Mango: Food of the Month

mango

(HealthCastle.com) With the colder weather staying around for a few more months, it seems fitting to celebrate a fruit that most of us associate with a sunny, tropical climate: mango. Although mangoes can be grown in some warmer parts of the country, such as Hawaii or Florida, the bulk of mangoes sold here are imported from Mexico and Central or South America. There are many varieties of mango, with varying sizes, shapes, colors, tastes and textures. Mango is popular around the world and features prominently in many countries' cuisines and beverages. While domestically, mangoes are most often used ripe, many Southeast Asian countries have appetizers or salads that call for mango in its unripe state (recipes often refer to this as "green mango").

Nutrition Tidbits for Mango

  • One peeled, seeded mango contains:
    • Calories: 135 kcal
    • Fat: 0.6 g
    • Carbohydrates: 35.2 g
    • Protein: 1.1 g
    • Fiber: 3.7 g
    • Glycemic Index (GI): Low (below 55)

It is no surprise that mangoes are a great source of Vitamin C and beta carotene, both powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C supports the immune system, repair of tissues, and wound healing. Beta carotene in the body is converted to Vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision and skin. On top of this, mangoes provide a good amount of fiber.

When selecting mangoes to buy, skin color is not a good indicator of ripeness. Instead, give the fruit a gentle squeeze; a ripe one will yield slightly. You can also sniff the stem ends; ripe mangoes will usually give off a fruity aroma. If you don't plan on using the fruit for a few days, choose a firmer fruit. Avoid any fruit that has mushy, brown spots or wrinkled, shrunken skin.

Ways to Include More Mango in Your Diet

  • Add mango to smoothies, granola, or yogurt
  • Add chopped mango to salsa, salad, or stir-fryInclude mango in your favorite recipes for relish, chutney, or salad dressing
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