Not if you don't like poison ivy
EC: Can You Eat Mango Skin?
Credit: Photo by Yagi Studio via Getty Images

Mangos are surprisingly tricky fruits. There's a long seed right in the middle, which can make figuring out how to eat a mango something of a puzzle. There's also the issue of the mango skin, which is thick and almost plastic-y in texture but certainly not as easy to peel as the skin of a banana or an orange. So you might be tempted to eat mango skin, if only out of frustration. There's no question that mango peels aren't pleasant to eat, if only from a flavor perspective. They're tough to chew and bitter in taste. But is it safe to eat mango skin?

The short answer is probably not. In fact, a lot of people suffer from an allergic reaction after eating mango peels. That's because mangos belong to the same family as poison ivy. Yes, that poison ivy, and when you eat mango skin, you're actually exposing your face to urushiol, the toxin in poison ivy that causes the itchy rash. There's some compelling evidence, from researchers from Hadassah University Hospital in Israel, that people with a known history of poison ivy or poison oak allergies, or who live in areas where those rash-causing plants are common, may be more sensitive to mango skin and are more likely to have a negative reaction to eating mango skin.

The presence of urushiol in mango skins is also why some people develop small rashes or feel a burning sensation after handling or eating mangos. So if you're one of those folks who feels a slight tingling after eating a mango, you probably shouldn't even try to eat the skin—otherwise your lips might blow up like Kylie's. (And that's not a necessarily bad look, but the way to get it is definitely not with an allergic reaction.)

So peel your mango before you eat it. That'll minimize your chances of having a negative reaction to the fruit. Plus, a peeled mango just tastes better than an unpeeled one, and eating something delicious is the whole point of eating a mango in the first place.

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder