Latin Name: Mangifera indica
What is a Mango?
Part of the Anacardiaceae family of flowing plants that bear fruit, including cashews, pistachios, and even poison ivy, mango trees can live and fruit for hundreds of years in the right climate. Today mangoes are one of the most widely consumed fruits worldwide, grown in every tropical and subtropical region of the world.
Mangoes have been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, where both the fruit and its flowers have become a symbol for spiritual attainment and prosperity. It is held that one of the Buddha’s pastimes was to meditate under a mango tree. Buddhist monks brought mango plants to eastern Asia beginning in the fourth century BC. Persian traders spread mangoes throughout the Middle East and East Africa by the tenth century AD, and the Portuguese took them to West Africa, South America, and the Philippines beginning in the fifteenth Century.
Mangoes are delicious when eaten fresh or dried, with or without soy sauce, chili, and salt, and are used in a variety of chutneys, sweet and spicy sauces, and drinks.
What are the health benefits of Mangoes?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, mango regenerates the body’s fluids, stops coughs, and strengthens digestion. It has also been found to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties, hormone-regulating vitamin E, blood-building iron, and bone-strengthening minerals.
Mangoes are rich in digestive enzymes, particularly magneferin, katechol oxidase, and lactase, which serve to detoxify the body and combat dangerous bacteria in the intestines. By strengthening the metabolism, mango not only encourages weight loss, but also benefits cardiovascular health, helping to prevent high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. Lupeol, a triterpene found in mangoes, prevents the development of kidney stones and limits—or even stops—the spread of leukemia, prostate, breast, lung, colon, and pancreatic cancers.
Where can I find Mangoes?
Mangoes can be found in most grocery stores.
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