I must admit that I only used to eat mango very rarely until the supermarkets started selling it prepared, nicely chopped and ready to eat. This is because I found it difficult to buy a ripe mango in the first place, and even if I managed to get one, it always seemed too much trouble to prepare it. Now I love it and I regard it as one of my favourite fruits to eat, provided it has been prepared for me.
Mangoes are packed with nutrients and are particularly high in Vitamins C, B6, A Potassium and Copper. They also contain 40% of daily fibre requirements and are said to contain an enzyme with stomach smoothing properties that also helps with the digestion.
- More fresh mangos are eaten every day than any other fruit in the world. Asia accounts for more than three-quarters of the worlds consumption.
- Mangoes have been cultivated in India since 2000 BC or earlier and today the country still grows more mangoes than all its other fruits combined. Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand are the other main countries in the world where mangoes are grown.
In Hindu culture, the mango tree is treated as sacred. It is a symbol of love and some believe that the mango tree can grant wishes. Hanging fresh mango leaves outside the door during the Hindu New Year is regarded as a blessing on the house.
- Many Southeast Asian kings and nobles had their own mango groves. With private cultivars being sources of great pride and social standing, the custom of sending the choicest mangos as gifts has quickly become popular amongst the wealthy.
- Despite its healthy attributes as a fruit, burning mango wood or leaves is not advisable as their toxic substances can seriously irritate eyes and lungs. It is also dangerous to feed the leaves to cattle as toxins can kill the livestock.