Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Mango

Fruit History:
Mangos orginated in Southeast Asia and India, where references to the fruit are documented in Hindu writings dating back to 4000 B.C. Buddhist monks cultivated the fruit and in fact, the mango is considered to be a sacred fruit in the region because is is said that Buddha himself meditated under a mango tree. The mango belongs to the same family as the cashew and pistachio nut.

Mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. Mangos sold in the U.S. are grown near the equator in countries like. Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and Haiti.

Mangos have been grown in the U.S. for a little more than a century, but commercial, large-scale production here is limited.

Because mangos need a tropical climate to flourish only Florida, California, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico grow mangos. The United States Territory of Puerto Rico has been producing mangos commercially for the last 30 years. Currently about 4,000 acres of mangos are being cultivated for export, but the majority of this crop goes to Europe rather than the mainland United States.

In the Coachella Valley of California, around 200 acres of mangos are being produced, with about half of these being certified organic. Slow, gradual growth in mango acreage is expected in California, where the competition for suitable land is fierce. Mangos are susceptible to frost, and farmers who own appropriate land are hesitant to switch from tried and true crops such as grapes and citrus. In Hawaii, the estimated space devoted to mangos is around 300 acres and nearly all of this fruit will be sold locally.

Many mango varieties have been cultivated in South Florida, as part of a seedling program initiated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and spearheaded by David Fairchild, founder of USDA’s Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction. The program focused on introducing mango varieties to the region, with the goal of producing mangos that could be exported.

Over time, new varieties were developed, and some of these were introduced to growers in other parts of the world. Today, many of the popular varieties of mango grown around the world were derived from this program in Florida, including the Tommy Atkins, Haden, Keitt, and Kent. In fact, the Haden was a seedling of the Mulgoba, a seedling brought to Florida by the USDA from India during the late 1800s.

While the mango industry in Florida thrived for some time after the mango’s introduction, its commercial acreage peeked at 7,000 acres in the early 1900s. The mango industry in Florida has since been diminished by freezes, urbanization, hurricanes and competition from other countries. Today, it’s estimated that less than 1000 acres of mangos are still in production, and most of these mangos are destined for local farmers’ and specialty markets. Meanwhile, backyard trees in Florida continue to thrive and bring joy to residents across the southern part of the state. - The Mango Factory

Fruit Benefits: 
The Vitamin E which is abundantly present in mangoes helps to regulate sex hormones and boosts sex drive. In many varieties of mango there is about 2.3 to 3 mg of Vitamin E per mango. - Health Mango

According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers. - Nutrition & You

The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body. - Real Food For Life

While one cup of sliced mangoes provides at least 25 percent of Vitamin A that is required on a daily basis, there is no doubt that this contributes to good eye sight. If that’s not enough, mangoes also prevent night blindness, softening of the cornea, dryness of the eyes, itching and burning of the eyes and refractive errors and so on and so forth. - Medical Daily

The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight gain, eye disorders, hair loss, heat stroke, prickly heat, diabetes, bacterial infections, sinusitis, piles, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, spleen enlargement, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, leucorrhea, and vaginitis. - Organic Facts

Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 mg or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin A. Together these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers. - Nutrition &  You 

1 comment:

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