Juicy, sweet, slightly astringent, and very, very messy; that’s a mango.
Mango is the flavor for the day even though, technically, eating mango is way out of territory and only just beginning their season (that’s if it was even the appropriate landscape for mango growing). So, I eat them as an occasional treat and am grateful they find their way here to the market.
Mangoes are considered a stone fruit, more specifically a clingstone because the fleshy part clings so tightly to the seed. This puts them in the same family in a sense as the olive, date, peach, etc. Unlike the olive or the date, which can be eaten with ease, I have yet to figure out a clean and easy way to divest the mango of its seed. But I have to admit that’s part of what makes it fun to eat if I’m simply eating whole mango.
Mangoes are a great addition to any meal if you are trying to bump up the exotic quality. They pair well with meats, veggies, in stir-fries, salads and of course, they make delectable desserts.
From a health perspective mangos are packed with digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, other phytonutrients. They are a great source of Vitamins A, C, E, and B6 and they are full of alpha and beta-carotene. They are also a good source of potassium and copper, making them very beneficial if you struggle with things like anemia or other iron related challenges.
Research demonstrates that mangoes are beneficial in preventing age related macular degeneration and other eye ailments. They have pantothenic acid which is just one of the chemical compounds found in mango that contributes to brain health. The digestive enzymes found in mango help the beneficial bacteria in your gut grow stronger and increase gastrointestinal health from throat to colon. Research is also suggesting they are beneficial in preventing a variety of cancers such as prostate and colon. Oh and they also can help regulate blood sugar. The mango is delicious and beneficial food, however, a little bit can go along way since they are also higher on the glycemic index/load scale... but a treat now and then will do your body some good.
Gnawing mango right off the seed is my favorite way to eat one, however, my second favorite is in this Mango, Black Bean, Avocado salad. This trio makes an amazing nutrient power combination.
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 c. black beans (cooked)
- 1 medium avocado (cut into cubes)
- 1 tsp of cilantro, chopped fine (optional)
- 1 lime
- dash of cayenne
- dash of olive oil (optional)
Peel and cut the mangoes into cubes and place in a bowl. Add the cooked, chilled, black beans and the cubed avocado. Squeeze the lime over the fruit, and add cilantro and a dash of olive oil, toss it all together so everything is coated. Sprinkle a dash of cayenne and you have a nutrient dense and amazingly delicious salad that can almost be a meal in itself.