By Shakuntala Sinha

Though some mangoes are best the available round the year. A best varieties are available in India during summer and mid-rainy season. Also being our national fruit, Mango is said to be the king of fruits and is grown in several states of India.

Varieties of mangoes

There are several varieties of mangoes in India, over a dozen of which are popular in different states of India:

Alphonso: Ratnagiri, Maharashtra- said to be a superior and costly variety of mango

Langda: U. P. (Banarsi Langda) and north India

Malda – Bihar: Doodhiya Malda of Digha Ghat Patna, Bhagalpur. Best season is May to mid-July. It is famous for its taste and sweet fragrance which makes it different from other mangoes

Badami: Also known as Karnataka Alphonso

Chausa: North India

Dasheri: U.P. and north India

Kesar: Saurashtra, Gujarat

Mulgoba: Tamil Nadu

Neelam: South India

Raspuri: Karnataka

Himsagar: West Bengal and Odisha

Totapuri: South India

Bangalapalli: Mainly Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. It is a popular variety and available in most states at moderate price.

Gulab Khas: U. P

Biju – Bihar, U. P.: This last variety is small and has a mixed taste of sour and sweet. Unlike other varieties, you need not peel it, just squeeze the juicy fruit and trash the rest. You can consume a dozen or more also in one go. It’s very cheap compared to other varieties.

Easy to use: You can just peel the ripe mango, slice it to your size or cubes and eat. You can make its juice or milk shake. It can be used as a dessert also or can be used to make delicious sweet or sour chutneys. You can also make spicy or sweet pickles. You may make a Bihari tasty recipe called Gurma by cooking peeled and sliced unripe mangoes and its seeds in water with jaggery (gud) and spices. Pulp of juicy mangoes are dried in layers to make Amawat or Aam ka Papad.

Healthy and nutritious mangoes

In diabetes: Mangoes are full of nutrients too. Though it is sweet, it is fibrous and contains more than 80 per cent water. So it makes you feel fuller soon. Besides studies have shown that in type 1 diabetes high fibre intake lowers blood glucose level while in type 2 diabetes it may improve sugar lipid and insulin level.

Vitamin C and collagen: Mangoes have more than 20 vitamins and minerals and are loaded with tons of health benefits. Just a cup of it gives you 100 per cent of daily need of Vitamin C. It also keeps teeth and gums healthy, strengthens the immune system, helps in making of Collagen.

Anti-cancer: Mangoes also have anti-inflammatory properties due to high vitamin C and beta carotene, and its gallic acid is anti-carcino­genic also. It impacts several types of cancer especially colon and breast cancers.

Healthy bones: Vitamin K in mango helps in calcium absorption and helps in making bones stranger.

Skin and hair: Mangoes are good for hair and skin too. Vitamin A of mango helps in making of sebum , a nutrient needed for healthy tissues of skin as well as hair.

Digestion: Fibres of mangoes help in treating constipation and improves digestion.

Cardiac problem: Its fibre, potassium and vitamins help in improve heart problems. Low sodium and high potassium intake can reduce hypertension.

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