Nanjo City touts world’s most popular fruit

Mango fruits come in many shapes and colors, and Okinawa produces the best in Japan.

It’s a surprise for most people to discover that the world’s most popular fruit is not the banana, or the apple, or the orange.  It’s the mango, and this weekend there’s a special event where people can experience the freshly picked tropical fruit.

The free tastings are part of the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. mango festivities at Ganju Eki in Nanjo City this Saturday and Sunday. (Map https://goo.gl/maps/CxCfh)  It is an annual event, with freshly picked mango from the Chinen district, including mango flavored snow cones.

“Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s definitely fun to just see all the different shapes of this tropical fruit”, says an event spokesman.

What makes the mango so special?  There are more than 1,000 varieties of the fruit, which originated more than 4,000 years ago in the sub-Himalayan plains.  More mangos are eaten fresh than any other fruit in the world. A single 225-gram cup has only 105 calories, but large amounts of vitamin C and also vitamins A and B6, plus probiotic fiber, copper, potassium and magnesium.

The mango goes far to alkalize the body, thanks to its tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid.  Diabetics love it because mango leaves aid in normalizing insulin levels, and the fruit has a somewhat low glycemic index allowing its consumption in moderate levels. Research has proven mangos are a super source of vitamin E, a vitamin said to improve sexual performance, while other research confirms that mango, along with papaya, are good for improving digestion.

Mango goes far to help with avoiding heat stroke, and those vitamins, plus 25 different types carotenoids, keep the immune system in terrific shape.