Lychee is sweet and a very fragrant fruit, which is usually available in the summer. This fruit originated in China but today is found in most of the South East Asian countries. It is the member of soapberry family, Sapindaceae. There are three sub-species of Lychee. It has rough skin outside while contains juicy and creamy white flesh inside. Lychee has a wonderful taste and in modern times it has found its niche in desserts, juices and ice creams. Lychee is a small fruit packed with loads of healthy nutrients. Lychee is considered an exotic fruit and has a very short shelf life. This is why it is available for a very limited time even during its season. In ancient China, lychee was the favored fruit in the imperial corridors finding its greatest fans amongst the Kings and queens; who would get these beautiful fruit transported to capital at a great cost to the Kingdom.
Lychee is a very nutritious fruit. It has a high water content and is full of energy. Following is the detailed nutritional chart which shows the nutritional value of per 100 grams of Lychee. Lychee has a high level of vitamin C in it and meets about 86% of the body’s daily requirement of this vitamin. It is a little high on sugar and has reasonable amount of dietary fiber. It is a rich source of Polyphenols that make it a strong and highly recommended anti-oxidant. The composition of minerals make it a great fuel for the electrolyte balance in our body.
Health Benefits of Lychee
Due to its numerous health benefits lychee is used as an alternative medicine in China. It contains a healthy blend of nutrients that promote health. So, know the amazing health benefits of lychee that can make a lot of difference to your fitness in an absolutely tasty way.
1. Strengthens Immunity
Vitamin C is a water soluble Vitamin which means that it is not stored in the body. Our bodily excretions like sweat, stools and urine flush it out of our body every time and every day. This is why it needs to be replenished through the dietary sources. Lychee is an excellent source of Vitamin C and contains 71.5 mg per 100 g serving. With a high amount of Vitamin C in it, lychee proves to be a good antioxidant which improves the immune function of our body. Lychee increases immunity to protect against common diseases like cough, cold and flu. Vitamin C also strengthens immune system to protect from day to day infections. It is highly recommended especially for young children who are highly vulnerable to infections and cold.
Vitamin C is also known to alleviate scurvy which is mainly caused by the Vitamin C deficiency. This condition begins with symptoms like general lethargy, spongy and bleeding gums, spot formation on skin and bleeding in mucous membrane. It is a serious condition which can prove to be fatal if not controlled in time.
2. Protection from Free Radicals
Lychee contains good amount of antioxidant Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex and phytonutrient flavonoids. These antioxidants and phytonutrient flavonoids are important nutrient that makes lychee healthy. Antioxidants are required to protect the body from oxidative stress. High oxidative stress is caused due to pollution and UV radiation. This process creates free radicals from oxygen molecules. These free radicals destroy normal cell DNA and change the function of cells to form cancer cells.
But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and acts as a shield to protect cells from damage. So lychee protects from cancer and tumors.
Free radicals are also known to cause premature ageing and delay in cell repair. These are also taken care of by the anti-oxidants in out diets thereby reducing and controlling inflammation and degenerative diseases like Arthritis.
3. Increase Metabolism
Lychee contains good amount of fiber and Vitamin B-complex which increase metabolism. A particular component Oligonol contained in lychee has shown promising results in regulating metabolism.
Metabolism is required to assimilate, absorb and throw the excess nutrition out of our bodies. This includes fats, proteins, sugar and carbohydrates.
4. Heart Disease & Blood Pressure
In a research it was found that antioxidants rich foods lower blood pressure. Lychee contains high amount of antioxidant Vitamin C.
A high fiber content also discourages fat formation and fat reserves in the body. Lychee contains high amount of dietary fiber which proves best nutrient that promote cardiovascular health.
Also lychee has proved to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) level in blood. Thus it improves the blood flow towards the heart and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and hypertension.
Fiber rich foods have proved to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. This brings down the overall blood cholesterol level which creates obstruction in the blood circulation. Potassium further aids the heart beat by keeping and regulating the muscle function of our body.
5. Weight loss & Fluid Balance
Maintaining an ideal weight is important for our body. But more important are the ways and means by which we do so. Planning your healthy diet and exercises is a strict requirement without which your body can suffer and become deficient in many essential nutrients. Mindless exercises can lead to major water loss through incessant sweating. If this is not supplemented with right food then all you will end up with is a cramped up and dehydrated body.
Lychee also contains a good amount of potassium which is required to maintain sodium level. Also high potassium is required to maintain fluid level i.e. Balance electrolyte. Thus it helps to maintain high blood pressure and it reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. Also it contains minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and folate that maintain blood pressure.