brazil; it entered the West Indies around 1740, owing to the difficulties of shipping seeds (which only last a short time).
The centre of origin of the mango genus was in the Indian subcontinent prior to the merging of the Indian and Asian continental plates 60 million years ago, according to genetic study and comparison of modern mangoes with Paleocene mango leaf fossils discovered near Damalgiri, Meghalaya. Mangoes may have been cultivated in India as early as 2000 BCE. Mango was introduced to East Asia about 400–500 BCE, was accessible on the Swahili Coast by the 14th century, and was brought to the Philippines in the 15th century and Brazil in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers.
In his 1678 book, Hortus Malabaricus, about plants with economic value, Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch commander of the Malabar region, mentioned mango. Mangoes had to be pickled when they were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century due to a shortage of refrigeration. Other fruits, especially bell peppers, were pickled and were known as “mangoes,” and the word “mango” became a verb meaning “to pickle” in the 18th century. A now-extinct prehistoric forager, such as a megafauna animal, was once responsible for seed dispersal in the mango, and is considered an evolutionary anachronism.
Nutritional (Composition) Value of Mangoes
Mangoes are one of the most common healthy fruit as a result of their nutritional composition. Mango is low in calories but full of nutrients. One cup (165 grams) of sliced mango provides calories (99), protein (1.4 grams), carbohydrates (24.7 grams), fat (0.6 grams), dietary fiber (2.6 grams), vitamin C (67% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)), copper (20% of the RDI), folate (18% of the RDI), vitamin B6 (11.6% of the RDI), vitamin A (10% of the RDI), vitamin E (9.7% of the RDI), vitamin B5 (6.5% of the RDI), vitamin K (6% of the RDI), niacin (7% of the RDI), potassium (6% of the RDI), riboflavin (5% of the RDI), manganese (4.5% of the RDI), thiamine (4% of the RDI) and magnesium (4% of the RDI)
Phosphorus, pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium, and iron are all found in small concentrations. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that strengthens the immune system, lets the body digest iron, and stimulates growth and repair. One cup (165 grams) of mango contains approximately 70% of the RDI.
In addition to being sumptuous, pulpy and amazing, mangoes pack a host of health benefits. Below are some of the remarkable health benefits of mangoes:
- Enhances Proper Digestion
- Promotes Healthy Gut
- Boosts Immunity
- Promotes Good Eyesight
- Reduces Cholesterol Level
- Ensures Clears and Healthy Skin
- Good for Diabetics
- Helps in Weight Management
Enhances Proper Digestion
Mangoes could help facilitate healthy digestion. Mangoes contain enzymes that help break down and digest protein, as well as fiber, which helps the digestive system running smoothly. Dietary fiber aids in the prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Pectin fiber is more concentrated in green mangoes than in ripe mangoes.
Promotes Healthy Gut
Mango flesh contains prebiotic dietary fiber, which aids in the feeding of beneficial bacteria in the intestine. A balanced gut is important for good health. Apart from inadequate digestion, a leaky gut triggers skin disorders such as asthma, slowed metabolism, and other health complications.
A mango will provide up to two-thirds of the daily minimum vitamin C intake. The potent antioxidant enhances immunity and defends against colds and flu.
Promotes Good Eyesight
Mangoes can also benefit your eye health if you include them in your diet. Mangoes are high in beta-carotene, which aids in vitamin A production. The strong antioxidant improves vision, improves general eye protection, and also helps to reduce age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.
Reduces Cholesterol Level
Mangoes can also help you maintain a good cholesterol level. Pectin’s high levels of fiber can aid in the reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol), which causes plaques in the arteries and reduces blood flow.
Ensures Clears and Healthy Skin
Mangoes are filled with skin-friendly vitamin C and Vitamin A, both of which are crucial for healthy skin and skin repair. Mangoes, eaten in moderation are also known to exfoliate and eliminate dead pores. According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora ND, “Mangoes are loaded with skin healing nutrients; for example, fibre in mangoes cleanses your gut that is overloaded with toxic substances.”
Good for Diabetics
While mangoes are sweet and should be consumed in moderation, they are not a complete no-no for diabetics. Mangoes have a glycemic index that ranges from 41 to 60, with an average of 51. The glycemic index value of 51 is on the lower end of the scale. Low glycemic foods are those with a glycemic index of less than 55, making them suitable for diabetics. Foods with a low glycemic index mean that sugar is absorbed steadily into the bloodstream and that blood glucose levels do not increase abruptly. Mangoes are also high in dietary fiber, which aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Helps in Weight Management
Mangoes, when ingested in moderation, can aid in weight loss. Mango skin includes phytochemicals that serve as natural fat burners. Dietary fibers abound in the mango skin. Fibres give you a sense of fullness. When you eat high-fibre fruits or vegetables, you stay fuller for longer, which keeps you from snacking on other high-fat foods.