When I was in the second year of Medical college, I went to Alipurduar in North Bengal.On the way falls, Malda .My choto mama( maternal uncle )had taken all the cousins for a trip.I still remember the mango orchards one after another looking so sleepy and restful.From the train, I could hardly see the mangoes hanging , but they were definitely there in my imagination.
Now serendipity or whatever, I got married to someone from this wonderful Mango growing region.Our village has 30 or so families.Surrounded on all sides by mango orchards.First time when I visited after my marriage , my hubby picked ripe mangoes right off the tree for me.Until you have something freshly picked from the tree, you can never really get that taste!
Now due to our job postings, we are in Malda and every summer we get mangooes . If not truckload, at least cartload of mangoes from our own orchards, from those of relatives and well-wishers.The smell, taste and beauty of these delicious fruits are a sight to behold.
My hubby insists on taking care of arranging and storing them lovingly.Thank god for that, because though I love eating mangoes, the caretaking of mangoes make me sweat.My hubby is particular about the right way of keeping them.Ideally, should not touch each other.The side of attachment to stem should be up and no throwing them around !It’s a beautiful delicious fruit and sensitive too.It bruises easily.Wherever it bruises, discoloration aside, it changes the taste of the mango.
My favourites are Langda and Himsagar.Other local varieties in Malda include: Gopal Bhog,Golapkhas,Fazli,Aashina,Dwarikabhog,Kaancha Mitha,Bhagovan kelua,Brindavoni,Rakhalbhog,Mohanbhog.
Both in Bengali & Hindi its called Aam .The unripe and ripe varieties both are delicious.Both are used in various sweet and savoury dishes.We make aamer chaatni,aam panna,aam diye chorchori.Aamsi is the dried form ,used for making deliciously sour daal(lentil soups) curries throughout summer.Mango is India’s national fruit & one of the most popular fruits in India and all over the world.
- Vitamin A,B complex,C,E,K.
- Calcium ,Iron,Magnesium ,Manganese,Potassium,Phosphorus,Sodium Zinc
- Carbohydrate 15 % of weight .Easily one the world’s most loved fruit.
- Protein & Fat
Mango(2) is also rich in a variety of polyphenols with excellent antioxidative action.The major polyphenol is mangiferin.This is the most potent and present in largest concentration. Most polyphenols are found in all the parts.Since mango is widely cultivated and eaten, they are an excellent way of getting the antioxidant power to general public .Prevents oxidative damage.Mango can thus protect against degenerative diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and obesity.
Mango in Hangovers (3) have a role to play by stimulating ethanol metabolism and reducing hangover symptoms
Mango extract showed anti-photoaging activity.(4)This action on the skin is still under research.
Mango and the environment:
Mango trees can grow up to 130 feet with a diameter of 33ft (leaf system) , excellent shade. The tap root goes deep and helps prevent soil erosion.The trees may live up to 300 years.Because of the ecosystem that grows around a mango orchard ,they are great for supporting the environment.
Cautionary few words:
- If not had in the right amount the calories and sugar, can both throw your weight skyrocket.If you have a blood sugar problem, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few slices now and then. Just take care of the total daily calorie and sugar intake.
- If you don’t cut the small region ,where stem is attached to the fruit and soak for half an hour before eating ,the oils in the skin can cause dermatitis (5).Boils and furuncles are very common in mango season because of this.
Oils in mango leaves, stems, sap, and skin cause dermatitis and even anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals.However, sensitised individuals are still able to safely eat peeled mangos or drink mango juice.(6)
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Which fruit prevents Urinary tract infection?
You can find the answer if you read my A to Z fruit posts.(Top clue: check out C !)
2)Mangifera Indica (Mango)K. A. Shah, M. B. Patel, R. J. Patel, and P. K. Parmar
3)Ameliorating effects of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit on plasma ethanol level in a mouse model assessed with 1H-NMR based metabolic profiling.So-Hyun Kim,1,† Somi K. Cho,2,† Tae-Sun Min,3,† Yujin Kim,1 Seung-Ok Yang,1 Hee-Su Kim,1 Sun-Hee Hyun,1 Hana Kim,2 Young-Suk Kim,4 and Hyung-Kyoon Choi1,*
4)Protective effect of mango (Mangifera indica L.) against UVB-induced skin ageing in hairless mice.Song JH1, Bae EY, Choi G, Hyun JW, Lee MY, Lee HW, Chae S.
5)Miell J, Papouchado M, Marshall A (1988). “Anaphylactic reaction after eating a mango”. British Medical Journal. 297 (6664): 1639–40. doi:10.1136/bmj.297.6664.1639. PMC 1838873 . PMID 3147776.
6)McGovern TW, LaWarre S (2001). “Botanical briefs: the mango tree—Mangifera indica L.”. Cutis. 67 (5): 365–6.