Spring Produce: Mangos
Mangos are native to southern Asia and were introduced to the United States in 1880. The mango is a part of the drupe family - a type of plant with an outer fleshy part that surrounds a pit or seed.
Mangos range in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. The skin colors of mangos can range from green to red, orange, or yellow. The flesh of most mango are golden yellow.
Mangos contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. Mangos can potentially protect and strengthen the body in the following ways:
1. Eye protection. Mangos contain the antioxidant zeaxanthin that filters out harmful blue light rays and wards of macular generations (basically helping your eyesight not go poo as you age).
2. Asthma prevention. Beta-carotene is found is mangos, which can help reduce the risk of developing asthma.
3. Bone health. Vitamin A + C in mangos are perfect for bone health. Collagen is also a protein that makes healthy bones. The fibrous part of the bones is collagen.
4. Great for skin + hair. Mangos contain vitamin A, which is required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Mangos also help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples. They can be used both internally and externally for the skin.
5. Helps alkalize the whole body. Mangos contain tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid that helps maintains the pH of the body.
6. Improves digestion. The enzymes in mangoes help break down protein. Also, the fiber and water content in mangos prevent constipation and promotes a healthy digestive tract.
7. Helping to prevent cancer. Beta-carotene plays a role in reducing the risk of cancers. Research has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Mango polyphenol extract has also shown to be effective with breast and colon cancers.
8. Reduces the risk of heart disease. The fiber, potassium, and vitamin content in mangos help reduce the risk of heart disease.
To get the freshest and best flavor, there are three things you should be looking for buying mangos.
1. Texture. The first signs of ripening involves getting soft - think the same feel as a ripe avocado.
2. Color. Mangos will go from green to some shade of yellow, orange or red. The mango doesn’t have to been entirely yellow/orange/red but the majority of the mango should be.
3. Fragrance + Sap. When a mango is ready to eat - you will be able to smell it and it will be oozing sap. PERFECT TIME TO EAT MANGO.
Keep unripe mangos at room temperature. Don’t refrigerated mangos until they are ripe. To speed up the ripening process you can wrap each mango with newspaper, cover them with a towel, or place the in brown paper bag. Once mangos are ripened they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Mangos can be peeled, cubed and placed in airtight container for several days or freeze for up to 6 months (perfect for smoothies when you find those babies on sale).
The best way to use mangos are when they are ripe.
To use them for cooking slice off both “cheeks” of the mango and slice into wedges or into cubes.
The best way is to just eat that mango like apple, peel off the skin and go to work.
How you do you like to enjoy your mangos? Drop me a comment below.