I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful summer we’re having! Back home in Miami, summertime for me meant hanging out at the beach, going to pool parties, and spending a bit more time with my friends and family. All these activities came with yummy summer treats too! Mangoes are a sweet drupe fruit that are common in warm or tropical climates. They have also been cultivated in India since at least 2000 BCE and are thought to have originated in Bangladesh and Burma! Mangoes are a symbol of love Vedic mythology. Surya Bai was the daughter of the sun. She transformed into a golden lotus to escape an evil sorceress. The King fell in love with the lotus so the sorceress burnt the flower. From the ashes, a mango tree grew and Surya appeared. The two lived happily ever after.
Mangoes come in a variety of colors like red, yellow, orange, and green. But the color has nothing to do with the ripeness! The fleshy part on the inside is the part we actually eat. The yellow-orange color is rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene. These are important for healthy vision and skin. It is also high in Vitamin C which is a great way to help your immune system stay strong. It can help fight microbials that cause colds and other diseases. Beta-carotene and Vitamin C are also antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals. Mangoes also have a lot of potassium, more so than even bananas! Potassium is one of the body’s main electrolytes and plays a role in heartrate and breath regulation. It also helps our muscles move by controlling nerve-firing impulses.
When looking for fresh ripe mangoes, go for a smooth and leathery skin. It should have a strong fragrance and give a little to the touch. Enjoy mangoes raw, in a smoothie, or diced up into a salsa. They make a yummy sweet and spicy treat when drizzled with a little cayenne pepper. In India, a mango lassi is a popular smoothie drink made with yogurt and mint. For more recipe ideas, check out the mango recipe page. To learn more about mangoes and our other featured fruits and vegetables, visit our Produce of the Month page!
Stay safe, stay healthy!