The mango is a delicious fruit which is readily savored by many all over the world. The mango skin, on the other side, is very well scraped sans any second thought. This may be embarrassing to see especially since mango peels offer a fabulous array of nutrients and health benefits to anyone who chomps down on one.
A mango peel has got many of the same nutrients as the flesh and some of them are in even higher quantities than the main “meat” of the fruit.
Although a bitter and tough bite, mango peels (or skins) are insanely edible and will readily reward anyone who tries them for a byte.
Before gleaning further info about the mango peel it is important to peel off some vital knowledge about the very mango fruit – the king of all fruits!
The Mango Fruit And Its Origin
Mango or Mangifera indica is a member of the cashew family which is one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. The mango tree is regarded aboriginal to eastern Asia, Assam state of India, and Myanmar (Burma). Mangoes are rich in vitamins A, C, and D.
The evergreen mango tree that it often reaches 15–18 meters (50–60 feet) in height and lives up to a great age. The simple leaves are lanceolate, up to 30 cm (12 inches) long. The small, pinkish and fragrant flowers are borne in large terminal panicles (loose clusters).
Some trees have both stamens and pistils, while others have only stamens. The fruit differs very much in size and character with its varied forms of oval, round, heart-shaped, kidney-shaped, or long and slender.
The little mangoes are no big than plums, while others may weigh 1.8 to 2.3 kg (4 to 5 pounds).
Some varieties are brightly colored with red and yellow shades, while others are dull green. The single large seed is compressed, and the flesh that surrounds it is yellow to orange in color, juicy, and is of peculiar sweet-spicy flavor.
The mango does not need any particular soil, but the finer varieties yield good crops only when there is a well-marked dry season that stimulates fruit production. Mangoes are well-bred either by grafting or budding.
In Florida, more efficient methods such as veneer grafting and chip budding have been developed for more commercial use.
The mango is inextricably connected with the Indian folklore and its religious ceremonies.
Buddha himself found repose in the mango tree’s grateful shade. The name mango, by which the fruit is called in English- and Spanish-speaking countries, is most perhaps derived from the word manna, which the Portuguese adopted as manga when they visited Kerala in 1498 for the spice trade.
Nutritional Facts Of A Mango Fruit
Mangoes are tropical fruits that are not only juicy, flavorful, and pretty to look at but they are also good for one’s health. They’re high on vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Years ago, they were hard to find and considered exotic, but these days mangos are readily available year round even in marketplaces. Some nutritional facts of a mango fruit are worth considering as given below:
One cup of mango slices has nearly no fat despite having about 100 calories, and 25 grams of carbohydrates. It’s also nearly sodium free and has about 3 grams of fiber.
Mangoes are high in vitamins, potassium, and folate which also adds fiber to the diet. Fiber is imperative for a good digestive system and helps one in feeling full between meals. It also slows down the absorption of sugar after eating.
Mangoes are so high in vitamin C that in fact, one mango has all the vitamin C required for a whole day. Vitamin C is vital for immune system function, healthy blood vessel walls, and robust connective tissue.
Getting an inadequate amount of vitamin C every day can head to bruising and make it tough for wounds to cure well.
Mango is also big in potassium and has almost no sodium, hence eating mango may help control blood pressure and body fluid balance. Mangoes also own high levels of folate and vitamin A.
Folate is a B-complex vitamin that is principal for heart health and generation of blood cells. Vitamin A is a must for normal vision, healthy skin, reproductive health, and normal cell development.
Mangoes also contain quercetin, mangiferin, and norathyriol, which are all potential antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants help preserve the body’s cells from damage from free radicals (which experts believe can cause cancer, atherosclerosis, and other diseases).
Mango trees are deep-rooted, symmetrical evergreens that attain heights of 90 feet and widths of 80 feet. Mango trees have simple alternate lanceolate leaves that are 12 to 16 inches in length and yellow-green, purple, or copper in color when young.
Mature leaves are leathery, glossy, and deep green in color. New leaves arise in terminal growth flushes that occur several times a year.
The fruit weighs about 1/4 pound to 3 pounds. Fruit may be round, ovate, or obovate depending on the variety. The flesh of ripe mangoes is pale yellow to orange. The flesh is juicy, sweet, and sometimes fibrous.
Some undesirable seedlings or varieties are described as possessing a turpentine-like off-taste. The fruit has one seed that is flattened and sticks to the flesh. The seed contains one or more embryos depending on the variety or type.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Mango Skin?
Most people don’t eat the mango peels and seed kernel hence are usually discarded as waste, which is thrown away, served to domestic animals or utilized as manure.
Scientific research suggests that waste or by-products in the form of mango peels contain high levels of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, other natural chemicals (mangiferin, kaempferol, quercetin, anthocyanins) that notably contribute towards good health.
In addition to all the other benefits of mango skin, there are certain chemicals (chiefly, ethyl gallate and penta-O-galloyl-glucoside) that have been proved to inhibit the growth of tumors, reduce the risk of heart diseases and protect the liver in humans.
Some chemicals (flavonoids) in the peels (mangiferin, gallic, protocatechuic and syringic acids, kaempferol and quercetin) have also been found to have the potential to slow aging and prevent cancer.
Some scientists specify that the mango skin contains better healthful chemicals (polyphenols) than the flesh of the fruit.
Generally, ripe peels carry a lot of these healthful chemicals than unripe peels. Other studies show that the presence of these healthful chemicals in the mango peels contributes to dropped down cancer risk, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and even Parkinson’s disease as well.
Nutritional Value Of Mango Peels
A mango peel is no less in having the same nutrients as of the flesh and some of them are in further higher quantities than the main “meat” of the fruit.
Why then, would one bother eating the peel instead of a few extra mango slices that make up the difference? The reason is the level of sugar content.
A mango has around 24g of sugar and 28g of carbs, almost all of which are obtained from the flesh itself.
Going for the skin lets one get all of the lovely nutrients and avoid many carbs and sugar of the flesh that would otherwise bog down one’s diet. But that’s what a mango peel doesn’t have instead it contains the following:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for anyone who wants healthy eyes and a robust immune system.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C aids in wound repair, the absorption of iron, and the growth and restoration of skin, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is antioxidant-rich that signifies its ability to sweep up any free radicals bouncing about before they can cause too much trouble.
- Fiber: Fiber is a big revelation when it comes to mango peels. Like with any fruit, the fiber content seen in the rougher skin dwarfs may also be found in the flesh by a significant margin.
- Mango peels also add the much-needed mobility to the digestive system and help keep bowel movements comfortable and regular.
- Phytonutrients: A mango fruit peel is filled with special nutrients that are meant to protect against insects, fungi, and other menaces that could threaten the plant.
- Although many of these phytonutrients are directly not used by the human body, they do have antioxidant characteristics that can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer.
- A phytonutrient called Mangiferin which is more available in the peel than in the flesh of the fruit is known to be a powerful antioxidant that is gifted in easing inflammation and bestow protection against UV-damage and skin cancer.
How Safe Is Mango Peel For Consumption?
There is a popular dogma that the mango cover is not harmless to eat because it includes urushiol, the active chemical behind in poison ivy and oak.
Mango trees are a bit of the same family as these less-than-edible plants, and they do carry some amounts of urushiol, but this is not usually an issue.
The reason is that the mango’s urushiol is generally most concentrated in the tree sap and in the stem, both of which are not eaten as part of the skin.
People who are susceptible to urushiol may still reveal an allergic reaction from a mango peel, but one can quickly know whether it applies to them or not.
Ways Of ‘Doing-It-Yourself’ With A Mango Skin!
So, if one is interested in obtaining the nutritional benefits of a mango peel and if also confirmed that they are not sensitive to urushiol, then the last thing that can come in between anyone and better nutrition is the terrible taste of a mango peel.
Apart from that, it is a tough, bitter, and rough surface which is the polar opposite of the juicy, soft sweetness in the fruit flesh. While some people can enjoy that sort of bitter taste, there are several other options available if one wishes for a more palatable form of savoring the peel:
Take an unpeeled mango and blend it in nice proportion together with other fruits and ice so that one can make a nice smoothie.
The method works best when one uses thinner-skinned breeds of mango along with the ones that are at their ripest best along with mixing other flavorings and ingredients as per one’s taste buds.
Peel a mango and cut the skin up into finer pieces, then either sun-dry or oven-bake them in order to prepare crunchy chips. In addition to being a handy finger food or snack, one can very well use them with their favorite dip for extra flavor.
Contrary to people’s notions, mango skin can be preserved in brine more than a cucumber. Once fulfilled, one can use the result as a topping, ingredient, or a stand-alone snack, than a real pickle.
Many may be aware that a mango skin can be grated to produce a zest for suffusing salads, smoothies, and other dishes. How successful this works well will depend on the thickness of the peel, as not all mango types will zest in the same way and the mileage may vary as a result.
It’s possible that one eats a mango without even bothering to peel it off. This approach may not be up to everyone’s taste, but can be attempted to check whether it suits them.
Mango peel extracts are a better option for detouring long preparation methods. By purchasing an extract one can add the benefits of mango peel nutrition to a variety of snacks and meals. Or one can even double-up and add some extract to a mango peel smoothie.
While picking up a mango, one should ideally go with more organically-grown and pesticide-free fruits. This is because the fruit peel has most pesticides and other chemicals which will eventually collect and linger.
Even though it is possible to wash a mango and remove some of its toxins, it’s always best to practice caution and go ahead with what one knows to be safe and enjoy it.