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By Karen Alexander, Oncology Wellness Specialist

09/07/2018

What you need to know about mangoes

Mango is the most popular fruit consumed worldwide due to their various health benefits. Originally from South East Asia, mangoes have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. Mangos contain a total of 20 different vitamins and minerals. One cup of raw mango provides about 100 calories, 23 g total sugars, 3 g dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. This delicious fruit does not contain any saturated fatty acids, sodium, or cholesterol.

Mangoes also contain high concentrations of polyphenols and carotenoids. Polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant health benefits while carotenoids decrease your risk of disease, particularly certain cancers such as skin, breast and prostate cancer. Researchers found that riper mangoes generally contain higher levels of polyphenols. Adding mangoes to your diet can help you manage your blood pressure, blood sugar, and gut health.

There are over 400 known varieties of mango. Below are the two most common varieties that you can find at your nearest grocery store:

Tommy Atkins mangoes are medium to large in size, have a mildly sweet taste and firm skin with lots of fiber. This juicy mango is oval-shaped with green skin covered with dark red blush and occasional orange or yellow accents. The smooth skin is covered with small, yellow-green lenticels (pores) that appear like freckles. You can eat them fresh or cooked in recipes. These mangoes’ peak season is in the late spring through the summer months.

Ataulfo mangoes are small in size and have a sweet, juicy and creamy flavor. This type of mango has minimal fiber compared to the Tommy Atkins mangoes. This Mexican mango is oval-shaped and has a slightly crooked neck with a golden yellow exterior and bright yellow flesh. When ripe and at room temperature the Ataulfo mango has a sweet smell and a slight wrinkling of the skin. You can find Ataulfo mangoes in the spring through the fall.

How to choose a mango
Squeeze the mango gently and choose slightly firm mangoes with a pleasant sweet aroma. Ripe mangos will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stem ends. Color may vary depending on the type of mango, so yellow or red skin is not an indicator of ripeness.

How to store a mango
Store mangoes at room temperature for up to two days. Avoid direct light. Refrigerate ripe, peeled or cut mangoes up to three days.

Utilizing mangoes
Mangos are very versatile. When fresh, mangos can be sliced or diced in salads and Pico de Gallo salsa, or on pancakes, muffins and waffles. Mango puree can be used in beverages, desserts, sorbet, jams, tarts, chutneys and baked goods. Pureed mangoes can also be used in marinades or sauces for chicken, fish or meats. Sautéed mango is a great complement to poultry and roasted meats. 

Recipe of the week
Pear and mango salsa

Ingredients
Serves 6
2 medium pears peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks
½ mango peeled, seeded, and cut into small chunks
⅓ cup yellow bell pepper finely chopped
⅓ cup red bell pepper finely chopped
¼ cup red onion finely chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro finely chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate in a covered container for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips, quesadillas, grilled or roasted meats or fish.

Recipe provided by: Eatfresh.org

Have a wonderful weekend!
Karen Alexander, BSND, MSCN

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