Mangoes have been a favourite among Goans at this time of the year with the markets flooding with the delicious produce at the height of the summer season. However this year, the crop has been pretty dismal with the result that mango prices have refused to go down as the season progressed.
However, most Goans are self sufficient with mangoes and have a lot of mango trees in their compounds providing them with their favourite delicacy in summer time.
The heat during the summer season in Goa props us to search for cooling foods with a high water content and a touch of sweetness to boost our energies. It is here that Mangoes can be the ideal choice besides being a delightful and healthy way to beat the heat in Goa
The King of fruits that it is, the aroma of the mango is very inspiring, especially if it is the Goan Mancurad mango which has that distinct aroma which captivates the senses very easily.
Mangoes either raw or ripe have been cherished by Goans for centuries. Some of the varieties in Goa are said to have been imported during the Portuguese times from Africa and have embraced the Goan flavour giving our mango varieties a vast pool.
Raw mango chutneys, pickles and ripe mango lassis have reached many parts of the globe from India as well. In Goa, people are fond of mango shakes and mango ice creams. For preservation of the mango taste, Goans are known to prepare the mango jam, unique to Goa known as the "mangad".
Mangoes are also a rich source of vitamins like A, B1, B2,B3,B6 C and E besides important minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium all necessary to keep in perfect health.
Ripe mangoes are one of the richest sources of beta carotene, a powerful and effective antioxidant that fights free radicals, protects against heart diseases and cancer and prevents degenerative diseases caused by vitamin A deficiency.
Raw mangoes provide the protection against the adverse effects of the scorching heat. the pulp of grilled or roasted raw mangoes applied to the forehead, palms and soles gives instant relief to people suffering from heat stroke and prickly heat. Aam Panna, made out of raw mangoes is ideal to beat the summer heat, replenish lost body salts and energy levels and keep heat stroke at bay.
Aam Panna is an Indian drink renowned for its heat resistant properties. It is made from green mangoes and it is used as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. Apart from being tasty this drink also looks good due to its refreshing light green color.
For a mango drink, boil raw mangoes with skin and take out the pulp, blend it with fresh mint leaves, rock salt and sugar in a blender. Add the requisite amount of water and serve chilled..
Eating a large ripe mango is a healthy food to revitalise your energy after any physical stress or a walk in the scorching heat. It provides you with adequate amounts of potassium and magnesium which is suitable for hypertensive people.
Mangoes are also considered to be good-mood-makers. If one is feeling low, eating mangoes can elevate spirits due to tryptophan ( an amino acid) is a precursor of the good mood hormone serotonin.
Mangoes are also considered to be good for skin and are known to aid in beauty care. Treating skin to a wonderful mango pack for a smooth and shiny skin can do wonders. For that blend quarter cup of mango pulp, two teaspoons sugar, one teaspoon honey and two teaspoons whole milk to a smooth paste and apply over the face for 15 minutes, Rinse with warm water and refresh with cold water. This helps to enhance complexion besides providing a cool refreshing feeling.
Mangoes also help in adding calories for the underweight. A medium, sized mango has 106 calories and those trying to reduce weight should therefore not indulge in eating too much of the king of fruits.