Mango Season is Here! All About Calories, Benefits, and Precautions


Nutritional Value and Benefits of Mangoes

Mangoes are not only delicious but also rich in nutrients, containing vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. The health benefits of mangoes include:

- **Vitamin C:** Mangoes are rich in vitamin C, which has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts the immune system. One mango can provide about half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

- **Vitamin A:** Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes, and it also acts as a powerful antioxidant.

- **Lutein:** The pale yellow flesh of mangoes is rich in lutein, which helps protect the eyes.

- **Magnesium and Potassium:** In addition to vitamins, mangoes contain minerals like magnesium and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure and maintain cardiovascular health.

- **Mangiferin:** Mangiferin, a unique compound found in mangoes, is an antioxidant that protects the heart and liver and has anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive system, reducing inflammation and slowing intestinal motility.

Mango Growing Regions and Season

In Taiwan, mangoes are primarily grown in the southern regions of Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung. The mango season typically runs from May to October, depending on the variety. For example, Irwin mangoes are available from May to July, while Keitt mangoes are available from September to October.

What Are Mango Black Spots? Are They Safe to Eat?

Black spots on mangoes are caused by anthracnose or black spot disease, which are common specific diseases in mangoes but are harmless to humans. You can eat the mango after removing the black spots. However, if the mango skin has black spots along with moldy signs, an unusual or sour smell, it is best not to eat it as it indicates the mold has penetrated the flesh, and consuming it may cause infection.

Mango Precautions

Mangoes are delicious and generally safe for most people to eat, but certain groups should be cautious due to some of their properties:

- **Diabetics:** Mangoes are high in sugar, so diabetics should monitor their intake.

- **People on Anticoagulants:** Mangoes contain vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting. If you are taking anticoagulants like warfarin, you should limit mango consumption to avoid affecting the medication's efficacy.

- **People Allergic to Mangoes:** Mangoes can trigger hives in some individuals. If you have experienced an allergic reaction to mangoes, avoid them or carry antihistamines. The allergen in mangoes is not removed by cooking or processing, so mango products like dried mangoes or mango jam can also cause allergic reactions.

- **People with Gastrointestinal Disorders:** Mangoes contain fermentable carbohydrates, which can exacerbate symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

When handling mangoes, note that the skin contains urushiol, an allergen that can cause itching or rashes in some people. Wearing gloves can help. Peeling rather than ripping the skin off and removing the fine hairs between the skin and flesh can reduce inflammation and allergic reactions.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Mangoes?

There is a common belief that pregnant women should avoid mangoes to prevent jaundice in babies or increase the risk of allergic conditions in the fetus. However, there is no scientific basis for these claims. While consuming too many mangoes can turn the skin yellow, this discoloration will fade after a break from eating them. Jaundice in newborns is caused by high bilirubin levels, not mango consumption. Also, eating mangoes during pregnancy or breastfeeding does not increase the risk of allergies in the baby. Allergies are mainly due to genetic factors.

Mangoes in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, mangoes are considered sweet and neutral. They can promote the production of body fluids, quench thirst, nourish the kidneys and spleen, and have anti-emetic and anti-dizziness effects.

How to Store Mangoes

Mangoes can be stored in a cool, indoor location to allow them to ripen slowly. When they feel slightly soft, smell fragrant, and their skin turns deeper in color, they are ready to eat. If the skin remains green, the mango is likely under-ripe, resulting in a sour taste and firm texture. Once they are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to enjoy sweet, chilled mangoes.

To speed up ripening, place mangoes in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper, which will trap ethylene gas released by the fruit and accelerate ripening. Storing mangoes with ethylene-producing fruits like apples, bananas, avocados, pineapples, or papayas can also hasten the process.

Tips for Selecting Mangoes

When selecting mangoes, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Choose plump, well-shaped mangoes that are similar in shape to an egg, with a full, rounded head and tail.

2. Look for a vibrant color with a natural sheen.

3. Gently press the mango; if it yields slightly, it is ripe and ready to eat. If it is firm, it needs more time to ripen.

4. A fragrant aroma indicates that the mango is ripe and delicious.



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