What is it?, History, cultivation, nutritional value, uses, recipes, and more...

The mango is a juicy, fibrous, and fragrant tropical fruit highly appreciated for its unbeatable taste as well as its excellent health benefits.

What is a Mango?

The mango tree is an evergreen tree with a dense canopy that can reach a height of 20 meters, although it has been known to exceed 30 meters, especially when competing for sunlight with taller trees. The fruit has a thick, cylindrical, straight trunk with dark, resinous latex. Its leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, lanceolate to oblong, measuring between 15 and 30 cm in length and having a dark green color. Its inflorescences are conical, terminal, and distributed in panicles. The flowers are polygamous, small, yellowish-green, with 4 or 5 sepals and petals.

The fruit of this tree, the mango, varies in shape and size but is typically ovoid-oblong, with slightly flattened ends, measuring 4 to 25 cm in length and having a green, yellowish-green, or orange color (when ripe), with some varieties even having purple or red hues. The fruit’s flesh is yellow or orange, juicy, fleshy, and fibrous. The mango has an ovoid to oblong, flattened seed with a slightly lignified external appearance.

History of Mango

The mango is of Asian origin and is believed to have originated in the region between India and Myanmar. Its cultivation dates back to ancient times in Southeast Asia, as evidenced by the multitude of existing varieties and the number of names found in old Sanskrit writings (1,500-2,000 years BC). The domestication of mango is estimated to have taken place 6,000 years ago.

In India, the mango is traditionally considered the national fruit and is associated with many stories. One of the most famous recounts that Amradarika (Amra means mango in Sanskrit) offered Buddha a mango grove as a resting place, where he rested and meditated with other fellow monks.

The mango was also believed to be a transformation of Prajapati, the Lord of creatures, a deity who ruled over procreation and later became associated with the universe.

It is believed that the domestication of mango occurred in various locations in Southeast Asia, which explains the existence of polyembryonic cultivars in Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina, and Vietnam (where several plants emerge from a single seed, some resulting from fertilization and others being clones of the plant that produced the fruit), as well as monoembryonic cultivars (a single plant emerges from a seed) in India.

Alexander the Great (327 BC) brought news of the mango to the western world when he described his observation of a mango grove in the Indus Valley. It appears that it was the Arabs who later introduced mango to Africa, and it was the Spanish and Portuguese who introduced it to the Americas through different routes: the Spanish brought mangoes through the Pacific Ocean between 1500 and 1600, while the Portuguese took mango to southern Africa and later to Brazil. Mango reached Florida in 1861 and Hawaii between 1800 and 1820.

mango portada foods superalimentos peruanos
EspañolMango, Manga


Mangifera indica

EspecieM. indica L., 1753, non Blume, 1827 nec Wall.,1847
  • Mangifera austroyunnanensis Hu, 1940


  • Rhus laurina Nutt., 1838

Mangifera: Latinized version of the Malay name for the fruit, manga, and the Latin suffix fer = to produce, referring to the fruit-bearing nature of the tree.

Indica: Latin, derived from India.

Habitat of Mango

Currently, there are significant mango cultivation areas in India, Indonesia, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, South Africa, Queen Island, Egypt, Israel, Brazil, Cuba, the Philippines, and many other countries. India probably has more commercial plantations than the rest of the world combined.

Mangifera indica can adapt to different types of terrain, as long as it is deep and well-drained. Light soils are usually recommended, allowing the large roots to penetrate and anchor into the ground. The pH level should be around 5.5-5.7, with the soil having a loamy-sandy or clayey-sandy texture.

The water requirements of mango depend on the climate of the area where the plantations are located. In colder areas, irrigation should be more abundant, although excessive moisture is detrimental to fruiting.

Mango trees can tolerate variable precipitation conditions, as well as drought, and can withstand temperatures as low as two degrees below freezing, as long as they are not prolonged.

Mango trees prefer temperatures around 32°C and soils with high nitrogen and potassium levels. Only about a dozen fruits are produced per inflorescence.

Geographical Distribution of Mango


Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, Ica

Seasonal Availability of Mango

Varieties of Mango

  • Internationally

    There are over a thousand varieties of mango around the world, with India having the highest number (over 500 named varieties). Some of the well-known mango varieties include: Stringy Mango, Garden Mango or Local Mango, Boca'o Mango, Grafted Mango, Manga, Tommy Mango, Chancleta Mango, Apple Mango, and Sugar Mango.

  • Other varieties:

    Red: Tommy Atkins, Haden, Irwin Red, Zill, Sunset Adams Green: Kent, Carrie, Amalie Yellow: Ataulfo, Manila Super Other: Criolla, Edward, Van Dike

Nutritional Value of Mango

Mango stands out for its multitude of benefits to the body. Among them:

It is an important source of vitamins C and A. A single 200g mango provides the recommended daily amount of vitamin C (about 60 mg) and 60% of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Mango is one of the most important sources of this nutrient. It is rich in vitamin E, one of the most effective antioxidants and heart protectors. It provides magnesium and potassium, fulfilling 10% of the daily needs for these minerals. Mango contains purifying acids such as tartaric and malic acids that help counteract the effect of acidic metabolic waste. It contains enzymes that promote nutrient assimilation and facilitate digestion. It contains minerals and antioxidant vitamins that, along with phenolic compounds, help the immune system prevent and fight diseases. Additionally, it provides a significant dose of fiber, which helps prevent certain types of cancer, such as digestive cancer, prevents constipation, and lowers bad cholesterol, protecting the heart and the circulatory system.

Health Benefits of Mango

Mango is very rich in vitamins A and C, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, and it provides low amounts of fat and sodium.

Contraindications or Side Effects

There are few contraindications for mango. Although mango allergies are very rare, cross-reactions can occur in people with latex allergies, leading to skin rashes, redness, inflammation, etc.

Moderate consumption is recommended for diabetic patients as mango has a low fiber content compared to its natural sugar content.

Excessive intake of fiber from mango can cause gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Due to the acidity of mango, people with intestinal problems such as ulcers or gastroenteritis should moderate their consumption.

It may alter the effect of medications, so it is recommended to consult a doctor before consumption, especially for individuals undergoing treatments for obesity, diabetes, or anticoagulants.


Tabla Nutricional

10 Porciones por Kilogramo
Tamaño de porción 100g
Cantidad por porción

Cantidad por 100g
Energía225 kJ
Grasa Total0.2 g
Carbohidratos totales15.9 g
    Carbohidratos disponibles14.1 g
    Fibra Dietaria1.8 g
Proteínas0.4 g
Calcio17 mg
Fósforo15 mg
Zinc0.04 mg
Hierro0.40 mg
Agua83.0 g
Cenizas0.5 g
Vitamina A38 μg
Tiamina (B1)0.03 mg
Riboflavina (B2)0.11 mg
Niacina (B3)0.39 mg
Vitamina C24.80 mg
Acido Fólico (B9)
Fuente: Tablas peruanas de composición de alimentos – Centro Nacional de Alimentación y Nutrición – Ministerio de Salud – Perú

Derived Products and Ways of Consuming Mango

Ice cream

Uses of Mango

The primary use of mango is culinary. This cherished fruit can be successfully included in a multitude of dishes while also contributing to people’s health due to its high nutritional value.

Culinary Use of Mango

Thanks to its juicy, smooth, and refreshing consistency and flavor, mango is one of the most versatile tropical fruits in the kitchen.

Mango is commonly consumed fresh as a dessert, in ice creams, fruit salads, among many other forms. It is frequently used as an ingredient in juices, smoothies, cocktails, jams, and preserves or as an accompaniment to various foods such as fish, meat, ham, etc.

In certain regions of Peru, it is customary to eat green mangos with salt or ripe mangos with drops of lemon. In some Latin American countries, unripe, green mango is cooked and consumed as a vegetable, and it is also commonly used as an ingredient in sauces that accompany exquisite dishes.

In India, dried and ground mango pulp is used as a spice, giving dishes a slightly acidic flavor. It is also well-known for its use in the preparation of a spicy-sweet chutney, mango chutney, which is often served with rice dishes.

Medicinal Use of Mango

Due to its richness in vitamins A and C, consuming mango is a good preventive measure against scurvy and an effective remedy for skin, mucous membrane, and vision conditions, usually caused by vitamin A deficiencies.

Its high iron content gives it restorative properties, making it very useful for the treatment of anemia and various blood disorders.

Due to its low fat, sodium, and calorie content, it is suitable for weight loss and hypertension diets, as it is also a fruit that is easy to digest.

According to Ayurveda, mango increases the seven dhatus or bodily nutrients, which are the essence of food, muscles, fat, marrow, semen, and blood. In other words, it helps the overall functioning of the body, and in India, it is used to strengthen the heart, stop bleeding, treat anemia and heavy menstruation, cleanse the liver, and promote weight loss.

Ayurvedic therapists even use the seed of the fruit in an astringent decoction that serves as a popular remedy for diarrhea, cystitis, hemorrhoids, and urethral inflammations, among other disorders.

Industrial Use of Mango

Among the industrial uses of mango is the use of its bark and tree leaves as a yellow dye, which can be used for fabric dyeing, and its wood as a raw material for charcoal production.

In terms of the Peruvian agro-export industry, in 2020, nearly 500,000 tons of mangoes were produced, registering a17.6% increase compared to the 425,000 tons produced in 2019. Between October 2020 and March 14, 2021, Peru's fresh mango exports reached 212,866,746 kilograms (US$240 million). In our country, 93% of the exported mangoes correspond to the Kent variety, and the main destinations for fresh mango from Peru in the 2020/2021 campaign are the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Spain.


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