Mangoes, having the honour of being the most widely consumed fruit in the world, are a very popular fruit among Myanmar citizens. There are over 400 varieties of mango in the world and Myanmar has more than one hundred of those species with great varieties in taste, colour and shape. Here are but a few name of famous Myanmar mangos – the Ma Chit Su, the Sein Ta Lone, the Mya Kyauk, the Yin Kwal and the Shwe Hintha. Mango season comes early in the rainy season in Myanmar from June to July.
Myanmar people love to grow mango trees on their premises. It is very rare to see mango trees in the downtown area of Yangon, but all outskirt areas of Yangon will definitely have mango trees growing abundantly. Generally, the mango tree can grow as tall as 120 feet with a radius of 33 feet. The trees give shade to the community when temperatures in Myanmar, on average, reach about 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.
Mangoes are comerically grown in central Mandalay Region, Ayeyarwaddy and the Southern regions as well as Shan State in the east over a size of some 80,000 hectares (producing about 500,000 tons each season). Most of the fruit is shipped to China from the Shan State border in trade towns like Muse.
The entire Mango tree is useful for Myanmar people. The fruit is edible from when it is a small bud until it is big and ripe. The leaf can be eaten as a vegetable that goes well with fish paste, and the liquid obtained from boiled mango tree stem can reduce tooth pain by holding it, for a minute, in the mouth. The mango wood itself is very sustainable. The wood is hard, making it very durable, and comes in a variety of shades ranging anywhere from light to dark. Thus making it desirable for furniture pieces like benches, tables, kitchen cabinets, entertainment centers and bookshelves. The fruit is eaten either green or ripe in various forms, sometimes used to make juice (with ripe mango) and some as smoothies. Green mango salad is a famous Burmese side dish.
There are many different kinds of mango that range in color, shape, flavour and seed size. While the skin color of mangoes can vary from green to red, yellow or orange, the inner flesh of the mango is mostly a golden yellow. They have a sweet and creamy taste and contain over 20 vitamins and minerals, but also a lot of sugar. Sein Ta Lone, directly translated as One Diamond, is one of the many mango varieties available in Myanmar. Many have regarded it as the best mango in Myanmar, comparable to the best mangoes in the world because of its delightful aroma, sweetness, juiciness and non-fibrous nature.
Mangoes have many medicinal uses whether it is unripe or ripe. Medicinally, mangoes are beneficial in regards to heat stroke, blood disorders, scurvy, weight loss, diabetes, infections, throat disorders and others.
Some of the possible health benefits of consuming mango include a decreased risk of macular degeneration, a decreased risk of colon cancer, improvement in digestion and bone health and even benefits for the skin and hair
A higher intake of all fruits (three or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease risk of progression of age-related muscular degeneration, according to PubMed. As Mangoes are rich in fiber and water content, they also help to promote effluential regularity and a healthy digestive tract. Mangoes are also great for healthy hair because they contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production that keeps hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.
Adequate intake of vitamin C, which one cup of mango per day can provide, is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
As Myanmar’s favourite fruit is coming to season soon, make sure to get some for yourself and your loved ones.