Can You Eat the Skin of a Mango?
If you’ve been wondering when do mangos come in season, the answer is right now! Assuming you’re reading this in the summertime, of course – mangoes are a summer stone fruit, and a very tasty, tropical-tasting one at that. There’s nothing like the flavor of fresh mango in a salad or smoothie! But can you eat the peel along with the flesh of the fruit?
What’s Great About Mango Skins
Historically, we human beings tend to peel our fruits and veggies before we eat them, which is a shame, since the skins (or rinds, or peels – whichever you prefer to call them) of many fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients. For instance, the skin of a potato contains B vitamins, iron, calcium and other nutrients, while the pith of an orange contains as much C as the orange itself.
As for mangos…well, that peel you’re removing and throwing away is actually very nutritious, containing powerful antioxidants that may help fight or even prevent a variety of cancers, including brain cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. Mango peels also contain triterpenes and triterpenoids, which are plant compounds that help fight diabetes, and are rich in beta cryptothanxin, a nutrient that may help prevent heart disease.
Mango peels are very rich in fiber, too, which can help lower your risk of developing diverticulitis. And eating mango peels may even help you lose weight – some studies have shown that mango peel extract actually reduces the formation of fat cells.
What’s Not-So-Great About Mango Skins
With all mango peels have going for them, why don’t most people eat them? To be perfectly honest, they don’t taste all that great – they may be safe to eat, but then, so is pine park! Mango peels have a bitter flavor, and they’re very tough, so you might find them hard to get down.
Also, some folks may have an allergic reaction from eating mango peels. This is because mango peels contain urushiol, the same compound that’s in poison ivy and poison oak. If you’re sensitive to urushiol you could wind up developing a skin rash just from handling unpeeled fresh mangos, and for some folks they may even cause breathing problems.
How to Prepare Mango Skins for Eating
If you’re not overly sensitive to urushiol and you’d like to try to get some of the benefits from eating mango skins, there are ways you can prepare them to make them more palatable.
First off, you should wash the fruit well, or get organic fruit, to limit your exposure to pesticides. Then, makes some mango peel syrup! It’s actually pretty easy – just combine a pound of mango pits and peels, a quartered lemon or lime, and a half-pound of sugar and let it sit overnight until the sugar liquifies. Drain and squeeze the pulp and bottle the syrup. Voila!
If you’d prefer to avoid the extra sugar, you can make mango chips instead. Toss the peels with smoked paprika, cumin, salt or other spices and dehydrate them at 135°F until they’re crispy for a tasty, take-along snack.
Where to Find Florida Mangos for Sale
If you’re looking to buy mangos, South Florida Mangos from Hale Groves are some of the best! At Hale Groves, we guarantee that our customers will receive the freshest mangos available. When you buy mangos online from Hale, they will arrive freshly picked from the fields, because we do not use any long-term storage or freeze any of our fruit for later use. We ensure that your mango fruit delivery you order will arrive on time with fresh, ripe fruit. So, whether you want to buy mango to eat fresh, give as a gift, or make chips out of the peels (or all three!), we can guarantee you’ll be glad you went with Hale Groves!