Have you ever thought about the history of mangoes? Where did they come from? How did they get here? Well today is the day you will learn a little more about the sweet and tasty mangoes we all enjoy. In this blog, we will talk all about mangoes, from the health benefits, to where they came from, the different varieties there are and more!
The scientific name for mangoes is Mangiferica indica and are tropical stone fruits. The skin ranges in color from yellow to green or red/orange-green; the flesh is soft and yellow/orange; and the fruit has an inedible, hard stone (seed) in the middle. Mangoes are believed to have originated in South Asia, specifically India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. They are often referred to as the “king of fruits” in this region due to its popularity and cultural significance. The cultivation of mango trees dates back thousands of years, and it is said that mango trees were grown in India over 5,000 years ago. Mangoes were introduced to other parts of the world through trade and exploration. Beginning around 300 or 400 A.D., Arab traders are thought to have brought mango seeds to the Middle East, East Africa, and South America. The cultivation of mangoes later extended to other tropical and subtropical areas, including Southeast Asia, the Philippines, the Caribbean, and the Americas.
Mangoes are not only delicious, but also offer a variety of health benefits due to their rich nutritional profile. Mangoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and folate, among other vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals can strengthen the immune system, keep the skin healthy, and help maintain strong bones. They are crucial for overall health. The high vitamin C content in mangoes is beneficial for the immune system. It helps boost the body’s defense against infections and aids in wound healing. The vitamin A content in mangoes is essential for preserving healthy vision. Conditions like night blindness and dry eyes can be avoided with its aid. The vitamin A and vitamin C in mangoes are beneficial for skin health. They can promote collagen production, which helps maintain youthful-looking skin, and may alleviate some skin conditions. The potassium content in mangoes may contribute to lowering blood pressure levels, which is beneficial for heart health. Mangoes are packed with a ton of antioxidants that help protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Mangoes also contain dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote regular bowel movements. Lastly, mangoes are known to have a high water content, which can help keep you hydrated, especially during the hot weather. It’s important to enjoy mangoes as part of a balanced diet. While they are nutritious, they are also calorie-dense due to their natural sugars, so portion control is key.
Today, mangoes are grown all over the world. They are grown in tropical and subtropical lowland areas. Mangoes are grown in Florida’s Dade, Lee, and Palm Beach Counties for commercial purposes, as well as in warm climates in the southeast and southwest coasts and along the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee. There are numerous mango varieties with varying flavors, sizes, and colors. They are enjoyed for their sweet and juicy flesh and are used in a wide range of culinary dishes, including desserts, salads, chutneys, and beverages. The “Zill Family” helped revolutionize the mango industry in Florida. Florida is one of the top 5 places in the world to grow mangoes.
There are thousands of mango varieties around the world, each with its own unique flavor, aroma, texture, and appearance. The Alphonso mango is known as the “King of Mangoes,” Alphonso mangoes are considered one of the most flavorful and sought-after varieties. They have a sweet, rich, and creamy taste with a distinct aroma. Alphonso mangoes are primarily grown in India. The Ataulfo mango (Honey or Champagne Mango) are small, yellow mangoes that are often sweet and slightly tangy. They have a smooth, non-fibrous texture and are popular for eating fresh. The Keitt and Tommy Atkins mangoes are commonly grown in the United States. The Keitt mangoes are known for their large and green oval shape as well as their sweet and mild flavor. Keitts are also considered to be a “later season fruiter”. The Tommy Atkins mango is known to have a tart flavor when unripe, but becomes sweeter as it ripens. The Haden mangoes are considered the “parent” of many other mango varieties. They have a sweet, fruity flavor and are often red or orange when ripe. The Francis and Julie mangoes are found in the Caribbean and in Florida. The Francis mango is known for its sweet and fruity flavor with a hint of citrus. The Julie mango is small, however it is very sweet with a mix of pineapple and citrus flavors. The Manila mangoes, also known as “Manila Super,” are small and sweet with a fiberless flesh. They are popular in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. These are only a few varieties of mango; there are many more being grown all over the world, each with unique qualities. The selection of mango is influenced by regional availability, individual taste, texture, and intended culinary usage.
Now for some juicy facts about mangoes.
- Over 43 million tons of mangoes are produced globally, majority of them being the Tommy Atkins variety as it grows quickly and is resistant to many types of fungus, doesn’t bruise easily, and can be kept for a long period on a grocery store shelf. Due to all of these qualities, it is suitable for international export.
- India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes pushing out over 18 million tons of the fruit, mostly for domestic consumption.
- The oldest mango tree has been around for centuries. It is about 300 years old and is found in East Khandesh in Central India. Surprisingly, it still produces fruit!
- The mango is a sacred tree for Buddhists. It is believed that Buddha meditated and rested with fellow monks in the peaceful tranquility of lush mango groves. As a result, the mango tree is considered holy within the Buddhist faith.
- The fruit was highly regarded by Indian royalty, and it played a significant role in Indian mythology, art, and culture.
- Mangoes have a ton of varieties! About 600 varieties are growing throughout Florida.
- Lastly, mango is the national fruit of 3 countries, those being India, Philippines and Pakistan, while the mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh.
We hope you learned something new about mangoes. Be sure to follow us on all our social media pages so you can see the Grow Inn Homes mangoes when mango season comes back around late May to early September next year!