Mango, popularly known as the king of fruit, belongs to Anacardeaceae family of trees. Taste, flavor and fragrance of mango is very characteristic to the same.
Mango was originated in India. Though it is not endemic to Sri Lanka, it is seen growing in many parts of the country. It is very rare to find a home garden without a mango tree in our country except in certain upcountry areas. Present extent under mango in Sri Lanka is about 27,500 Ac. Predominately, it is grown in Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Hambanthota, Puttalam, Moneragala, Jaffna districts and in Mahaweli Systems H & C. As a fresh fruit, mango has a high demand in local markets. Likewise, a considerable amount of foreign exchange could be earned by exporting both fresh and processed mango products.
At present Sri Lanka export about 80,000 Mt. Therefore, plans are under way to increase the extent under mango to about 17, 481 Ac by year 2000.
Health benefits of Mango fruit
Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoidantioxidant compounds.
According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect from colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic antioxidantcompounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like β-carotene, α-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 IU or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin-A. Together; these compounds have been known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin-A also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh mango is a good source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 156 mg of potassium while just 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents as well as scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine required for GABA hormone production within the brain. It also controls homocysteine levels within the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke.
Further, it composes moderate amounts of copper. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper also required for the production of red blood cells.
Additionally, mango peel is also rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.
One cup of mango slices has about 100 calories, almost no fat, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. It’s also almost sodium free and has about 3 grams of fiber. Mangos are high in vitamins, potassium, and folate and also add fiber to your diet.