Mangos are one of my favorite fruits, as they are a truly great addition to a lot of different foods, or taste great as a snack on their own.
For those who don’t know about this stone fruit, mangos are produced by the tropical tree, Mangifera indica. The fruit originated in India over 4,000 years ago and is actually considered a sacred fruit. Eventually, mangos spread gradually throughout Asia into the rest of the world. Now, most mangos you’d typically see in grocery stores were grown in Florida, Mexico, Haiti, and South America. Asia still holds the title for the continent growing the most mangos in the world at 75%. That’s a lot of mangos!
Mangos are eaten across the world more than any other fruit. So if you haven’t heard of them, you might be living under a rock.
Mangos aren’t just used for eating. They’ve been used in art and fabrics for centuries. The paisley pattern, created in India, is said to be a stylized depiction of a mango. In the language Tamil, spoken by people of India and other surrounding countries, the pattern has been called “mankolam,” meaning “mango design.” The design has also been called the “carrey” (kary) design, which translates to mean “mango seed.
But wait, there’s more! Indian folklore states that mango trees can grant wishes. I don’t know how, but I need to get to the mango trees in India. And, if you’re living in the United States, mangos are believed to be an exotic fruit.
With all these fun facts, it would be nice to know what a mango tastes like. Mangos have a mix of citrusy flavors that work so well together. I know that may sound vague, but I bet it’ll make you keep reading!
What Does Mango Taste Like?
Mangos are called the “king of fruit” because their flavor is a mixture of oranges, peaches, and pineapples. It’s a little slice of tropical paradise!
Unripe mango is hard, fibrous, and has a taste that’s similar to tart limes.
With ripe mango, you can enjoy that tropical flavor that gives off more citrus and tart. Ripe mango is also juicy and somewhat stringy while also being sweet with just a small underlying hint of sourness and pine.
What’s the Texture of Mango Like?
The texture of mango depends on its ripeness (and maybe the quality of it).
Some mangos will have a soft and pulpy texture, while others might have firmer or more fibrous flesh. Because of this, that could affect the taste. And depending on the person eating it, they may prefer one texture and taste over the other.
Their colors, however, are always super vibrant, making them look appealing. The colors are bright red with green and yellow overtones. A work of art!
What Does Mango Smell Like?
If the color is appealing to you, wait until you learn about the smell!
Mangos will smell tropical to go along with their taste, and they will also smell sweet and fruity. Some say they smell hints of melon mixed with pineapple.
They do say that your sense of smell is responsible for about 80% of your taste, so if this fruit smells good, you know that it will taste just as amazing.
What Tastes Similar to Mango?
Although mango has a taste that is a mixture of certain tropical fruits, it does not mean that it tastes similar to them on its own.
One of the most common comparisons to mango is papaya. Papaya is sweet and has a mild-melon-like perfume scent. It makes a good substitution for mango in dishes that require a tropical note (like fruit salads, sangria, and other mixed fruit dishes). If you’re substituting mango for papaya, it’s better to eat it raw.
Another substitute for mango is peach. This is due to its similar level of sweetness in texture. Other common replacements also can be nectarines, apricot, cantaloupe, kiwi, and banana. These will all get the job done and taste great.
Is Mango Good for You?
Generally speaking, fruits are great for you, and adding them to your diet can give you great benefits.
But when we’re talking mangos, there are a great number of reasons to eat them. Let’s break down the nutrition facts first.
If you were to eat 1 cup of chopped fresh mango, you’d only be eating 99 calories.
They contain 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of carbs with only 6 grams of fat as well as 23 grams of sugar.
They provide 89 micrograms of Vitamin A, 7 micrograms of Vitamin K, 60 milligrams of Vitamin C, and 277 milligrams of potassium.
Due to their nutrients, there are tons of potential health benefits that come along with eating this stone fruit.
Because of Vitamin C, mangos are great to help boost your immunity. That 1 cup serving provides 2/3 of the recommended daily intake you need. Vitamin C helps your body’s healing process, helping your body form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones.
Free Radical Damage Protection
Free radicals are compounds that are associated with aging as well as many chronic diseases. High levels of antioxidants in mangoes, such as beta-carotene and Vitamin C, help protect cells from that free radical damage.
Mangos also feature a source of phytochemicals, which are plant-based compounds known for their health-promoting properties.
The phytochemicals include phenolic acids, mangiferin, carotenoids, and gallotannins, which all have been linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and anti-cancer effects.
Mangos are also a carotenoid-containing fruit, meaning they may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Early research also shows that micronutrients in mangos may help shrink breast cancer cells. When research was tested on mice, it was shown that mango has decreased tumor size and suppressed cancer growth factors.
Although more testing still needs to be done on humans, it’s hopeful to see such a positive reaction!
Help With Inflammatory Disease
The antioxidants and nutrients in mangos as well as other nutrients have an inflammatory effect, so people with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions may benefit from eating this awesome fruit.
Improved Cardiovascular and Gut Health
Two cups of mango a day has benefited systolic blood pressure among healthy postmenopausal women. This is potentially due to the polyphenols, such as mangiferin, quercetin, gallotannins, and gallic acid, which the mango contains.
Improved Digestive Health
With 3 grams of fiber in a cup (or 10% of your daily intake), mango is great for your digestive system. Dietary fiber is crucial to digestive health. Mangos were also found to significantly improve constipation, including stool frequency and consistency.
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in mangos as well as Vitamin A help protect your eyes and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Mangos also contain Vitamin B6, which produces serotonin, aka a chemical that helps with sleep and regulates your mood. ¾ a cup of mango usually provides about 8 percent of your daily B6 needs.
Best Uses for Mango
There are many delicious ways to eat mango, here are just a few to name:
This brings sweet and savory into a delicious dip that can be used with your chips or thrown on top of your protein dish. Mix fresh mango with corn or tomatoes, or even mix it in with your guacamole.
Blend it together with other fruits and thickeners like water, ice, yogurt, or milk for a delicious (and healthy) drinkable treat.
Frozen Mango Bites
Pop mango like candy! Cut the mango into slices or small chunks and stick them in the freezer. When they’re hard enough, they create a solid snack.
Mango Ice Cream
If the frozen mango is too plain, turn it into an ice cream or frozen yogurt. It’s perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day, or for your sugar craving.
This mango-yogurt drink is an Indian staple. It’s light and refreshing and easy to make!
If you want an adult drink, combine mango with some ice, tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup and blend it up.