How to Choose a Mango
What are mangoes good for, you ask? The answer is everything! Mangoes are rich in amino acids, vitamin C, and E, flavonoids, beta carotene, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. The phenols in mangos, as well as the abundant enzymes, have excellent cancer-preventing capacities. Just one cup of sliced mangos contains 76 % of our daily needs of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant which helps protect cells from free radical damage and further reduces risk of cancer. Moreover, mangos are rich in vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. The glycemic index of mango is low, ranging between 41-60. So, mango does not have any significant effect in increasing blood sugar levels. Mangos are beneficial for pregnant women and individuals suffering from anemia because of their high iron content. Mangos are useful to children who lack concentration in studies, as they contain glutamine acid, which is helps boost memory and keep brain cells active. Mangos also contain tryptophan, the precursor of the "happiness-hormone," serotonin. And finally, mangoes are rich in vitamin E, which improves the complexion. Read on to find out how to choose the best mangoes every time.
What to look for: The colors of a ripe mango can vary greatly anywhere from yellow, green, pink, or red depending on the variety. For this reason, relying solely upon color to determine the ripeness of a mango is not a good idea. In general, deep saturated colors and bright blushes of red and orange suggest quality and ripeness. Shape is also not a sure indication of quality, since mangoes come in all shapes and sizes and the ideal shape varies greatly with each variety. Try to avoid flat, underdeveloped mangoes with glossy peels because these will be sour and stringy. The most significant, observable clue as to the true quality of a mango is texture. Pick up the mango and hold it gently in your hands. Ripe mangoes will be soft to the touch like an overripe avocado, and should give even under light pressure. In some cases, the peel on a ripe mango will begin to shrivel up ever so slightly and become leathery, this is a good sign. Choose mangos that are full, plump, and heavy for their size. It is normal for ripe mangos to have small speckles on their peels. Delicious mangos will usually exude a strong, sweet fragrance. Stay away from mangos that smell sour because they may be overripe. Lastly, look for a smooth, thin, non-glossy peel as the final indication of utmost sweetness and quality.
What to avoid: Avoid mangoes that are mushy, have black spots, or sunken in sides.
Storage: Do not refrigerate mangoes until they are fully ripe. Once ripe, mangoes may be moved to the refrigerator, which will slow down their ripening process. Whole, ripe mangoes may be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator. Mangoes may also be peeled and frozen for up to six months. For more tips on selecting fruit in the store, check out my eBook, Quality Produce.
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