Can you eat a mango when it’s green? (+3 health benefits)
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Can you eat a mango when it’s green?”. We will also discuss the health benefits and risks of eating green mango, and how you can safely eat green mango.
Can you eat a mango when it’s green?
Yes, you can eat a mango when it’s green. Green mango is good for your health, and it has a unique taste, containing high levels of starches and lower sugars, affecting taste and texture. While green mango can be consumed, they often possess a tangy, astringent taste and their firm texture might be as palatable as that of ripe mango (1,2).
What are the benefits of eating green mango?
Rich in vitamins
Consuming green mangos offers numerous health benefits. They are very rich in essential vitamins, particularly vitamins C, B1, and B2, making them even more nutritionally potent than ripe mangoes (1).
Boost immune system
The high vitamin C content also contributes to boosting the immune system. The unripe nature of green mangoes provides a lower sugar content compared to their ripe counterparts, making them a favorable choice for those seeking a healthier dietary option (3,14).
Additionally, this type of vitamin plays an essential role in enhancing blood vessel flexibility and expediting blood cell formation, which helps prevent ailments like anemia (1,3).
Rich in minerals
Green mangoes are also renowned for their abundance of minerals, including magnesium, iron, manganese, and calcium. These minerals, combined with the fruit’s high fiber content, contribute to effective liver detoxification and promote optimal intestinal function. The presence of calcium in green mangoes serves as a valuable preventive measure against diseases like osteoporosis (1,4).
Are there any risks in eating green mango?
Yes, eating green mango may pose some potential risks to a few people. Green mango contains a high level of urushiol, which is found in poison ivy and can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals (5).
Another thing is that since green mango has a higher starch content, it can be harder to digest for some people (2,6).
If you eat green mango excessively, this might interfere with nutrient absorption due to its tannin content, which can bind to minerals like iron and calcium (7).
Additionally, you should also keep in mind the possibility of microorganisms contamination, such as bacteria and molds, which can cause foodborne illness, allergic reactions and other harmful symptoms. Make sure to wash green mangoes before consumption (8).
How can you safely eat green mango?
To safely eat green mango, start washing it under running water to remove any dirt or contaminants. Peel and cut the mango as you desire, using a clean knife.
Green mangoes can be a delightful addition to salads, combining their crisp texture and tangy flavor with other fruits and vegetables. This not only creates a tasty dish, but also a healthy one, as green mangoes are rich in minerals and vitamins (9).
If you wish to prolong the shelf life of green mangoes without relying on low temperatures, you can opt for pickling. Turning them into pickles involves preserving the fruit in a brine solution, typically made from vinegar, salt, and spices (15).
Green mangoes are another excellent choice for people who adore fruit jellies and candies. Green mango, because of its sour flavor, can be used in chutneys with salt, chilli, and coriander (9,10).
Does cooking affect the nutritional value of green mango?
Yes, the cooking process can change the nutritional value of green mango, especially if it is excessively cooked for a long duration. For instance, if you heat green mangoes some nutrients, such as vitamin C, can degrade during cooking. That’s why it is recommended to cook food that contains vitamin C as fast as possible (11).
However, cooking can also make some other nutrients more bioavailable, like carotenoids and beta-carotene, by breaking down cell walls and making them easier to digest and absorb (12).
How can you store mangoes to keep them green?
Mangoes can be stored in the refrigerator at low temperatures, below 5 °C, to keep them green. In this manner, your mango will be protected from the impact of high temperatures, and ripe fruit hormones, such as ethylene, and pathogenic microorganisms that cause mangoes to be ripe and yellow (8).
If you want to keep your mangoes green, you can also store them in the fridge at -10 °C or lower, especially if you already peeled your mango. It is also better if you slice the mango into pieces and remove the kernel before storing it in this condition (13).
In this brief guide, we have addressed the question “Can you eat a mango when it’s green?”. We also discussed the health benefits and risks of eating green mango and how you can safely eat green mango.
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