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Health Benefits of the Lychee Fruit

Updated on September 13, 2012
A Lychee Tree
A Lychee Tree | Source

The Lychee (also spelled as Litchi) is a tropical type of fruit belonging to the soapberry family. It is native to Taiwan, Southern China, and Southeast Asia (although it is now cultivated in various parts of the world). The Lychee grows on a tree that can reach up to over 49 feet tall and begins to flower early on in the rainy season between September and October. The fruit is ripe when it turns from a green color to a pink-red and will have a flowery, exotic smell and a sub-acidic sweet taste.

The inside of a Lychee

When ripe, the rough pink-colored rind of the Lychee can easily be pulled back to reveal the white-colored edible portion of the fruit, which is  translucent, sweet, and juicy. The seeds should not be eaten.
When ripe, the rough pink-colored rind of the Lychee can easily be pulled back to reveal the white-colored edible portion of the fruit, which is translucent, sweet, and juicy. The seeds should not be eaten. | Source

Health Benefits

The Lychee is also known as a 'super fruit' because of its numerous health benefits, which are as follows:

  • Lychees are abundant in vitamin C, which research has shown can help the body develop resistance against infectious agents and can help in preventing various forms of cancer. They are also great sources of potassium, which aids in controlling blood pressure and heart rate, and B-complex vitamins, such as niacin and thiamine, which help the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. In addition, Lychees contain calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and copper.
  • Lychees can help with weight loss. They are low in calories, contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are high in dietary fiber, which can help keep you feeling fuller longer. Lychees also contain oligonol, which has been shown to further aid with weight reduction.
  • Lychees have been found to enrich the blood, and as a result can increase people's energy levels. This is especially critical for the weak and the elderly.
  • Lychees contain more Beta-carotene than carrots. The antioxidant provides various health benefits, including boosting immunity, slowing the progression of cataracts, and protecting against heart disease and cancer.
  • Because Lychees contain dietary fiber, they can help with digestion and prevent constipation. Moreover, they aid in keeping the stomach clear of harmful toxins and can also help cleanse the colon.
  • Drinking tea that is made with powdered Lychee seeds can help relieve pain. The ground seeds can also be applied to different body parts to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Lychees can be used as natural alternatives to over-the-counter medicines to relieve an annoying cough. In addition, they have gland swelling and tumor curing properties as well.
  • A compound in Lychee known as chinensis Sonn may prevent eye and nerve damage in people with Diabetes.

Where to find Lychees

You can find Lychees at your local Asian supermarket. You can buy them fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Fresh Lychees should be eaten within four to five days of purchasing them or within a week if they are refrigerated.

You can also grow your own Lychee tree.

© Jennzie on HubPages, 2012

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