Benefits of Lychee
Grown and sold in clusters, lychee is a reddish pink coloured fruit which most people find quite attractive. This pink colour skin or the rind isn’t edible. Beneath the skin is the inner flesh, which is white, creamy and smooth. This is the edible part of this fruit and it also has 1 big dark brown seed, which is again to be discarded. It varies in shape from round to slight oval to heart-shaped. Enormously sweet in taste and floral in fragrance, this white fleshy part around the seed just melts in your mouth.
Its unique taste and aroma makes it suitable for mocktails, ice-creams and frozen desserts.
Lychee is a wonderful fruit which reaps some health benefits due to the nutrients and organic compounds present in it. Let’s look into the nutrient composition of this delicious and immensely healthy fruit.
Scientific name : Litchi chinensis
Native to : Asian countries, especially India and China.
Best Season: Summer
5 Health benefits of Lychee
1. Boosts Immune Function : Our immune system is the line of defense against bacteria and virus. The body produces immune cells (white blood cells – WBC) to protect us against these foreign invaders. Vitamin C is a nutrient which helps build these cells and enhance immune function to help us fight infections. You would be surprised to know that ½ cup of lychee (about 8 pieces) fulfils more than 80% of our day’s requirement from vitamin C. It helps prevent and reduce the symptoms of common disease like cold.
2. Reduces Inflammation : Lychee, like most fruits, is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids like anthocyanin which are known to reduce inflammation and ward off the harmful free radicals from the body. High levels of inflammation and free radicals can trigger other chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and some auto-immune disorders as well. Remember you are what you eat! So when in season, don’t miss out on enjoying lychee at least twice to thrice a week and stock up on these key nutrients and compounds. Want to try something different, then try Lychee Salsa.
3. Highly Admirable for Skin: Another role of Vitamin C from lychee is emphasized here. This vitamin has a role in collagen synthesis – a protein which gives the skin its necessary smoothness, elasticity and glow. Freshly lychee is the best way to top up on this key nutrient.
4. Fight Cancer : Lychees help not only prevent cancer but treat cancer as well. The antioxidants and flavonoids in lychee protect the body from free radicals which otherwise damage the DNA at cellular level and can cause cancer cells to grow. The smooth and creamy texture of lychee is sure to please your taste buds and soothe the mouth sores too which are very common during cancer. Find more recipes to try for Mouth Sores during Cancer.
5. May Benefit Obese : ½ cup of lychee gives approx. 67 calories and negligible amount of fat. It has a high water content too. When had in moderation, lychee might not lead to weight gain. But it has some amounts of carbs (15 g from ½ cup) too. So enjoy it small quantities to reap its benefits, but do not overdo.
Nutritive Information for Lychee:
½ cup of chopped lychee is about 110 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Energy - 67 calories
Protein – 1.2 g
Carbohydrate – 15 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Fiber – 0.6 g
0.02 mg of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) = 1.4% of RDA ( (about 1.2 to 1.6 mg for men)
0.03 mg of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) = 1.6% of RDA (about 1.4 to 1.9 mg for men)
34.1 mg of Vitamin C = 85.3 % of RDA (about 40 mg)
See full nutritional details of lychee in Lychee glossary click here.