Who can resist the taste and aroma of lychee? Lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the fruit of a small tropical fruit tree native to Southeast Asia from the soapberry family. They have been favored and enjoyed by the Cantonese people of Southern China for centuries. Other popular fruits from this family include the rambutan and the longan.
Lychee is most often eaten fresh and has a sweet and musky aroma. The fruit is oval to round, strawberry red, and about 25 mm (1 inch) in diameter.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of including lychee in your diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lychees are a good source of several minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C, copper, and potassium.
Vitamin C is the most plentiful vitamin in lychees. One lychee contains about 9% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C.
Having too little copper in your diet can lead to heart problems. Lychees are a good source of copper, so including them in your diet will help reduce copper deficiencies in your body. Potassium is another essential nutrient that can also help with heart health.
Lychees are mostly composed of water and carbohydrates, the majority of which are sugars. Compared to other fruit they are relatively low in fiber.
Aside from the high amounts of vitamin C, which helps you fend off viruses, diseases, and infections, lychees have more than 100% of your RDI of ascorbic acid (ABA) which works well for boosting your immunity.
Lychee contains dietary fiber which can ward off constipation, by ensuring a smooth passage through the digestive tract. Fiber can also add bulk to the stool. It’s also known to stimulate gastric and digestive juices and help with efficient nutrient absorption.
Fiber is essential to healthy digestion, which in turn is vital to how healthy and well you feel overall. Visit Energetic Lifestyle for more tips on living a healthy lifestyle.
Lychees Contain Antiviral Properties
The proanthocyanidins present in lychee are known to contain strong antiviral properties. Lychee Tannin A2, which is a component of lychee, may also help to stop the spread of viruses. Finally, there are some animal studies that have shown that lychee may help fight liver cancer.
Lychees a Good Source of Antioxidants
Like many fruits, lychee is a good source of plant antioxidants. Lychee has been reported to contain more polyphenols than many other common fruits. These include Epicatechin, which is a flavonoid that may improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Rutin is a flavonoid that may protect against chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
The Bottom Line
Lychee is a subtropical to tropical fruit from Southeast Asia. They have a sweet and floral aroma and taste. Lychees are a good source of vitamin C and other plant antioxidants. They are also a good source of other vitamins and minerals that can help ward off many chronic illnesses. Lychees are also known to boost immunity, aid digestion, and contain proanthocyanidins that are useful in preventing the spread of viruses.