You may be wondering – is the mango actually considered a tropical, exotic fruit? Sure! Even though you might have grown up knowing about the mango and possibly even eating it occasionally or drinking it in smoothies, it’s still considered an exotic fruit. After all, it is native to the tropical regions of the world; more specifically, the mango is native to India, though now it is cultivated and grown all over the world.
Of course, you have probably tasted or seen a mango, or at least tried a mango-flavored juice drink or smoothie. However, the type of mango you’ve had was probably the common mango, also known as the Indian mango. This particular type of mango is the one that is cultivated all over the world in tropical and subtropical regions. However, there are many other types of mangoes as well that are cultivated locally throughout the world.
Mangoes have been grown in South Asia for thousands of years, and by the 17th century, mangoes were being grown all over the world. Currently, most of the world’s mangoes are grown in India as well as China.
Mangoes are used in many different cuisines around the world, especially Asian food. In fact, did you know that unripe and sour mangoes can be made into mango pickles? In Asia, mangoes are also used in chutney and other side dishes.
Of course, mangoes are great when eaten fresh. However, mangoes are awesome in smoothies and other drinks. One popular drink from South Asia is called Mango Lassi, which involves mixing mangoes with buttermilk and sugar. Mangoes are also used in preserves, jams, juice, ice cream, and even chili sauce.
You may be wondering why the mango is so prominent in cooking around the world. Not only does it taste unique and delicious, the mango provides numerous proven health benefits and is very rich in vitamins and minerals.
Mangoes have been found to be very high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, many polyphenols, and vitamin A, all very important to a balanced and healthy diet. In addition, mangoes have been found to contain numerous essential vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, C, E, B6, K, other B vitamins, potassium, copper, and 17 other amino acids.
I also highly recommend eating the peel of the mango along with the whole fruit; they contain amazing antioxidant properties. There’s a huge list of antioxidants and polyphenols that the mango peel provides that I won’t even bother to list.
All in all, not only is the mango delicious, by itself and in the various dishes around the world, it also provides numerous health benefits and essential vitamins and nutrients.