Eating mango skin may sound like a weird option, but you will be surprised to learn about the incredible health benefits it has.
There are many fruits and vegetables that we peel before we consume, often because we think the skin is bad and what’s inside is better. Of course, eating mango skin is safe.
The peel actually often contains a lot of excellent vitamins and minerals that we could benefit from.
A classic fruit we peel is the kiwi fruit, but the hairy skin is high in antioxidants and is known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties, according to Dr Glenville, a former president of the UK-based Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine.
SO WHAT ABOUT THE MANGO?
Mangoes are a fantastic source of vitamins, including C, A, E and K and taste delicious too, so with all that goodness, should we be eating the skin too? The peel contains antioxidants mangiferin, norathyriol, resveratrol, and quercetin; these types of antioxidants help us with anti-ageing, free radical damage and can help us fight cancer.
Mangiferin, in particular, is a useful little antioxidant as it can ease inflammation and protect against UV rays from the sun. The peel contains phytonutrients which are there to protect the fruit from insects, these aren’t used by the body directly, they are what gives the peel its antioxidant properties.
A study has been undertaken by the Oklahoma State University which found that eating mangoes could help control your blood sugar levels and reduce body fat by reducing leptin levels. Leptin helps regulate appetite and also regulates energy consumption and storage. The pulp has high amounts of sugar so when you eat the peel, it balances out the sugar levels.
Eating mango skin will give you a good source of fibre. The fibre found in mango will give your digestive system energy and help keep your bowel movements regular and comfortable.
ARE THERE ANY CONCERNS WITH MANGO SKIN?
Mangoes do contain urushiol, which is found in poison ivy which is responsible for skin rashes but urushiol is found in the vines, sap and stems of mango as opposed to the fruit. Some have sensitive skin so even coming into contact would cause a reaction, so if this is the case, do not go on to eat the peel.
If you plan on eating mango skin and are not allergic, the best way to eat a mango is just to bite into it as you would an apple. Try and buy organic to ensure there are no harmful pesticides and wash well before eating.
If the idea of eating mango skin isn’t so appealing, you could try the following to enjoy it:
1. Smoothies – you can cut up your mango as you would an apple and add to your other fruits and vegetables to make a healthy smoothie. Do not add the mango seed to the mixture!
2. Crisps – Peel the mango and slice the skin into square pieces, either then bake them or dehydrate them making them a very healthy snack.
3. Zesting – Mango peel can be grated and added to salads, smoothies, and many other dishes. The success of the zest of the peel will depend on the thickness of the peel, so you have to trial and error different kinds of mangoes until you find the right one for your needs.
So unless when you pick up a mango you have a reaction, eating mango skin will benefit you greatly and can be incorporated into your diet with relative ease, give them a go.