Renowned as the ‘king of all fruit,’ the mango stands tall as one of the most popular fruits in the world.
In some lands, the mango has received imperial status as the national fruit and tree.
In the Buddhist religion, monks harvest mangos as a sign of reverence.
Mangos are even celebrated worldwide in festivals, from the Americas to Asia.
But what makes mangos so regal?
It is not just that they are mouthwatering and sweet (although, that alone merits respect!)
They are also admired for their protective health benefits.
National Mango Day is approaching on July 22nd, so it is time to celebrate this king of fruits!
Fun Facts About Mangos
Here are some fun facts that might intrigue you about mangos:
- Mangos are native to South Asia and celebrated as the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh.
- The famous paisley pattern developed in India is based on the shape of a mango.
- In Latin America, mangos are sometimes dipped in hot chili powder and eaten on a stick.
- Mango trees can grow to 131 feet tall!
- In 2013, almost 43 million tons of mangos were produced, 42 percent of which came from India.
Heath Benefits of Mangos
The adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away could also be applied to mangos.
This includes 25 percent vitamin A (which is great for your eyes) and 12 percent dietary fiber.
Mangos also have zero cholesterol, a negligible amount of sodium, and only 1 percent total fat.
The high antioxidant levels mean that mangos may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol while protecting against cancer.
How to Celebrate National Mango Day
National Mango Day is celebrated in the US on July 22nd each year.
One word of advice though: to judge a mango’s ripeness, squeeze gently. A ripe mango will ‘give’ slightly. If it is firm, you might want to let it ripen at room temperature for a few days first.
With their indescribable succulence and sweetness, mangos can transform recipes (from smoothies and salads to chutneys and salsas) into something ‘fit for a king.’ They can tenderize too, making them the perfect ingredient for any marinade.
If you want to sample the ‘king of fruits’ for yourself, try out this sweet and spicy Mango Fried Rice.
This recipe was featured in our 2016 21-Day Food Day Challenge, and it received rave reviews!
Enjoy and Happy National Mango Day to all!