Whenever most people indulge in the deliciousness that is a mango, they always end up discarding two things: the skins and the stone.
However. You see, due to being way too lazy to peel my mangoes before I eat them, I have just learned to eat them skins and all. But this led me to wonder, is it okay to eat the peels? Can you eat mango skin / peel ?
The short answer is “Yes, of course you can eat it”.
But after the inevitable sarcasm, we can more specifically ask “Is it safe and/or beneficial to eat mango skins?” and this prompts a trickier answer.
Mango skins are safe to eat… for some people. After you get over the taste and texture (which really isn’t all that bad), you just need to be wary of potential allergies.
Even if you are not specifically allergic to mangoes, there is a chemical in the peels called “Urushiol”, the compound that makes Poison Ivy, well, poisonous.
It is not in harmful quantities however, and if you are not prone to severe reactions from poison ivy or oak, you are probably safe to eat the peel. Maybe check with your doctor for safety though.
Now on to the good stuff.
I turns out that most fruit and vegetables have a much higher concentrations of micro nutrients in the skins, peels and sometimes even the seeds, than the delicious fleshy parts that are conventionally consumed. Mango peel seems to be no different.
- Mangoes, especially the peels, contain some wonderful chemicals, like the antioxidants Mangiferin, Norathyriol, and Resveratrol. What makes antioxidants so great is that they go around and gather up free radicals which would otherwise cause cell damage in your body.
- It has loads of Vitamin A, which is most significant in its role in aiding in skin and eye health. Similarly it contains quite a lot of Vitamin C, another antioxidant, which also helps with iron uptake, and cell repairs.
- Anyone who has ever eaten a mango will be very surprised to hear that the peels contain even more fibre than the fruit itself. Fibre, of course, is that dietary requirement that keeps solid wastes moving through our bodies with the least amount of discomfort.
So, after making sure you are not going to die from an allergic reaction, go ahead and enjoy the benefits of all those added nutrients, as well as the free time from not having to peel the mango, or scrub the sticky orange juices from every nook and cranny on your hands.