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Mango Skin Health Benefits: Is it Actually Safe to Eat?

Nicks J Feb 14, 2020
Can you eat mango skin? Why not? It is an excellent source of antioxidants such as quercetin, norathyriol, mangiferin, and resveratrol, that promote overall health. Here's more...
Did You Know?
Considering the heavy use of pesticides, eating any fruit with the skin can be a cause for concern. However, as simple as rinsing the fruit in running hot water for 3 - 5 minutes can eliminate the pesticide residue.
If you have ever noticed a monkey eating a mango, unlike humans, it does not remove the skin, but eats it as a whole. Probably, even the monkey knows the health benefits of eating a mango without peeling the skin.
Jokes apart, the fact remains that the habit of eating only the mango pulp somehow prevents us from reaping the whole benefits of the fruit. This is because, like mango pulp, the skin can also provide ample nutrition.
The following sections discuss why mango skin is good for one's health.

Health Benefits of Eating Mango Skin

Discarding mango skin is like depriving yourself from a healthy part of the fruit. Studies have shown that the skin contains quite a few health-promoting compounds. Ignoring the skin just because it has a slightly bitter taste would lead you to lose some of the health benefits of eating mangoes. Agreed, the skin is slightly offensive in taste, but that does not mean it is not edible. You should give least importance to the taste, when the skin is nutritionally as good as the flesh of the fruit. Following are the benefits of eating mangoes without peeling the skin.

Displays Antioxidant Activity

Norathyriol, mangiferin, and resveratrol are some of the most potent antioxidants found aplenty in mango skin. So, if you are looking for a good dose of antioxidants, then don't forget to eat the skin. As we know, antioxidants are free-radical scavengers; meaning, they keep the body cells safe from free radical damage, in turn protecting the body from a wide range of chronic ailments, including arthritis and Alzheimer's.

Cancer Fighter

Preliminary laboratory studies suggest that compounds like quercetin and mangiferin found in mango skin tend to display anti-cancer effects. So, eating mangoes along with the skin may safeguard you against some types of cancer.

Promotes Weight Loss

A study reported in the journal Food and Function suggests that the skin of certain varieties of mangoes, particularly the Nam Doc Mai variety from Thailand can help inhibit fat accumulation and fight obesity. The study was conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia to investigate the fat fighting potential of Thai, Irwin, and Bowen mangoes. Among the 3 varieties, the peel extract of Thai mangoes was found to have notable fat-fighting potential. The fat reduction effect of these peel extracts may contribute to weight loss.

Regulates Cholesterol Levels

Resveratrol present in the mango skin can help in lowering high cholesterol levels. No wonder mango skin can certainly be good for the heart, for it reduces circulating cholesterol, in turn lowering cardiac risks. So, having the skin can contribute in a big way to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, crucial for the normal functioning of the circulatory system and the heart.

Combats Diabetes

Diabetics may also benefit by having mango skin. Norathyriol and mangiferin, the two compounds found in mango skin, tend to exhibit anti-diabetic properties. An in-vitro study observed that glucose utilization as well as insulin sensitivity were better due to the presence of mangiferin and norathyriol. The anti-diabetic activity of both these compounds may contribute in controlling blood sugar.
Also, mangoes are known for their high sugar content; hence, are considered forbidden fruits for people affected with diabetes. Eating just the fleshy part of the mango can significantly increase blood sugar levels, but when eaten along with the skin that purportedly contains anti-diabetic compounds, it may help prevent the blood sugar from spiking.

Promotes Healthy Bowel Function

The skin is also an excellent source of fiber, which helps regulate bowel movement and improve digestion. The fiber present in the skin is also crucial to ease constipation.

Safety

Mango skin, no doubt is a good source of antioxidants, still raises safety concerns. This is because, urushiol, the compound present in plants like poison oak and poison ivy, has also been detected in mango skin. This compound can trigger an allergic reaction that causes skin problems like contact dermatitis.
Poison ivy rash, the commonly known allergic response occurs due to exposure to urushiol. Severe allergy can trigger a strong reaction, in which the rash progressively worsens to cause severe blistering and inflammation of the skin. People who are hyper-sensitive to urushiol may develop rash upon contact with mango skin while peeling the fruit. So, if you are allergic to urushiol, then it is advised to remove the skin and eat only the fleshy part of the fruit.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.