Can You Eat Mango Skin?

Just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you should.

The struggle is real when it comes to cutting a mango. This delicious fruit is so high-maintenance! If you’re working on a mango recipe, peeling the mangoes will definitely slow down your prep time.

It’s no wonder this extra step leaves many home cooks wondering, can you eat mango skin?

Can You Eat the Skin of a Mango?

There are some fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t peel and some that you definitely should—so where do mangoes fall? As with all tropical fruits, they should be peeled, because the skin is hard to chew and digest and it has a slightly bitter taste.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat mango skin. It’s certainly not toxic and may even have some hidden health benefits.

Benefits of Eating Mango Skin

Just like the delicious fruit inside, mango skin is packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “functional compounds in the peel, including protocatechuic acids, mangiferin and β-carotene, are known for their antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.”

Evidence also suggests that mango peel powder can decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol levels.

Drawbacks of Eating Mango Skin

The first drawback is the taste and texture. If that doesn’t bother you, then know that mango skin may contain the residue of pesticides that were used to treat the crops. If you’re going to eat the skin, remove that pesticide residue with a produce cleaner or by soaking the mangoes in a bowl of water mixed with a cup of white vinegar first.

How to Eat Mango Skin

Sure, you could bite into a whole mango and grin and bear it, but a more pleasant option may be blending the unpeeled fruit into a mango smoothie to disguise the texture. Or use the mango skin to make syrup for cocktails. You can also toss them with your favorite spices and turn them into mango chips. Or, you know, throw the mango skin in the compost heap.

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Jill Schildhouse
Jill is an award-winning writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience. She covers a range of topics like health and wellness, food science, travel and healthcare for sites like Taste of Home, Reader’s Digest, Travel and Leisure, Fodor’s and USA Today. She loves tracking down the best sources possible to back up her writing, such as medical professionals, registered dietitians and scientists. An avid traveler, Jill has eaten her way through 38 countries—some of her favorite experiences include making gelato in Italy, catching and eating Dungeness crab in Alaska and pub-hopping in Ireland.