Litchi or lychee is a fruit with amazing health benefits belongs to Sapindaceae family. It is grown in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and found abundantly in the summer season. It was first originated in the Chinese regions of Guangdong and Fujian and has been started cultivating in the various countries of the world (India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Australia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico, Southern Africa and etc). It is very delicate and attractive smelling fruit which is usually eaten fresh. It is found in many types such as emperor lychee or biggest lychee, ohia lychee or litchi with little seed, Brewster lychee and etc.
Benefits of Litchi (Lychee) Fruit
It is loaded with numerous healthy nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids and so many. It protects from various diseases, infections and skin problems by enhancing the immunity power. It contains polyphenols which helps in fighting with weight problems, liver damage and type-2 diabetes. Some of its amazing health benefits are mentioned below:
Benefits of Litchi for Heart
Good Source of Minerals
- Litchi is loaded with the good amount of minerals (potassium and copper) which helps in maintaining the body fluid balance, heart beat control as well as blood pressure control.
Protects from Heart Diseases
- It provides protection against various heart diseases like stroke, hypertension and coronary heart diseases.
Normalizes BP and Heart Rate
- It helps in normalizing the blood pressure and heart rate under control to prevent from further development of coronary heart diseases.
Promotes Heart Health
- Its highest amount of polyphenols helps in promoting the heart health and reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
- Its availability with high amount of dietary fibers makes it able to promote the cardiovascular health by regularizing the functioning.
Maintains Cholesterol Level
- Eating lychee regularly helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol as well as increasing the level of good cholesterol in the blood.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disorders
- Litchi improves the flow of blood containing nourishing nutrients to the heart thus reduces the risk of heart disorders such as stroke, heart attack, hypertension, atherosclerosis and etc.
Helps in various Important Functions
- It helps in the better development of some important agents inside the body such as antiplatelet, anticoagulant, thrombolytic agents and etc thus prevents from cardiovascular problems.
Benefits of Litchi for Cancer
Prevents from Cancer
- Litchi is flavonoids rich fruit having anti-cancer property and develops body resistance to fight against various fatal and lethal diseases of the body including cancer.
Reduces Growth of Cancerous Cells
- It contains various anti cancerous compounds called quercetin, flavones, kaemferol and etc which help in reducing the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
Rich Source of Phytonutrients
- It contains rich amounts of phytonutrients, polyphenols, flavonoids, Proanthocyanidins and etc which help in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells in breast, liver, prostate, colon, rectum and etc.
Benefits of Litchi for Digestive System
Improves Digestive System Health
- Litchi is great fruit helps in managing the health of digestive system by cleaning the stomach, improving the appetite, curing the heartburn, bloating problem, burning sensation, gas formation and so many.
Controls Bowel Problems
- Its high level of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers helps in controlling the bowel problems, colon problems and maintaining regular bowel movements.
- It helps in curing constipation by improving the absorption of water in the large intestine throughout digestion.
- Litchi is very helpful in treating the problems like stomach ulcer, nausea, acidity, heartburn dyspepsia and etc as it is a good antacid.
Benefits of Litchi for Bones, Teeth and Joints
Promotes Growth of Bones and Teeth
- It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which are necessary elements for the proper growth and development of the bones, teeth and joints.
- Litchi contains some other trace minerals like copper and manganese which helps in strengthening the bones and preventing from brittle bones.
Improves Absorption and Utilization of Calcium
- Its availability of zinc and copper helps in boosting the effectiveness of vitamin D which in turn increases the absorption and utilization of the calcium mineral thus maintains bones and joints health.
Benefits of Litchi for Hair
Improves Blood Flow to Hair Follicles
- It helps in maintaining the healthy hair scalp by improving the flow of blood and oxygen to the hair follicles.
Makes Hair Lengthy and Smooth
- Litchi provides long, healthy, bright, black, smooth, silky and lustrous hair look if eaten regularly.
Rich Source of Vitamin C
- It is a good source of Vitamin C which actively maintains the health of hair by ensuring the proper blood supply to the hair follicles.
Benefits of Litchi for Weight Loss
Increases Metabolism Rate
- Regular consumption of litchi helps in increasing the metabolism rate as it contains dietary fibers and B group vitamins thus helps in managing weight.
Contains Low Calorie and no Cholesterol
- It is very low in calorie and high in insoluble dietary fibers without saturated fats and cholesterol thus good for the weight conscious people.
Benefits of Litchi for Aging
Reduces Ageing Process
- It reduces the aging process by decreasing the effects of UV radiations, smoke, oxidative stress, pollution and other reasons of aging.
Delays Age Related Changes
- Litchi also protects from the age related degenerative changes in the body in earlier age and keeps body healthy and fresh if eaten regularly.
Benefits of Litchi for Women during Pregnancy
Regulates Collagen Building
- Litchi is great source of vitamin C which is very necessary for building collagen for the healthy skin in the growing baby.
Improves Proper Development of Baby
- It is also required to build bones, cartilages, tendons and etc of the infant thus very beneficial for the pregnant women.
Provides Relief from Pregnancy Related Symptoms
- B group vitamins found in it keeps pregnant women all time energetic and active thus helps in alleviating pregnancy related symptoms like nausea.
Energizes Body and Relieves Weakness
- Its richness in potassium mineral helps her to get relieve from the fatigue, weakness, muscle cramps, heart problems, heartburn, constipation, arrhythmia and etc common symptoms during pregnancy.
Benefits of Litchi for Kids
Provides all necessary Vitamins and Mineral
- It is very beneficial for the growing age kids as it is rich in vitamins and mineral which is very necessary for the health of bone, skin and hair.
Rich Source of Phytonutrients and Flavonoids
- Its high quality phytonutrients and flavonoids help kids to grow better by getting all the required healthy nutrients.
Favorite of Kids
- Litchi is sweet in taste and much liked by all the kids thus it can be a great flavored fruit to give them on daily basis.
Benefits of Litchi for Men
Improves Body Stamina
- It is a natural aphrodisiac which assists in stimulating the sexual desire among men.
Nourishes Reproductive System
- It helps in improving the sex life and feeling of well-being by properly nourishing the male reproductive system.
Benefits of Litchi Seeds
Treats Digestive Disorders
- Powdered litchi seeds and litchi seeds tea is used by the people for years for various medicinal purposes to treat some digestive disorders because of its pain-relieving property.
Treats Intestinal Worms Problem
- Litchi seeds have astringent property thus helps in treating the intestinal tract problems especially intestinal worms.
Benefits of Litchi Juice
Normalizes Heart Beat
- It helps in normalizing the increased heart beat if it is taken (a glass) on regular basis for two weeks.
Boosts Brain Power
- Litchi helps in improving the memory level by boosting the brain power and relieving the brain weakness.
Rehydrates Body in Summer
- It helps in providing relief from the problem of excessive thirst by properly rehydrating the body during summer season.
Benefits of Litchi Juice of Skin
- It nourishes the skin very deeply as it contains high level of vitamins B and C which are very necessary for the skin health.
Reduces Risk of Skin Problems
- Litchi reduces the occurrence of acne, wrinkles, spots, dryness and other skin problems.
Prevents Skin Ageing
- Vitamin C found in it has antioxidant and anti-aging property thus prevents skin from the early ageing.
Prevents from Skin Disorders
- It prevents skin from the skin disorders caused due to the pollution, UV radiations, smoking, drinking, free radicals, unhealthy diet and premature ageing.
Prevents Skin from Pollution and UV Radiations
- Its availability of vitamin B-complex and phytonutrient flavonoids prevents skin from the harmful effects of oxidative stress caused due to pollution and UV radiations.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
- Its antioxidants nature helps in neutralizing the free radicals as well as protects skin cells from getting damaged, skin cancer and inflammations.
Improves Metabolism of Fat and Protein
- Some other skin friendly nutrients (thiamine, copper, niacin) found in it helps in the metabolism of fat and protein in order to maintain skin health.
Boosts Skin Hydration
- Niacin found in it boosts the skin hydration level to keep it moisturized always whereas copper mineral speeds up the wound healing of damaged skin.
Other Health Benefits of Litchi
Prevents from Infection
- It contains high level of polyphenol called oligonol which has antioxidant and anti-influenza property and prevents from various infections.
Improve Body Resistance Power
- Litchi contains high level of vitamin C which enhances body resistance against various infections and prevents from harmful effects of free radicals.
Rich Source of B-complex Vitamins
- It is the richest source of B-complex vitamins which act as co-factors in the metabolic reactions to metabolize the food elements such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Improves Healthy Blood Circulation to Whole Body
- Oligonol polyphenol found in it helps in improving the blood circulation, reducing weight and protecting skin from the ultraviolet sun rays.
- It helps in removing out the extra body fat, enhances body stamina, reduces weakness and other problems.
Prevents from Seasonal Problems
- Its high level of vitamin C boosts the immunity level of the body and prevents from the common seasonal problems like cold, cough, fever, sore throat, and etc.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
- It has natural property to provide relief from the pain caused due to the swollen glands or abdominal pain or inflammations.
Burns Extra Body Fat
- Litchi contains a compound called oligonol which helps in decreasing the extra fat in the body, enhancing blood circulation to the extremities, decreasing the post-exercise exhaustion and enhancing body stamina.
Rich Source of Beta-Carotene
- It contains high amount of beta-carotene which has anti-oxidant property thus provides numerous health advantages such as improving body immunity, slowing down the occurrence of various age related diseases like cataracts, cardiovascular problems, cancers and etc.
Manages Fluid Balance and RBC Count
- It contains good level of potassium and copper which helps in managing the body fluid balance and manufacture of red blood cells.
Treats Diabetic Complications
- It helps in treating some complications among diabetic people such as blindness, nerve damage and etc.
Provides Therapeutic Effects
- Litchi has wonderful therapeutic effects because of its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial to treat tumors, gastralgia, gland enlargements and etc.
Prevents from Viral Infections
- It has anti-viral property due to the availability of phytochemicals like proanthocyanidins thus prevents from viral problems like influenza, herpex, coxsackie and etc.
Nutritional Benefits of Litchi/Lychee per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 66 kcal
Carbohydrate: 16.53 g
Sugar: 15.23 g
Water: 81.76 g
Protein: 0.83 g
Fat: 0.44 g
Saturated Fat: 0.099 g
Monounsaturated Fatty Acid: 0.120 g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid: 0.132 g
Dietary Fibers: 1.3 g
Thiamine: 0.011 mg
Riboflavin: 0.065 mg
Niacin: 0.603 mg
Choline: 7.1 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.100 mg
Folates: 14 µg
Vitamin C: 71.5 mg
Vitamin E: 0.07 mg
Vitamin K: 0.4 µg
Sodium: 1 mg
Potassium: 171 mg
Calcium: 5 mg
Copper: 0.148 mg
Iron: 0.31 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Manganese: 0.055 mg
Phosphorus: 31 mg
Selenium: 0.6 µg
Zinc: 0.07 mg
How to Select and Store
Litchi fruit is abundantly available in the market during summer season from the month of May to October. Always buy fresh, well ripe, dark red or dark brown colored litchi, intact skin, heavy and sweet lychee from the market. Avoid buying lychee with cut skin, bruised, mold, irregular shaped, green, yellowish, light, wrinkled, too hard and too soft litchis from the market. It can be stored at room temperature for one to two days by wrapping with moist cotton clothe however it can be stored in the refrigerator for week long if kept in the airtight poly bags after well wash.
How to Enjoy
It can be enjoyed in number of ways such as fresh litchi pulp, juice, mixed fruit salad, fruit cream, sliced, jellies, jam, sorbet, syrup, sauce, chopped, add to cheese platter, ice cream, custard, cocktail, added to yoghurt or dessert, dried lychee as a lychee nut just like raisins, litchi iced tea, and so many ways.
Precautions, Side Effects and Disadvantages
Sometimes it may cause some side effects and disorders to the health thus need some careful precautions. Some of are mentioned below:
- Sometimes powdered lychee seeds have unpleasant side effects to the digestive system.
- Over consumption of it may lead to the occurrence of fever for unknown reason, fainting, irritated mucous membranes, rashes on skin, sore throat, bleeding from nose and even seizure and unconsciousness.
- It must be taken of while consumed by diabetic person as it is the good source of sugar and cause hyperglycemia.
- Sometimes it may cause allergic reactions such as reduced blood pressure, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal upset, respiratory distress, edema on skin, weakness, diarrhea, dizziness and unconsciousness.
How Much Litchi to Eat a Day
As litchi fruit has both positive and negative aspects thus it should be eaten within limit and according to the body health and requirement. A person suffering from any health disorder especially diabetes must take care of while eating litchi or must consult to doctor before eating on daily basis. However a normal and healthy person can eat 5-6 litchis on daily basis to get all the beneficial health effects.
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