Spotlight on Super Foods: Mangoes
Know your calories: 1 cup diced mango= 100 calories
There is nothing quite like a perfectly ripe mango – a sweet, juicy sensation that one could easily argue is food for the gods. The good news is that mangoes are packed with essential vitamins and mineral, such as 100% of the daily need for vitamin C, 35% for vitamin A, 20% of folate, 10% of vitamin B-6 and 8% of vitamin K and potassium. Mangoes also contain copper, calcium, and iron as well as antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.
Mangoes are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world – one reason being that they are grown in some of the most densely populated countries and continents of the world, such as India, Africa, and throughout Southeast Asia. There dozens upon dozens of different kinds of mangoes around the world that range in color, shape, flavor, size, sweetness, and stringy-ness. Everyone has his or her own favorites. Citizens will undoubtedly (sometimes aggressively) defend their county’s mangoes– just ask someone from India, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico, or the Caribbean – who has the best mangoes? A word of advice: Don’t try to change their mind!
The mango is a member of the drupe family indicating a food in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell or pit with a seed inside. Olives, dates and coconuts are also types of drupes. The skin color of mangoes is usually yellow, but can be green, red, orange, or anything in between. The inner flesh of the mango is mostly a golden yellow, unless you’re consuming a green mango, which is a popular salad in Thai and other Asian cuisines.
Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with preventing age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in mangoes, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.
How to buy a mango is a question that frequently comes up. Try not to judge the ripeness of a mango by its color. Look for mangoes that yield slightly to pressure when ripe. Avoid fruits with many black freckles on the skin. Mangoes will continue to ripen at room temperature. When at the desired ripeness, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Creative Ways to Consume Mango
- Fresh – plain and simple! Perfectly ripe!
- Tropical fruit salad – combine diced mango with your favorite fruits in the tropical zone, including pineapple, papaya, lychees, palm fruit, and bananas.
- Add crushed (muddled) mango to champagne for a tropical twist on a Bellini.
- Add muddled mango to lemonade or sparkling water for a fun flavor boost.
- Mango salsa is excellent with fish, chicken, tofu, or anything else you like.
- Add fresh or frozen mangoes to smoothies or other whipped drinks. Try making Nice Cream with frozen mangoes and bananas. Here’s a fabulous recipe from out site. Vegan! Fat-free and delish!
- Add mangoes to green salad in place of oranges. This is particularly good with spinach, arugula, and mache. Add toasted almonds or pecans and thinly sliced fennel bulb to round out the flavors.
Catherine’s favorite way of consuming mangoes is plain and simple. BUT they have to be perfectly ripe. There is no better fruit on this planet For more information and recipes from Whole Foods.