Health Benefits – Lychee Fruit
Lychee is a member of the soap berry family. Lychee fruits are found in loose clusters ranging from 3-50 fruits which grow on a tree. The fruit is round to oval in shape. Lychee skin resembles a bumpy leathery strawberry with short, conical or rounded protuberances. The fruit skin color ranges from yellow to pinkish or red.
The edible portion of the fruit, the pulp is succulent, white and translucent. Lychee fruits contain one shiny,dark brown seed,. Lychee fruit is grown in many sub-tropical areas such as Southeast China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mynamar, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S. (Florida, Hawaii, California).
The fruit has a sweet, fragrant flavor and is delicious. Its flavor can be described as a cross between a pear and a grape with some distinct floral notes. The lychee fruit has no cholesterol and is low in sodium. It is a very good source of Vitamin C.
Lychee may be used in many different applications including ice cream, jello, juice, soft drinks, nectar, jelly, gummy candies, fruit preserves, teas, health drinks, and yogurt . Lychee is a favorite addition to salads and desserts. Lychee also blends well with other juices such as strawberry banana, papaya, mango, and coconut water.
Here are some interesting facts about the lychee fruit:
1. The lychee has an Oriental origin, and is most grown in southern China and southeast Asia. It has been cultivated for over two thousand years.
2. The lychee tree can grow up to 40 feet high, and requires warm, humid temperature along with chilled periods for proper growth. The warm weather is essential for the development of the fruit, while the chilled weather is required for the development of the flower bud.
3. In appearance, the lychee has a rough and firm exterior and texture. Under this skin is the fleshy fruit, that is slightly rounded or heart-shaped, and has a length of about 1-1½ inches. This fruit is translucent and juicy.
4. A little known fact is that the seed of the lychee is toxic, and while the fruit itself is a great aid for digestion, the seed can wreak havoc with the digestive system. Ensure that you do not consume the seed.
5. Apart from being eaten fresh, this fruit can also be eaten dried. When eaten dried, the fruit gives a smoky flavor. It is also available in a canned form.
The lychee fruit is extremely rich in a variety of nutrients. The prime nutrient here is vitamin C. It provides about 72 mg of this vitamin per 100 grams. Moreover, it is a great source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, and is extremely low in calories. So you needn’t worry about consuming calories when you have this fruit. One lychee has only seven calories. Even those who are aiming for weight loss can enjoy this fruit without guilt. Apart from this, there are several nutritional benefits of eating lychees. You don’t need an excuse to enjoy the lychee fruit. Even if you do, here are some benefits that will give you a variety of reasons to enjoy this delicious treat.
1. Lychees are extremely juicy. The juice in these fruits helps in keeping the body hydrated. There is no chance of dehydration when you consume this fruit.
2. This wonderful fruit is perfect to maintain digestive health. Since it is rich in fibers, it works well to keep the stomach clear of harmful toxins, and prevents the problems of constipation. It also has the ability to cleanse the colon. Furthermore, the lychee is a natural diuretic, and helps relieve pain caused due to kidney stones.
3. The high vitamin C content in it makes this fruit extremely beneficial for our bone and skin health. Moreover, it strengthens the body’s immune system, and the ability to fight different types of disease.
4. Lychee fruit extract is great for those looking to lose weight around the abdomen, and for those who aim to improve their body metabolism.
5. Those who are fond of eating lychees have a great chance of protecting themselves from potential heart attacks. It clears out blood clots and keeps the cells healthy.
6. It contains fatty acids that are essential in order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. This means, it aids the digestion of other healthy foods.
7. Recent studies have shown that lychees have the ability to prevent cancer. This holds true mainly for breast cancer. Thus, those who are at a risk for this problem should definitely keep a bowl of this fruit at hand, several times a week.
Lastly, instead of opting for a cola, or a cup of coffee, or a sugary treat for an energy boost, try having a couple of lychees and see the difference it makes to your overall energy levels.
The exotic lychee fruit is extremely versatile, and with the health benefits it provides, it makes for a delicious treat. Add it to a fruit salad, or enjoy it with ice cream. Top up a cake with pieces of fresh lychee. You can even add it to flavor your stir fried vegetables. It’s like having the best of both worlds!