Mangoes are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C. Plus, they add to the flavor, consistency and nutritional profile of fruit smoothies and protein shakes, especially if you freeze the mango ahead of time.
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The health benefits of mangoes mainly refer to the flesh but think twice before throwing out the seed or pit.
To eat a mango seed, you'll need to get to the center of the mango. You can certainly bite the flesh right off a mango seed without tearing into it, or you can carefully cut around it. Then you can use it in a variety of ways.
Can You Eat Mango Seeds?
"Mango seeds are not poisonous and can be safely consumed," says dietitian Andrea Mathis, RDN, LD.
Though they’re not the most popular part of the mango, the seeds are edible. They’re flavorful and full of nutrients as well as a source of antioxidants, fats and protein, according to a September 2016 review in Trends in Food Science & Technology.
The seed of an unripe, green mango is soft and may be easily cut with a knife compared to the tough, fibrous seed of a ripe mango. "Mango seeds can be eaten, but it's best to retrieve them from an unripe mango. Seeds from ripe mangoes are typically hard and bitter," Mathis says.
Here's how to use mango seeds.
Things You'll Need
1. Wash the Mango
Always wash fresh fruits before cutting into them. Fruits that have peels you don't eat, including mangoes, should still be washed. Cutting into fruit can expose the inside of the fruit to germs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To wash a mango, simply place it under running water. You don't need any special soaps or fruit and vegetable washes.
2. Cut Into the Long Side of the Mango
Place the clean mango on a cutting board. You'll want to cut into it lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to slice into the mango slightly off-center. This removes a slab of mango skin and flesh.
Rotate the mango to slice into it from the other side, removing the majority of the flesh that covers the mango seed in the middle.
3. Remove the Flesh Around the Seed
Cut off the skin at the wide tip of the mango where the stem once grew. Remove the residual flesh around the mango seed. You can discard or store unripe flesh or eat the ripe flesh.
4. Eat the Mango Seed
"Mango seeds can be used in a variety of ways," Mathis says. For example, some Mexican mole sauces call for simmering mango seeds, according to the National Mango Board.
"They can be added to sauces, beverages or be used as a natural teether for babies," Mathis says. In many uses, you don't even need to cut into a mango seed.
Different ways to use a mango seed include:
- Infuse drinks with it
- Use it as a teether for babies
- Sprout it to grow a mango plant
- Simmer it in sauces, such as Mexican mole sauce
- Make into flour to be used to make bread
If you're cubing mango to use in a recipe, save the seed in a covered container and place it in the fridge to use later.