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Fruit of the Month: Mangoes

Fruit of the Month: Mangoes

One of the most popular fruits worldwide, this naturally sweet golden fruit is treasured for its cultural symbolism and unique, delightful flavor.

Origin Story

Mango is native to India and Asia, but mango trees thrive widely in many other tropical regions, including the southeastern United States. Made In Nature sources its exceptionally tasty organic mangos from Mexico, Peru, and Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. Growing up to 60 feet tall with maximum yields producing 300 luscious fruits each, these trees are quite a majestic sight as the reddish-purple fruits mature to bright gold-ripened fruits.

In some cultures, mangos are more than just a healthy fruit; they also have cultural significance. In traditional Indian culture, mango leaves are placed at entries or in temples to indicate joyous celebration and invite love and prosperity. A gift basket filled with mangos is a warm expression of friendship. In India, the mango is considered the "King of Fruits." Buddhism sees the mango as an emblem of knowledge and serenity, and in Jainism, mangos represent fertility.

Did you know there are more than a thousand types of mangos, including wild sources that aren’t commercially harvested? At Made In Nature, we typically offer the Ataulfo, Kent, Keit, and Tommy Atkins varietals. Mangos can be used for multiple purposes, from syrups and jams to delicious mango margaritas, purees, and juices. Our favorite way to eat organic mangos is to pick them at the height of sweetness, flavor, and dry them perfectly, resulting in a soft, chewy texture.

Nutrients & Health Benefits of Mangoes

Dried mangoes are a delicious, nutrient-rich snack that can offer various health benefits. From its distinctive bright yellow-gold shade, we know mangos have a rich supply of beta carotene. This nutrient,found primarily in fresh fruits and vegetables, is vital for maintaining good vision health while helping to promote healthy skin.

Mangoes contain additional essential vitamins and minerals such as dietary fiber, copper, magnesium, and potassium. Believe it or not, they pack more vitamin C than an orange! They provide other antioxidants and phytonutrients which help to protect the body from free radical damage, caused by environmental toxins or pollutants. Studies show that consuming antioxidant-rich foods can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and support heart health.

Mango boosts immune activity with nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C, to help kickstart your body's natural defenses. Its vitamin A and zeaxanthin also support good vision and promote hair growth. Consuming a diet low in vitamin A is linked to nighttime blindness and dry eyes. Mango is also rich in polyphenols, particularly one called “mangiferin”, which is categorized as a super antioxidant that promotes general wellness.

Packed with dietary fiber, this tropical fruit slows down digestion to help maintain a steady blood sugar level. Not only will you stay fuller longer to fight snack cravings, soluble fiber can also help to relieve common digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea. One four-week study demonstrated that eating mango daily is more effective than taking supplements containing equivalent amounts of soluble fibers!

 

The Many Uses for Mangoes

Made in Nature dried mangos are some of the tastiest dried mangos available, so you’ll be tempted to eat all of them straight out of the bag. But in case you have a few left over, they are a great way to add sweetness and flavor to plain old oatmeal or yogurt for a quick and simple meal. Small mango pieces can be added to your favorite trail mix for a sweet and nutritious snack. Top off a salad with some dried sliced mango or garnish a plate of grilled shrimp with diced mango. They have a beautiful gold color that would be a pretty and natural addition to decorating cakes or cupcakes.

If you’re a mango enthusiast and want even more ideas for adding mangos to your daily diet, check out this delicious recipe for Mango Coconut Rice.

Recipe: Mango Coconut Rice

This delicious Mango Coconut Rice Bowl is a great way to use dried mangos to create an exotic and flavorful meal. This delightful combination of mango, coconut, and rice makes for a perfect meal for lunch or side dish for dinner and comes together quickly with minimal effort.

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 ounces (up to 8 ounces) of dried mangos chopped, or use Second Chances Mango bits, soaked in 1/3 cup water for 15 minutes

Begin by heating the coconut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the jasmine rice and toast it for about 2 minutes until lightly golden brown. Stir in the desiccated coconut and cook for an additional minute before adding 2 cups of water. Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid off the pot at any point during cooking time.

Remove your pot from heat and fluff your jasmine rice with a fork before adding in your rehydrated mangos (including any liquid left behind) and put on low heat for a few minutes to warm the mangos.

Stir everything together well so that all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout, then set aside until ready to serve.When it's time to serve your Mango Coconut Rice Bowls, you can either divide into four bowls or portion out onto each individual plate. Before serving, top each bowl/plate with some fresh chopped cilantro or chopped cashews. Enjoy!

References:

      • https://www.theheritagelab.in/
      • Lebaka, V.R.; Wee, Y.-J.; Ye, W.; Korivi, M. Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Three Different Parts of Mango Fruit. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 741. https:// doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020741
      • Venancio VP, Kim H, Sirven MA, Tekwe CD, Honvoh G, Talcott ST, Mertens-Talcott SU. Polyphenol-rich Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Ameliorate Functional Constipation Symptoms in Humans beyond Equivalent Amount of Fiber. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Jun;62(12):e1701034. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201701034