Mango is one of the most widely consumed fruits on Earth. The mango tree is native to Asia and has been cultivated there for over 6000 years. From there it has spread to other tropical areas such as Africa, Australia, the Caribbean and North, Central and South America. Even though India provides half of the cultivated mangoes on the planet, Mexico actually accounts for the majority of worldwide exported mangoes.
Mango Nutritional Energy Profile
Mangoes are a good source of energy; the flesh of an average sized mango delivers approximately 130 calories. The vast majority of these calories are made of fruit sugars; protein and fat contribute a very small percentage of the overall mango nutrition. The mango is also a great source of fiber, with one mango providing 3.7 grams.
Vitamin Nutritional Value of Mango
Mangoes provide high doses of antioxidant vitamins A and C. These are two key ingredients for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C in particular is needed to generate over half of our disease-fighting white blood cells. Other benefits of vitamin C include collagen production. Collagen is essentially the connective tissue that holds together skin, muscles, bones and tendons. Scurvy is a disease that affected sailors and was the result of vitamin C deficiency. During long voyages, the sailors had no access to fresh fruit and vegetables and they would literally start to “fall apart”. Scurvy would progress from first stage symptoms of skin spots and mild gum bleeding to open wounds that wouldn’t heal and teeth falling out. Collagen in the skin is also our first line of defense against foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. Mango nutrition also contains good amounts of vitamin B3, B6, and K.
Mineral Nutritional Value of Mango
Mango nutrition is a good source of potassium – an essential mineral for the proper functioning of all muscles and needed to maintain a regular heart beat. Mango is also a fair source of other minerals such as selenium and zinc.
Phytochemicals are non-nutritive antioxidants – this means they are not essential nutrients like vitamins A, C and E but still have powerful protective qualities against cell damage and disease when consumed. The main phytochemicals found in mango are gallic acid, cryptoxanthin, lutein and anacardic acid. Research has shown that lutein may have beneficial effects by acting as an antioxidant in the eyes; helping to reduce the risk of eye disease.
Darren and Veronica