Mamey Kernel: Benefits and How to Use It

Although many think it isn't edible, the mamey kernel has different functions in recipes, and is an excellent source of nutrients. Learn more about this product here.
Mamey Kernel: Benefits and How to Use It
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 16 October, 2022

The mamey kernel is a seed that can be used for cooking and which creates positive effects on health. This product contains a large amount of nutrients and antioxidant compounds that modulate the oxidative and inflammatory balance in our internal organs.

This helps prevent the development of several chronic and complex pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases. There are two types of mamey kernels: yellow and red sapote.

But before we begin, we must point out that the presence of plant-based foods in the diet is recommended by all nutrition experts. These products are related to a delay in the aging process and a lower probability of experiencing diseases associated with aging.

How is the mamey kernel used?

In general terms, the mamey bone is used to prepare beverages such as tejate, pozol or atole. However, in some places, they make a kind of paste with this product, which is used to season and spice different dishes.

It can also be mixed with some kind of spicy chili, making savory dishes highly prized by the great names in gastronomy. Of course, it usually requires prior processing or cooking to become edible.

Nowadays, you can even find ice cream made from mamey kernels. In Mexico, they’re quite common and are becoming fashionable. You can use this element as a flavoring, soaking it in water, and even crushing a small portion of it to enhance the aroma.

Mamey kernel.
The mamey has more and more gastronomic applications that go beyond its traditional uses.

Properties of the mamey kernel

The mamey kernel (both yellow mamey and red sapote) is an element that stands out for its concentration in iron and phosphorus. The first of them is key to consolidating optimal oxygen transport through the blood. When its levels are insufficient, anemia occurs.

This product also provides vitamins A and C. We’re talking about compounds that help to improve the immune response. A study published in the journal Nutrients corroborates this.

Likewise, the mamey kernel is a source of antioxidants. According to a study published in Planta Medica, its coumarins (in the case of the yellow mamey kernel) stand out above all. They’re able to neutralize the formation of free radicals. This effect is related to a lower incidence of complex diseases, such as those affecting the cardiovascular system.

In fact, to ensure a sufficient intake of antioxidants, it’s recommended to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These edibles are a source of phytochemicals and also micronutrients, thus helping to cover the requirements.

The yellow mamey kernel itself exhibits some antiviral and antimicrobial activity, as evidenced by an article published in BMC. Thanks to this, it could be used as an adjuvant to fight infections, such as dengue fever.

You may also be interested in: Phytochemicals in Food: What Are They?

Can you use them at home?

The answer is yes. First of all, you’ll have to remove the pulp from the fruit, scraping the stone well to remove any remains that may be left. It’s important to remember that the pulp of the food itself should also be consumed, as it has many nutrients and beneficial properties.

Once the seed is well cleaned, it’s left to soak for at least 1 day. You can take advantage of its aroma alone, through a cooking process, or you can even include it in different drinks or smoothies. It could even be rubbed on a piece of bread to improve the organoleptic characteristics.

A milkshake.
Mamey milkshakes are varied. There are creamier versions, others that are more watery, and still others made with coconut milk or flaxseed.

The mamey kernel is a high-quality edible item

The mamey kernel is an item that can be included without any problems in the diet, with a certain degree of previous processing. It’s a source of several essential nutrients, so it will help to maintain an optimal state of health.

Finally, keep in mind that there are several fruit seeds or kernels that can be used in the kitchen. Another example would be those of the papaya, which work as an excellent antiparasitic. However, they must be consumed in moderation to prevent changes in motility that can lead to diarrhea.

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  • Cappellini MD, Musallam KM, Taher AT. Iron deficiency anaemia revisited. J Intern Med. 2020;287(2):153-170. doi:10.1111/joim.13004
  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
  • Yang H, Protiva P, Gil RR, et al. Antioxidant and cytotoxic isoprenylated coumarins from Mammea americana. Planta Med. 2005;71(9):852-860. doi:10.1055/s-2005-871257
  • Gómez-Calderón C, Mesa-Castro C, Robledo S, et al. Antiviral effect of compounds derived from the seeds of Mammea americana and Tabernaemontana cymosa on Dengue and Chikungunya virus infections. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017;17(1):57. Published 2017 Jan 18. doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1562-1

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.