LAST Thursday (17 February, 2016), I hinted that I could hardly wait for this year’s mango season to break in full steam. Mangoes are here in trickles, I said, noting that, being premature, they were force ripened by burying carbide in their heaps. This isn’t good for health. When the season is in full bloom, we should enjoy healthier mangoes. I obtained deeper insights into the health benefits of mangoes than I did in ‘O’ Level class from H.K Bakhru FOODS THAT HEAL. He is a versatile Indian author of such other books as HERBS THAT HEAL and VITAMINS THAT HEAL. From FOODS THAT HEAL, I was reminded of such nutritional endowments as Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, which are good for the eyes, skin and the immune system, for example, of fiber, which is beneficial for digestion, of the use of the kernel of the seed as a spermicide in Indian and for vaginal candidiasis. In this nutritional age when the eating of fruit peels has become a nutrition vogue, we can add, as I suggested last Thursday, Mango Peel to our collection of orange peel, banana peel, pineapple peel and pineapple stem, as this series has been advocating. I have been eating mango peel for many years. I void the ones with spots. And I smile in the small room when my poop smells mango! I have spoken with many people who confirm they, too, eat mango peel. But not many people know the good they are adding to their health by doing so. So, what are some of the benefits we enjoy when we eat mango peel?
One of our tour guides is Dr. Jeffery Shapiro, M.D, who say’s in doctorhealthpress:
“The mango is a delicious fruit that is readily enjoyed the world over. The mango skin, on one hand, is often discarded without a second thought. This is a shame since mango peels after a delightful array of nutrients and health benefits to any-one who chomps down on one. Although cancer bitter and tough, mango peels are perfectly edible and will readily reward anyone who tries them.
“The mango peel contains many of the same nutrients as the flesh and some of them are even higher quantities than the main ‘meat’ of the fruit. Why then, would you bother eating the peel instead of a few extra mango slices to make the difference?
“A mango has around 24 grammes of sugar and 28 grammes of carbs (carbohydrate) almost all of which come from the flesh itself. Going for the skin lets you get ball of the lovely nutrients and avoid much of the carbs and sugar that would otherwise bog down your diet. But that’s what a mango peel doesn’t contain. Here is what it does contain:
- “Vitamin A is an import nutrient for anyone who wants strong eyes and a healthy immune system.
- “Vitamins C helps in wound repair, the absorption of Iron, and the growth and restoration of skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. C is antioxidant Vitamin-rich, meaning it is able to sweep off any free radicals bouncing about before they can cause too much trouble.
- Fiber is a big consideration when it comes to mango peel. Like with most fruits, the fiber content found in the rougher skin dwarfs any found in the flesh by a significant margin. Mango peels can add much needed mobility to your digestive system and help keep bowel movement comfortable and regular.
- Phytonutrients …a fruit peel is filled with special nutrients that are meant to protect against insects, fungi and other annoyances that could threaten the plant. Although many of these phytonutrients are not used by the body directly, they do have antioxidant properties that can help lower cholesterol and reduce your risks of cancer. Of specific note is a phytonutrient called Margiferin, which is highly available in the peel but only has trace amounts in the flesh of the fruit. Margiferin is known to be a powerful antioxidant capable of easing inflammation and protect against UV (ultra violet) damage and skin cancer”
Dr. Shapiro responds to the question of safety often raised by some people.
“There is a common belief”, he says, “that the skin of a mango is not safe to eat because it contains Urushiol, the active chemical behind Poison Ivy and Oak. Mango trees are part of the same family as thus less than edible plant and they do contain some amount of Urushiol, but this is not normally an issue. The reason is because the mango Urushiol is most concentrated in the tree sap and in the stem. neither of which is eaten as part of the peel. Having said that, people who are sensitive to Urushiol may still develop an allergic reaction from a mango peel. But there is an easy way to tell if this applies to you. Pick up an unpeeled mango with your bare hand. Are you developing a reaction? If not, then you are good”.
Bitter and had to chew, mango peel may be juiced in a smoothie with other fruits or chopped and baked in an oven to make crunches. The powdered peel may be added to meals such as rice or beans or pap. This makes it possible to enjoy the nutritional benefits of mango peel a long time after the mango season is over.
WHAT do researchers say about human consumption of mango peel? In thehindu: we are advised some compounds in mango peel help fight diabetes and some forms of cancer. The website said:
“My father was fond of mangoes. During the summer season, he would polish off two mangoes at each mealtime…juice, pulp and skin with relish. My wife, who is from Gujarat, wondered why he would eat the skin too, while she did not. When she asked, he would say ‘you North Indians are missing out a good part of the fruit’ I, the son and husband, take the safe mid course and eat it from time to time.
“ At het Australian Health and Medical Research at Melbourne, by Ashley Wilkinson and Sarah Thompson of Queensland University, show that some compounds in the mango skin help fight some metabolic diseases such as diabetes and some forms of cancer. These compounds modulate some receptor molecules called PPARs in our cells. These receptors help in controlling the levels of cholesterol and related fatty compounds in the bloodstream on one hand, and the levels of glucose in the other hand. Thus, mangoes might have positive benefits from diabetes and heart conditions. Since PPARs are also related to some cancers, the substances in the mango may also have anti-cancer effects. These compounds are more abundant in the mango skin than in the pulp. We do not yet have a full catalogue of all the compounds in the skin, but some of them are already well known and found elsewhere, one is Quercetin, an antioxidant molecule that helps our cells from “cellular overburn” or oxidative damage. It is found in several other fruits, in some greens and also in onion. The other is Mangiferin, found in the mango skin, which, as the name applies, Quarantines away excess free iron in the body and, thus, offers protection against iron-caused oxidative damage. The third is a by-product of Mangiferin called Norathyriol, which, too, is an antioxidant.
“It is likely that the mango skin also has Resveratrol, which also lowers cholesterol level. The skin of the blue of grapes are rich in resveratrol, which found its way into red wine, wines and juices from all dark-coloured berries are rich sources of resveratrol. Hence, the recommendation of red wines as health aids. Green grapes are not high on this score, hence neither is white wine, incidentally the punkish skin of peanuts (groundnuts) is another rich source of resveratrol and other health-aiding agents. Here, my wife evened up to my father. She would bring roasted salted peanuts with (skins intact) from Baronda, and my father would remove the skin from them by rubbing the nuts off his palms and eat the nuts. She would then peep in: ‘you Tamilians don’t know a good thing when given to you’ eating mango skin and peanut skin may thus be useful against diabetes, a disease that has become a pandemic across India.
“But is eating the mango pulp a good idea? After all, it contains a high amount of sugar. While sugars such as glucose are the fuel for the body and give us energy, not using them up efficiently and having them lying around in the cells and bloodstream is harmful. Glucose is ‘burnt’ or oxidized in our cells to yield energy, but too much of it can lead to ‘overburn’ and oxidative damage. Glucose also chemically combines with proteins and alters their properties and functions. This leads in time to impaired eyesight, neuromuscular functions, kidney damage and so on. In discarding the skins of many fruits, he throw away useful health aids. Other herbivorous mammals such as cows, goats, horses and elephants eat the white fruit with skin intact and gain health benefits.”
Mrs. Bukola Azeez, chief executive officer of Lagos based Budget Travels, an air line ticket booking and tour guide agency, should now understand why I eat my peanuts with the skin intact. Our offices are nearby. The same vendor brings her peanut and mine. I reject naked nuts she expresses wonder on her face when I eat the nuts and their skin. Incidentally, I and other pig farmers in Oke Aro, Ogun State, near Lagos, mixed pig feed with sacksful of peanuts peel when I farmed pigs in the 1990s. We did this for the vitamins and minerals said to be present in peanut peel.
For people who fear that peanuts may be dangerous to their health, and their vision in particular, isn’t the resveratrol in peanut skin an antidote for whatever troubles the excess fact in peanut may wish to forment? From Maryellen Cicione, and Award winning writer, comes the following in gardenguide!
There is difference of opinion about eating the skin of mango. Since the mango skin is acidic, it can be toxic for some people, causing a rash similar to poison Ivy. But many people eat mango peel with no consequences. And find its taste appealing. Like a mango, the flavour of the peel differs according to its varietal type. Some have a detectable fragrance and others a stronger, astringent odour. Mango peel is high in Calcium, Vitamin B6 and antioxidants; and is a good source of fiber. Besides eating the skin raw, it can be chopped and added to Chu chey, chilli and other to give the dish some fruity acidity as it cooks.
“According to researchers at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysora, India mango peel provides high quality pectin.
This means the skin of the tropical fruit is ideal as a thickening agent for making jams and jellies. Since the peel makes up to 20 – 25 percent of the total fruit weight, the average yield from the fruit makes it a sufficient and effective pectin source.”
In some cultures, mango peel is used as a digestive and, particularly for treating Gastritis. For example, people in India with inflamed stomach mucus membranes take mango peel to relief symptoms in this applications, the skin of the mango is mashed and then boiled to extract its oils (of course, never use mango peel for medical reasons without consulting a medical professional).
The peels of fruits are becoming popular as diet supplements, just as the grasses (wheat grass, Bailey grass, Alfalfa, etc.) and the algae, such as deep blue Spirulina and deep blue Chlorella, and the red algae, of which we may soon learn.
Mango seeds, thrown away after the mango flesh is eaten, can be powderised to become useful medicine.
The powder of the seeds get rid of dandruff when made into mango seed butter and applied to the hair. It helps to cure female reproductive health problems. A teaspoonful paste of mango paste applied inside the vagina eliminates such conditions as vaginitis and leucorrhea relaxes vaginal wall after many pregnancies. A little bit of the powder brushed on the teeth is reported to prevent tooth cavities and support enamel health. When the powder is used to gargle, it checks throat inflammation and cough. Dysentery and diarrhoe, too, succumb to this therapy. Mango seed extract taken with lemon juice is reported to the be helpful for weight loss and detoxification. When added to mustard seed oil and applied to the hair, mango seed extract offers hope for hair growth and a remedy against premature greying. This seed extract is reported as well to promote blood circulation, reduce high cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels, this should be good for inflammation and related diseases. Good for digestion and acidosis, mango seed extract is an antioxidant packed with the power phenols and phenolic compounds. Women and men who suffer from dry and champed skin are often advised to apply mango seed butter on the affected areas The foregoing benefits of mango seed extract come dryhealthremedy.
It offers about 15 health benefits of a wonderful gift from Mother Nature which we thoughtlessly or foolishly thrown away.
Aren’t we blessed? Aren’t we foolish? Don’t “my people perish in ignorance”?
Mrs. Azeez, with this column, I hope Mr. Azeez will now be persuaded to take orange peel as a dietary supplement. With him, a long time ago, I discussed the book MAN AND NATURE. It is and enlargement of the doctoral thesis of an Islamic scholar who discoursed in it the distancing of Christians and Muslims from Mother Nature, through whose work the Almighty Creator, Allah, reveals himself in part to us.
This Revelation, even in terms of our diet or nurture back to health when we are ill, express His will. Let us all in humbly gratitude consume that which Mother Nature offers us in this light.