By: Mackenzie Elrod, R.D.
Hailed as one of the most popular fruits in the world, mangoes were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago. Interestingly, in this region it is believed that gifting someone a basket of mangoes indicates friendship, and there are many tales of Buddha meditating underneath the cover of the mango trees.
Mango is a succulent fruit available all year long, providing over 20 different vitamins and minerals. This makes it an optimal choice to perk up any meal or snack. One cup of mango has 100 calories and provides three grams of fiber. What’s more, one serving provides 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, 35% of the daily value of Vitamin A, and 20% the daily value of folate.
Consuming mangoes may help to prevent folate deficiency, which can cause oral ulcers as well as pigmentation changes to skin, hair, and nails. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables high in folate is especially important for women who are pregnant, as the risk of folate deficiency increases during pregnancy. Side effects of insufficient folate among expectant mothers can result in neural tube defects, low infant birth weight, and preterm delivery. Doctors encourage women with this deficiency to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate of 600 mcg (0.6 mg) per day, making mangoes a healthy, delicious option to combat this issue.
This brightly colored fruit can easily be featured in a number of recipes. Try venturing outside the box with these recipe ideas.
- Dice with jalapeño for a spicy-sweet salsa.
- Pair with brie for a new take on a classic quesadilla.
- Slice with bell peppers and cucumber for a colorful and flavorful salad.
- Grill slices and top with a scoop of low-fat ice cream.
- Create a glaze to brush on roasted chicken or ham.
- Add it to a fruit kabob or blend into a smoothie.
- Dip slices in melted dark chocolate and freeze for a decadent treat.