Everything About Mangoes and 5 Amazing Ways to Enjoy Them

Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.
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If you are a lover of mangoes, then this article is for you. Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits across Africa and are also highly appreciated outside the continent.

Worldwide, there are several hundred cultivars of mango. Depending on the cultivar, mango fruit varies in size, shape, sweetness, skin color, and flesh color which may be pale yellow, gold, green, or orange.

Mangoes are sweet, creamy fruits that have a range of possible health benefits. They are highly popular around the world.

The mango is a member of the drupe family. This is a type of plant food with a fleshy outer section that surrounds a shell, or pit. This pit contains a seed. Olives, dates, and coconuts are also part of this family.

There are many different kinds of mango. They vary in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. Although mango skin can be green, red, yellow, or orange, its inner flesh is mostly golden yellow.

Before we get to it, check out this delicious mango recipe: Mango Fool Recipe

Parts of the mango fruit

The mango fruit has three main parts namely: the pulp, the peel, and the kernel.

The pulp

The pulp is the component that people eat the most, whereas the peel and kernel are frequently thrown away. Mango pulp contains a range of reducing sugars, amino acids, aromatic compounds, and functional chemicals like pectin, vitamins, anthocyanins, and polyphenols, among other things.

The skin/peel of the mango

Mango skin is edible and although it may have an unpleasant taste, it is high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Its unpleasant taste may be due to pesticide residues and may contain chemicals that may induce allergic reactions. While eating mango skin is generally safe, it is unnecessary for most people.

Health benefits of mango peel

  • Mango peels contain potent antioxidants mangiferin, norathyriol, and resveratrol, which may help prevent or fight malignancies such as lung, colon, breast, brain, and spinal cord tumors. Triterpenes and triterpenoids, which are plant components that help fight cancer and diabetes, are also found in mango peels.
  • The function of mango peel has been revitalizing abilities. It helps to prevent wrinkles from forming before they become visible. It is impossible to remove because it is a natural process that occurs as people age. However, with correct treatment, it may be postponed. The main causes of wrinkles on the face are free radicals, air pollution, and stress. Apply the mango peel paste and leave it on for fifteen minutes before washing it off.
  • Mango peel is a natural way to lose weight. Mango varieties such as Nam Dok and Irwin have bioactive in high concentrations that inhibit fat cell formation in the body.
  • Mango peel’s high fiber content makes it an excellent metabolism stimulant, and it has been shown to help people lose weight. It also helps to keep the digestive system working smoothly by easing bowel movements.
  • Mango peel’s high fiber content makes it an excellent metabolism stimulant, and it has been shown to help people lose weight. It also helps to keep the digestive system working smoothly by easing bowel movements.

The skin of unripe, pickled, or cooked mango can be eaten, but it has the potential to cause contact dermatitis of the lips, gingiva, or tongue in susceptible people.

The kernel

Mango seed is a single flat oblong that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, depending on the cultivar. The kernel inside the seed represents 45 to 75 percent of the seed and about 20 percent of the whole fruit. The mango seed, also known as gutli, is commonly pulverized or processed into oil and butter. This large creamy-white seed in the center of mango is usually thrown out or disregarded, although it has a high concentration of minerals and antioxidants.

History of mangoes in Africa

The mango tree, which originated in India, was first reported in West Africa, in Senegal, in 1824. Mango trees began to spread widely at the end of the nineteenth century, particularly in coastal areas. During the early half of the twentieth century, their extension became important.

Mangoes were brought to East Africa by Arab and Persian traders in the 9th and 10th centuries from tropical Asia. It was mentioned in Mogadishu by the Moroccan adventurer Ibn Battuta in the 14th century. During the Colonial Era, it began to spread to other parts of the globe. From their colony in Goa, the Portuguese Empire carried the mango to East and West Africa. From the 16th to the 17th centuries, they brought it to Brazil from West Africa.

Production of mangoes in Africa

About 1.5 million tons of mangoes are produced in West Africa annually representing about 4 percent of global production. Furthermore, post-harvest losses run from 50 to 80 percent, implying that less than 100,000 tons of fresh mangoes are exported each year and approximately 50,000 tons are processed domestically.

In South Africa, mangoes are farmed throughout a large area. However, the Letsitele valley/Tzaneen, Hoedspruit/Phalaborwa, Letsitele/Lower Letaba, and Trichardsdal/Ofcolaco areas account for 60% of overall production in the Northern Province.

Nutritional value of mangoes

Mango is a low-calorie fruit that is high in nutrients. One cup of sliced mango (165 grams) gives:

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Carbs: 24.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Vitamin C: 67% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Copper: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 18% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 11.6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 10% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 9.7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5: 6.5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 6% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 4.5% of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 4% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI

Phosphorus, pantothenic acid, calcium, selenium, and iron are all present in modest levels.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that supports your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and promotes growth and repair. One cup (165 grams) of mango contains nearly 70% of the RDI.

Varieties of mangoes


1.     Bush mango/African mango

African mangoes
Image credit: Verywell Fit

Irvingia gabonensis, often known as wild mango, African mango, or bush mango, is a species of African tree in the genus Irvingia. They produce edible mango-like fruits, and their fat- and protein-rich nuts are particularly prized. This tall tree is native to the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Cameroun, among other nations in tropical West-Central Africa. It is now grown in a variety of tropical and subtropical climates around the world.

The African mango is said to help with weight loss by suppressing appetite, speeding up metabolism, and reducing fat storage in alternative medicine. Some proponents also say that African mango can help with health issues including high cholesterol and diabetes.

Check out these African mango recipes here at African Food Network:

2.     Cherry mango

Cherry mangoes
Image credit: Oluwadara

Cherry Mangoes are a unique variety of mango that originated in Indonesia. They’re noted for being more fragrant and having a stronger flavor. The mango’s ripe flesh is soft and delicious, pale orange in color, and has a texture that ranges from fibrous to almost buttery. Also called Sheri or Cherie, these mangoes are green in color and are elliptical in shape. They have a rich and spicy taste, with an aftertaste of Kerosene or turpentine. These mangoes are best for juicing or eaten as fruit.

3.     Kent mangoes

Kent mangoes
Image credit: App.com

Kent mangoes are large, oval fruit with dark green skins, sometimes with a dark red blush. They have juicy, tender golden flesh with few fibers, which makes them excellent for juicing. The fruit measures 20 to 26 ounces (570–740 g) and has a rich, sweet flavor. As it matures, it normally turns a greenish-yellow tint with a red flush. The seed is monoembryonic, and if left on the tree too long after maturing, it will grow in the fruit.

This medium to large-sized fruit is available from February to early April. Even when ripe and ready to eat, its skin is mostly green in color. The flesh is solid and fiberless, with a sweet and fragrant flavor.


4.     Peach mango

Peach mangoes

Peach Mango, often known as R2E2, is an Australian hybrid that tastes great when ripe and fresh. It’s also great for salads, especially when cubed and paired with other salad ingredients like fruits or veggies.


5.     Sabre mango

Kent mango
Image credit: pinterest

The smooth-surfaced, strong leathery skin of this mango species yellow-green, frequently with a reddish blush is readily separated from the meat. The flesh has a deep orange color, with a soft melting texture and a moderate amount of fiber. The eating quality is average, with a sweet to insipid flavor and a turpentine aftertaste.

6.     Julie mango

Julie mangoes
Image credit: Wikipedia

The Julie mango is a little fruit that weighs less than a pound when fully ripe. The skin tone is green, with a crimson flush. The fruit is oblong with a noticeable flattened side and has an interesting shape. The flesh is juicy and fibrous, with a rich flavor and a vivid orange hue. It has a mono embryonic seed in it. The fruit ripens in Florida between June and July.

The dwarfing growth tendency of the tree is well-known. Julie trees grow slowly and can reach a height of roughly 10 feet without pruning in South Florida. Julie mango trees that are over 30 feet tall can be seen in the Caribbean.


7.     Carabao mango

Carabao mangoes
Image credit: Antioxidant fruits

Carabao mangoes, also known as Philippine mangoes or Manila mangoes, are sweet mango species native to the Philippines. Because of its sweetness and unusual flavor, the cultivar is well-known over the world. The mango cultivar was named the sweetest in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1995.

Carabao mangoes have a diameter of 8.5 cm (3+14) and a length of 12.5 cm (5 in). These fruits are kidney-shaped and can be small or long in length. The fruit is brilliant yellow with a green tinge when fully mature. The flesh has a beautiful yellow color, soft and aromatic, and has a tender melting consistency.


Benefits of Eating Mangoes

1.     It is rich in antioxidants:

Polyphenols, which are plant components that act as antioxidants, are abundant in mango. It comes in a variety of forms, including mangiferin, catechins, anthocyanins, quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and benzoic acid, among others. Antioxidants are crucial because they protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are extremely reactive molecules that can bond to your cells and cause damage.  Free radical damage has been linked to aging and chronic diseases in studies. Mangiferin has gotten the most attention among the polyphenols, and it’s been dubbed a “super antioxidant” because of its potency.


2.     It helps reduce cancer

Mangos are also good for your heart and circulatory system. They’re high in magnesium and potassium, which are both linked to reduced blood pressure and a steady pulse. Mangos also contain a chemical called mangiferin, which preliminary research suggests may be able to alleviate cardiac inflammation.


3.     It helps boost immunity

Mango is high in nutrients that help the immune system. One cup (165 grams) of mango contains 10% of your daily vitamin A requirements. Vitamin A is necessary for a healthy immune system since it aids in the fight against infections. Meanwhile, a lack of vitamin A has been related to an increased risk of infection. Furthermore, a single mango supplies roughly three-quarters of your daily vitamin C requirements. This vitamin can help your body create more disease-fighting white blood cells, improve the effectiveness of these cells, and strengthen the defenses of your skin. Mango is also high in folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, and many B vitamins, all of which help with immunity.


4.     It can be used as a skincare product

Aside from eating mangoes, exfoliating your body with mango scrub leaves your skin smoother and more delicate. Mangoes can be mashed and mixed with honey and milk to produce a paste. To get beautiful skin, gently massage it in and let it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off. Mangoes help the body maintain a healthy PH level by alkalizing it, and their high vitamin C, A, and E content help to prevent skin problems. Using mango pulp as a scrub also functions as a skin cleanser, helping to unclog pores and give the face a healthy sheen. It’s appropriate for all skin types.

Furthermore, Vitamin C is essential for making collagen, a protein that gives structure to your skin and hair. Collagen gives your skin its bounce and combats sagging and wrinkle.

5.     It is great for your digestive health

Mangos might help to keep your digestive system in check. They include both amylase chemicals and dietary fiber, which can aid in constipation prevention. Amylase molecules can aid in the digestion of other foods by breaking down tough carbohydrates. Meanwhile, mango fiber may be more beneficial than comparable fiber supplements in alleviating constipation.

6.     Mangoes are great for the eyes

Mango is high in antioxidants that improve eye health. These antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin are two important minerals. These build up in the retina of the eye, especially in the macula, which transforms light into brain signals so your brain can comprehend what you’re seeing. Lutein and zeaxanthin operate as natural sunblocks in the retina, absorbing excess light. They also appear to shield your eyes from the dangerous blue light.

Mangoes are also high in vitamin A, which is beneficial to eye health. Dry eyes and nighttime blindness have been linked to a lack of vitamin A in the diet. Defects that are more severe can lead to more significant problems, such as corneal scarring.


7.     It may help in weight loss

Eating one mango makes you feel fuller because it provides several vitamins and important elements. It also improves digestive function and burns unnecessary calories because it is high in fiber content. This, in turn, aids in the loss of excess weight.


8.     It helps in alkalizing the body

Because mangoes are high in tartaric and malic acids, as well as traces of citric acid, they aid in preserving our body’s alkali reserve. If your body is overly acidic, it can cause a variety of health issues, including chronic depression, excessive anxiousness, a higher chance of bone loss, ulcers, eye irritation, and tooth and gum disease, to name a few. Improved energy, correct digestion, lower susceptibility to colds and flu, more peaceful sleep, and more supple, youthful skin are all benefits of an alkalized body.


9.     It helps improve memory and concentration

Mangoes contain glutamine, which in the body is converted to glutamine acid. Glutamine aids immune system function, good brain function, and digestion by helping to remove excess ammonia from the body.


10.  It improves the health of your hair

Mango is high in vitamin A, which promotes hair growth and sebum production, a liquid that keeps your scalp moisturized and your hair healthy. Vitamin A and other retinoids also travel to your skin, protecting it from the sun. Mango is high in polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in addition to vitamins A and C. These antioxidants aid in the protection of hair follicles from oxidative stress.


How to pick a good mango

  • Feel the mango from top to bottom. Like avocados and peaches, ripe mangoes will be slightly soft to the touch, but not so soft or mushy that your fingers sink into or through the skin. If you don’t plan on eating the mango for a few days, though, choose a mango with firmer skin and let it ripen at home.
  • Do not focus on color, it is a wrong indicator of ripeness. In truth, the crimson flush on some mangoes is usually the consequence of the fruit being exposed to the sun while on the tree. You can end up with a mango dud if you go off-color alone.
  • Smell mangoes near their stems. Ripe mangoes will always have a strong, sweet, aromatic, and fruity aroma around the stem. A ripe mango smells like melon, but also like pineapple, with a hint of carrot tossed in for good measure. Mangoes that are fully ripe have a beautiful, sweet aroma. You’re good to go if it smells good enough to eat.


Different ways to enjoy your mango

1.     Mango cheesecake

Mango cheesecake
Image credit: Tincuocsong274

Mango cheesecakes are delectable, creamy, smooth textures, and flavors are topped with a wonderfully crumbly crust for a decadent treat.

Cheesecake is a sweet dessert consisting of one or more layers. The main, and thickest, layer consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese (typically cottage cheese, cream cheese, or ricotta), eggs, and sugar.

2.     Mango salad

Mango salad
Image credit: Seasons and suppers

Fruits and vegetable salads can perform wonders for you if you use the correct amount and variety of fruits and vegetables, as they will offer you a powerful dose of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. At the same time, you will get a slew of health benefits, ranging from reduced blood pressure to weight loss.

There are tons of mango fruit and vegetable salads. They are super easy to make, ingredients are readily available in your kitchen and yes, they are so healthy. Here are some mango salad recipes you should try:

  • African mango salad
  • Tomato-mango salad with basil and feta
  • Coronation chicken salad with mangoes and almonds
  • Avocado and mango fruit salad
  • Mango-cucumber salad with mint
  • Chicken, mango, and rice salad
  • Mango salad with crabs and chiles
  • Green mango salad – Green mangoes are those that have not yet ripened. They’re green on the outside, but the inside is the yellow-orange of a ripe mango, but without the sweet flavor or softer texture. Green mango salad is made with this sharper fruit and served with prawns, cashews, and shallots.


3.     Mango pudding

Mango pudding
Image credit: Little Sweet Baker

Pudding is a type of food that can be either a dessert or a savory (salty or spicy) dish that is part of the main meal and Mango pudding happens to be very popular.

Pudding is made by heating milk and sugar foundation and thickening it with cornstarch. This results in a semisolid texture and a creamy consistency. It’s best served chilled, but it’s also good heated or at room temperature.

Mango pudding is very soft and rich in nutrients and is great for vegetarians and vegans.

It is made by adding agar solution, or gelatin, or any setting agent of choice, to a blended mixture of sweet mangoes and sugar. Which is then mixed with coconut milk and blended again. This blended mixture is refrigerated after the top has been scraped off to give a smooth, delicious-looking pudding.


4.     Mango icecream

Mango icecream
Image credit: Recipe Tin Eats

Mango ice cream is one flavor of ice cream you shouldn’t miss out on. Mango ice cream, also called mango sorbetes, is an ice cream flavor prepared using pulped or pureed ripe mangoes. It is one of the most popular flavors of ice cream.


5.     Mango cake

Mango cake
Image credit: Bake with Shivesh

Mango cake or mango chiffon cake is a layered chiffon cake infused with ripe sweet Carabao mangoes. It is typically topped with mango cream frosting, fresh mango slices, or pureed mangoes in gulamin or gelatin. Other common toppings include cream, cream cheese, and chocolate. It also commonly sandwiches slices of mangoes between the layers.


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Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.

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