Summer is here, which means it is time to enjoy delicious fruits in all their shapes and forms.
Tropical fruits, especially, are well-beloved in the warmer seasons and are consumed in juices, smoothies, fruit salads, cocktails, or ice cream.
Fresh fruits are sweet and healthy and energize for hours spent enjoying the sun.
Mangos are popular in sweet and savory dishes or consumed raw as a snack. But do you know what kind of fruit mango is? Is mango a citrus fruit?
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Is mango a citrus fruit?
Mango isn't a citrus fruit. Mangoes actually belong to the cashew family. This does not mean that mangos are nuts, though. It is rather the other way round, and what we know as cashew "nuts" are actually fruit seeds. Like cherries or peaches, mangoes are stone fruits, meaning they have a single comparatively large seed in their middle.
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The reason why so many people think that mangos are citrus fruits might be their origin. In the beginning, it is said to have originated in India, where it also plays a role in important religious ceremonies.
Still, after a long history of trade and cultivation, it is now mostly imported from Central America and the Caribbean. Nevertheless, India is still the number one mango-producing country in the world.
Mangos, therefore, count as tropical fruits, and many people tend to include citrus fruits in this category, too, making a connection between these kinds of fruits that is not there.
Other than mangos, citrus fruits, which belong to the Rutaceae family, can deal with larger shifts in temperature.
Citrus fruits can survive in lower temperatures, but mangos need tropical climates to thrive.
Mangos also look significantly different from citrus fruits. While citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have a leathery peel, mangos are smooth on the outside.
Like other stone fruits, mangos have a large pit inside, whereas citrus fruits are divided into segments and have several smaller seeds.
When it comes to their flavor, mangos are more on the sweet side, whereas citrus fruits have that distinctive, strong combination of sour and sweet.
Why is Mango Called the King of the Fruits?
You might have heard mango being referred to as the king of fruits and are now wondering why that is the case.
The amazing thing about mangos is that they are extremely healthy and packed with nutrients but taste so good that you do not even realize that you are eating something healthy.
Mangos contain many antioxidants which help to prevent different forms of cancer as well as leukemia.
These fruits are also rich in iron and increase the hemoglobin count in your body. This is so important because hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that transport oxygen through your body.
A low count of hemoglobin or red blood cells would lead to anemia, which has symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath.
The enzymes in mango help break down protein and, as well as its fiber content, are good for digestion.
Mango also alkalizes your body and thereby ensures a neutral pH value. This is special since most fruits are rather acidic.
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Can I Eat Mango Skin?
Generally, yes, unless you are allergic to poison ivy. The skin contains urushiol, a toxin that is the reason why some people have allergic reactions when they come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak.
Some people might even experience a reaction in the form of itchy rashes when their mouth just touches the skin of a mango.
It also does not taste as good as the rest of the fruit. Mango skin has a tough, chewy, slightly waxy texture and a bitter taste.
Since it contains all the nutrients of mango flesh but none of its carbohydrates and sugars, some people still like to eat it and, for example, blend it into smoothies to overpower the taste.
When you decide to eat mango skin, it is important to clean it thoroughly to get rid of any residue of pesticides.
You also should not eat too much mango skin in one go, because this might lead to an allergic reaction from the urushiol, even if you were not aware of being allergic or never had a reaction like this before.