Know About Best Varieties Of Mango And Its Uses,Overall Benefits.
Mangoes(Magnifera indica) have been grown on the Indian subcontinent from ancient times. Many instances of the significance of mangoes are found in the historical books of India, suggesting that the existence of this fruit in the Indian sub-continent before anywhere else in the world. They are believed to have originated in East India, Burma, Andaman Nicobar Islands bordering the bay of Bengal. It was in middle of 5th century BC, the Buddhist monk first took the mangoes to the Malaysia and Eastern Asia. The traders from Persia took the mango trees to the middle Eastern countries and Africa. From here the Portuguese took them to West Indies to Western Countries. Hundreds of varieties of this fruit is grown all over the world throughout the tropical and subtropical regions. Mango is the national fruit of Pakistan , India, and Philipines and India happens to be the leading producer of mangoes followed by Mexico and China.
The top ten varieties of Mangoes in the world are
5.Nam Dok mai,
9.Madame, and 10.Kesar.
This list is based on the fruit flavor,color,disease resistance, nature of the tree and yield per season. Among the listed varieties Alphonso mango tops, all the other varieties in the world with its unique flavor,taste and long shelf life..
Alphonso-king of Mangoes
This is the leading commercial variety grown in the state Maharashtra and one of the of the tastiest variety found in the country. This variety is known by different names in different regions Like badami, Gundu, Khader, Appas, Happas, and kagdi Happus. The fruit of this variety is medium in size ,ovate and oblique in shape and orange yellow in color.
Alphonso is named after the Alfonso de Albuquerque a nobleman and military expert(some references say him as saint) who helped to establish Portuguese colony in India. It was this Portuguese people ,who introduced grafting on mangoes, to produce extraordinary varieties Like Alphonso. This was an exquisite an expensive variety(cost rs.1000 to rs.5,000 per box in season) of Mango that he used to bring on his journey to Goa, and thel ocals started to call it as Apoos in Konkani, and also in Gujarati and in Maharashtra it is further changed in to Hapoos.The fruit was then introduced to konkan region in Maharashtra ,Gujarat,and parts of South india. The finest variety of mangoes are produced by Sindhudurg which is a Southern region of Maharashtra ,Ratnagiri’s Southern district,Devgad Taluk as well as Dapoli.
The best and most expensive are grown on the small Natwarlal plantation in Ratnagiri and it is mostly exported. This placeis the largest producer of this variety and officially carry the Geographical Indication tag.The Ratnagiri ,Sindhudurg and Rajgad district of Maharashtra together have around 130,000 hectares, for growing this variety. The fruit was shipped to London for the Queen’s coronation in 1953 from Mumbai’s legendary Crownford market which is famous for its Alphonso mangoes. Another place popular for this variety, is the Devgad , Alphonso from this region is the most expensive sub-breeds of Alphonso. (Devgad is located on the Arabian Sea in the Coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra)
Mango‘s sub –breeds found in India
Mango is the national fruit of India ,Pakistan And Philipines. There are more than thousand varieties of mangoes are there in india and some characterstic important varieties are Bangalora ,Banganapali. Bombai, Bombay green, Dashehari.Fajri, Fernadin,Him sagar,,Kesar,Kishen Bhog, Langra,Mankurad,Mulgosa.Neelum,Chausa, Suvarna rekha,Vanraj, Zardalu, Ammarapali,Mallika,Arka Aruna,Arka puneet,,Arka Anmol,Sindhu, Ratna, Rumani,Manjeera,,Alfazali, Sundar langra, Sabri, Jawahar, Neeleshan,,Neeleshwari,Alampus, Safeda, Amrapali, badami, Cheruku rasalu, Chinnna, Thali mango,Chittoor rumani,,Maharaja pasand,Chinnarasam, Ela manga, Gaddamar, Gadam mary, Himayath, Gulabkhas, Himayath,Him sagar, Imam pasand, Imam hussain, Jehangir, Benarsi,Tota puri, Komanga,Kalami Kesar, Langra, Maldah, Moovendhan, Nattuma, Nannari, Puliyan, Payri, Priyor, Rani, Rajapur, Raspuri, Sindhura, Marriam,and Zandulu.
Speciality of Alphonso fruits
The finest fruit of this kind comes from a narrow strip of about 20km from the seashore along the Konkan coast. The special feature of this fruit it does not grow out of a seed, When the seed of this mango is planted you will get a mango tree of different type. The method involved in growing this mango is a small twig cut out from the mother plant is grafted on to a stem of a sturdy variety grown out of a seed. Sometimes one twig is planted into a combination of two stems from the two seeds. It is planted in to plastic bag and put under intensive care for the coming years(3 to 4 years) Only three out of five survive till the fourth year. In the fourth year the plants are planted in the ground to grow further. From them few survives to sixth year under best care and regular pruning. It starts bearing fruits in the nineth year ,hanging between 0 to 25 feet from the ground. The fruits are harvested using a tool called ‘Zelo’ in the local language. It is loose nylon –net basket held by metal ring and attached to a bamboo pole which has a sharp V-shaped cutting tool at the front of the ring. The harvester tugs at the zeal in a specific and careful manner without disturbing other fruits or branches and ensuring the fruit stem is in contact with stem. Before they are sold they are manually checked for hit marks ,bird fly stings ,pest scrape marks ,sap burns and are graded according to their weights .The Devgad Alphonso is the most expensive sub-breeds of Alphonso. (Devgad is located on the Arabian Sea in the Coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra)
Religious significance of Mango tree
In India mango tree has a great religious significance and Hindus consider this tree as sacred and auspicious. Why the use of mango leaves are much emphasized? In Hinduism any natural substance ,which has very good health benefits is considered as sacred and are customarily included in daily practice, religious occasions and celebrations to make use of its health benefits. Alternative medicines such as Unani,Homeopathy and Allopathy were introduced to India only after 13th century. Till then plants and its various forms were used to a great extent to cure, to protect, to improve, sustain the health of the people.(for health benefits of mango tree see below)
According to religious texts, the mango tree is considered as the manifestation of god ‘Prajapathi” the creator. In every Hindu celebration , festivals, rituals mango leaves are traditionally used. They are used to decorate the place and also very specifically in decorating ‘purnakumba.’Purna kumba is a pot ,tucked with bunch of mango leaves , having coconut on the top. The significance of this arrangement, and the belief is, the pot with water( the substance added to the pot varies from place to place) represents the source from which life is created ,and mango leaves is the creator who creates from source or life how it manifests itself from source and the coconut which is in pure form represents the divine presence.(any god Ganesh, Lakshmi, Durga we would like to represent).So the Purna Kumba is a symbolical representation of the whole universe with life and divine presence in each form which we like to invoke or meditate before start doing good things.
Wood of the mango tree is used in puja and in funeral pyre. The gum from bark is used to stop bleeding.
How to identify naturally ripened mango from chemically ripened mangoes.
- The naturally ripened ones gives a pure , strong fruit aroma noticeable from distance where chemically ripened mangoes do not give such aroma.
- The fruits are slighltly orange tinged and soft to touch if they are naturally ripened ,chemically ripened ones look yellow and hard.
- Look for the skin colour, unnaturally ripened ones show uniformity in skin color where natural ones show in between green and yellow.
- The naturally ripened ones mangoes will be without wrinkles, succulent and have a slight trough near the stem due to the loosening of flesh from outer skin.
Culinary uses of Mangoes
Mango the king of all fruits is crowned as the best fruit of all times. Though it is a seasonal fruit grown from March to September ,but is the one of the most awaited fruit for its taste and use.
It is used make pickles ,milk shakes,desserts,ice cream,smoothies ,pies, juices and lot more different edible items. The leaves and fruit of mango tree is even used in decorating households during Hindu festivities.
To have the recipe for Mango Lassi follow the link
- Curd or Yogurt - One of the Elixir of Life
Curd or yoghurt is a very nourishing food .It is a valuable source of protein, calcium, and minerals. Curd has zero carbohydrates, sugars, transfat and high source of Calcium.
Video on making Mango Salsa
Nutritional Value of Raw Mango
1 cup sliced raw Mango - 165g
Chemical compounds of mango and its various health benefits
The Magnifera indica is an important herb in the Ayurvedha and indigenous medical system for over 4000 yrs. According to Ayurvedha varied medicinal properties are attributed to different parts of mango tree. This plant is an important source of many pharmacologically and medicinally important chemicals such as mangiferin, mangiferonic acid , hydroxymagniferin, polyphenols and carotenes. Various effects like antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, antiparasitic, antiHIV, antispasmodic, anti pyretic, antidiarrhoel, anti allergic, immune modulation, hypolipidemic, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, have also been studied and proven.
Very importantly the chemical mangiferin which is a polyphenolic antioxidant,and glucosyl xanthone present abundantly in fruit, leaves and bark has antioxidant,radioactive,immunomodulation,antiallergic,anti-inflammatory, antitumour, antidiabetic, lipolytic,antibone resorption,monamine, oxidase inhabiting,antimicrobial , antiparasitic properties.
The parts of the tree having this chemical are used to treat , antilipid peroxidation, immunomodulation, cardiotonic, hypotensive, wound healing, antidegenerative and anti diabetic diseases.
Health benefits of Mangoes
- Good for eyes: Mangoes are good source of vitamin A which helps to improve your eyesight, and reduce effects of night blindness,softening of the cornea ,dryness, itching and burning of eyes
- Aids digestion : The enzymes present in the mangoes improve digestion and control the gastrointestinal disorders.
- Improves memory :The glutamine acid present in the mangoes proved to improve memory in children
- Control diabetes. The mango leaves are very effective in controlling sugar level in the blood. Taking decoction of mango leaves every day in the morning in an empty stomach,has very good effect in bringing down the sugar level in blood.
- Skin Cleanser. The application of mango juice on the face , helps to clean clogged pores which in turn helps to avoid pimples.
- Maintain the alkali level in body:The tartaric acid ,malic acid ,and presence of good trace of citric acid in the fruit helps to maintain the alkali reserve of the body
- Improves immune system: The abundant presence of vitamin C and vitamin A and 25 different kinds of Carotenoids helps to improve your immune system and keep you healthy.
- Rich source of Antioxidants :The high content of antioxidants help you to fight against colon, breast, prostate cancer and leukemia.
- Saves from heat stroke: The pectin compounds in the Mango,protects you from the heat stroke.
- Good for heart: Fresh mangoes is good source of potassium. Potassium is an important element of the body fluid that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Why Mangoes are good for Eyes? Comparative account of vitamins and fiber content present in Mango and in other fruits
Recipe for green Mango juice
- The English singular form mango, comes from the latin word “Magnifera Indica” meaning mango bearing plant from India
- The tree of mango,has a great significance in India, is considered as symbol of love and fertility..
- In earlier times, most of the south East Asian rulers and aristocrats use to have their personal mango groves. With personal cultivators, as a mark of their social status and also to savour the taste of different varieties during the season.
- In Australia the first tray of mangoes of the season is traditionally sold at a charity auction.
- India, as the largest producer of the fruit, accounting for 52.63 % of total world’s mango production of 19 million tonnes.
- The ban on import of mangoes to U.S was removed in April 2007 with the condition that all mangoes must be treated before exporting to avoid introduction to non-native flee, destructive fungi, and other pest that could cause great damage to American agriculture. Indians cannot carry mangoes in to U.S in luggage or ship them by mail.
- Mangoes belong to Anachardiaceae family some of the distant relatives of the mango family are Cashew,Poison ivy and Pistachio.
- In the West indies, the expression ‘to go a Mango walk’ means to steal someone else's mango fruit.
- It is dangerous to burn mango woods and leaves as they release toxic fumes which can cause severe damage to the lungs as well as to the eyes.
Which is your favorite?
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