The Almighty Mangifera indica
Native to India (hence the indica in its name) and Southeast Asia, the delicious, juicy and some would say "sultry" mango has many times been dubbed "king of fruits".
In fact it is a drupe, or as we mostly call them - stone fruits, and has a large seed in the middle which may prove daunting when you first learn to cut a mango at home.
This stone fruit has been cultivated for upwards of 4,000 years and there are hundreds of types of mango; although we only see 2 or 3 in our US supermarkets.
In the USA only California, Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii can grow mangoes due to their climate but we mostly import them...and boy do we love them; in 2015 alone the United States imported 1 billion pounds of fresh mango valued at $52 million, with Mexico as the main supplying country!
Not even mentioning the dried, frozen, juiced and preserved imports of this king of fruits in upwards of $500 million and up in total.
Mainly we focus on how delicious this fruit is, the tropical flavors it lends to both sweet and savory foods and its gorgeous, thick juice. But lest we forget that mother nature doesn't just create things that are pretty, they usually tend to be useful and many times darn right wondrous.
In fact mangoes are low in calories but full of nutrients!
But how nutritious is it?
Just one cup (about 165 grams) of sliced mango provides:
It's also rich in antioxidants which help protect your cells against free radical damage, signs of aging and chronic diseases and in fact mangoes may improve overall hair and skin health.
Its various combination of nutrients also help with heart health, may improve digestive health due to its enzymes called amylases, which break down large food molecules so that they can easily be absorbed by your body and because of two other special antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, your eye health is also supported!
Want to love mangoes even more?
There's evidence that because of its high amount of polyphenols this king of fruits has anticancer properties.
Wowza! (we said the same thing)
So...what's your favorite way to eat a mango?