Mango is rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients. The fruit pulp is high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, diverse polyphenols and provitamin A carotenoids.
Mango contains essential vitamins and dietary minerals. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E compose 25%, 76% and 9% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in a 165 grams (5.8 oz) serving. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, 11% DRI), vitamin K (9% DRI), other B vitamins and essential nutrients, such as potassium, copper and 17 amino acids are at good levels. Mango peel and pulp contain other phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants – carotenoids and polyphenols – and omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Mango peel contains pigments that may have antioxidant properties, including carotenoids, such as the provitamin A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene, polyphenols such as quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechins, tannins, and the unique mango xanthonoid, mangiferin, any of which may counteract free radicals in various disease processes as revealed in preliminary research. Phytochemical and nutrient content appears to vary across mango species. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from mango pulp, the densest of which was beta-carotene, which accounts for the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango species. Peel and leaves also have significant polyphenol content, including xanthonoids, mangiferin and gallic acid.
The mango triterpene, lupeol, is an effective inhibitor in laboratory models of prostate and skin cancers. An extract of mango branch bark called Vimang, isolated by Cuban scientists, contains numerous polyphenols with antioxidant properties in vitro and on blood parameters of elderly humans.
The pigment euxanthin, known as Indian yellow, is often thought to be produced from the urine of cattle fed mango leaves; the practice is described as having been outlawed in 1908 due to malnutrition of the cows and possible urushiol poisoning. This supposed origin of euxanthin appears to rely on a single, anecdotal source, and Indian legal records do not outlaw such a practice.
The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. The mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh.
In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment, regarding the devotees potential perfection. Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of the goddess Saraswati.
Mango leaves are used to decorate archways and doors in Indian houses and during weddings and celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi. Mango motifs and paisleys are widely used in different Indian embroidery styles, and are found in Kashmiri shawls, Kanchipuram silk sarees, etc. Paisleys are also common to Iranian art, because of its pre-Islamic Zoroastrian past.
In Tamilnadu, Mango is considered, along with Banana and jack fruit, as the Three royal fruits (Mukkani)
Famous Urdu poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib was very fond of mangoes. There are many anecdotes concerning his love for mangoes.
In Australia, where mangoes are considered to be a symbol of summer, the first tray of mangoes of the season is traditionally sold at an auction for charity.
Mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates worldwide production at nearly 35,000,000 tonnes (39,000,000 short tons) in 2009 (table below). The aggregate production of the top 10 countries is responsible for roughly 80% of worldwide production.
Alphonso, Benishaan or Benisha (Banganapalli in Telugu and other south Indian languages) and Kesar mango varieties are considered among the best mangoes in India's southern states, while Dussehri and Langda varieties are most popular in the northern states.
Generally, ripe mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are juicy for eating, while exported fruit are often picked while underripe with green peels. Although producing ethylene while ripening, unripened exported mangoes do not have the same juiciness or flavor as fresh fruit.
Like other drupaceous fruits, mangoes come in both freestone and clingstone varieties.
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. While other Mangifera species (e.g. horse mango, M. foetida) are also grown on a more localized basis, Mangifera indica – the common mango or Indian mango – is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, and its fruit is distributed essentially world-wide.
In several cultures, its fruit and leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings, public celebrations and religious ceremonies.