Lychee health benefits are a result of its high antioxidant and nutrient content. The lychee (Litchi chinensis), also called lychee or litchi, is a small tropical fruit with a sweet taste and smell. This fruit belongs to the soapberry family. It’s closely related to certain other fruits, such as longan and rambutan.
Lychee is grown in subtropical regions all over the world, and are particularly popular in southeast Asia and China (where they are actually native).
Known for its flowery and sweet flavor, this fruit is usually eaten fresh and is sometimes processed into juice, jelly, sherbert, and wine It is also used in ice creams. Lychee is a good source of many essential minerals, vitamins, and important antioxidants.
Lychee Health Benefits
Lychees contain a great array of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. This fruit contains more Vitamin C than the same amount of lemons and oranges, as much fiber as a whole apple, and a significant amount of potassium, according to Lychees Online. Here are some of the possible lychee health benefits:
- Vitamin C
One of the most remarkable nutrients in lychee is vitamin C, which has numerous functions in our bodies, including acting as a vital cofactor in enzymatic reactions.
In this manner, it plays a role in the production of collagen in the body, catecholamines (that are hormones made by the adrenal glands) and carnitine (that helps the human body to turn fat into energy), for starters.
Vitamin C is also used by your body for maintaining and recovering the health of your teeth and bones, wound healing, and plays an important role in helping the body absorb iron.
Vitamin C is also considered an anti-aging vitamin. It is necessary to make certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin, and play an important role in brain health. ((http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109&utm_source=feedly_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed))
It has also been proven to play a role in preventing asthma, cancer, age-related macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, the common cold and more. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Disease-Fighting Flavonoids
Flavonoids are potent antioxidant compounds found in some vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs, which can help prevent chronic disease like cancer and heart disease.
Lychee is a good source of quercetin, a strong antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, and heart-healthy and cancer-fighting kaemferol. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Heart Health
The antioxidants, fiber, and flavonoids in lychees could support heart health. Furthermore, oligonol derived from this fruit has been found to increase nitric oxide levels in certain animal studies. The result: lower blood pressure. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Blood Regulation
The essential nutrients in lychee, including folate, manganese, Vitamin C, iron, copper, and magnesium, are necessary for blood circulation and formation. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract (FRLFE) is mainly derived from lychee fruit and it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
FRLFE has been proved to suppress tissue damage and inflammation caused by high-intensity exercise training and, scientists believe, might even be used to heal inflammatory diseases. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Anti-Viral Activity
Some proanthocyanidins in lychee seeds have powerful anti-viral activities, including against herpes simplex virus and coxsackievirus. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
Hence, it is often used for bruising, hemorrhoids, as well as varicose veins. Actually, a bioflavonoid deficiency might allow blood vessels to break easier, so, if you bruise easily, you will definitely benefit from rutin. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Mitochondrial Health
Lychee pulp contains great amounts of phenolic compounds and shows antioxidant activities. Plus, it can protect against stress-induced liver injury by modulating mitochondrial dysfunction, according to the results of an animal study.
Hence, the scientists concluded that the lychee pulp can be a functional biofactor to alleviate oxidative stress. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
- Antioxidant Protection
You can be at risk of experiencing oxidative stress – if you don’t have a sufficient supply of antioxidants to aid squelch free radicals, which leads to organ damage and accelerated tissue.
Antioxidants can also slow down the aging process that has an immense effect on your skin health. In that context, lychee health benefits are so great due to its impressive Vitamin C content, with over 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C in just 1 cup. ((http://preventdisease.com/news/16/010716_10-Amazing-Health-Benefits-Lychee-Fruit.shtml))
Lychee Nutrition Facts
Lychees are predominantly composed of water (82 percent) and carbohydrates (16.5 percent). The following table shows the main nutrients in lychees (fresh and dried).
100 grams of raw lychees contain:
- 66 calories
- 82% water
- 8 grams’ protein
- 5 grams’ carbs
- 2 grams’ sugar
- 3 grams’ fiber
- 4 grams’ fat (0.1 grams saturated, 0.12 grams monosaturated, 0.13 grams polyunsaturated)
- 07 grams Omega-3
- 07 grams Omega-6 ((http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/lychees#section3))
Healthy Recipe: Lychee Lime Lassi – Yogurt Drink
This is a refreshing, delicious drink that you can consume in the morning (as some kind of breakfast), dessert, or between meals.
- 1/2 cup of chopped lychees
- 1 cup of lime (or lemon) yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder
Blend all ingredients in a food processor/blender until frothy and smooth. Serve and enjoy! ((http://www.food.com/recipe/lychee-lime-lassi-yogurt-drink-100249))
See also: Is Greek Yogurt Better for You?
Since lychee is a really good source of sugar, diabetics need to be careful when consuming lychee since it can unbalance the blood sugar levels. Furthermore, lychee is considerate a “hot food”, which means it can sometimes unbalance the nutrient levels in the body. Excessive eating of lychees may result in bloody noses, irritated membranes, sore throat, or fever. Still, in normal amounts, there are no inherent health risks.
Lychees are popular in China and southeast Asia, however, they are less common in other countries. They have a sweet taste and are also a great source of vitamin C and many beneficial antioxidants. The lychee health benefits make it an excellent addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet.
The health effects of this fruit haven’t been studied directly. Still, lychees contain numerous antioxidants and nutrients that are significant for our health.
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