litchi fruit health Benefits and nutrition facts of lychee

Lychee | Litchi Fruit 13 Health Benefits and Fact | Side-Effects

In Health by Deepak Kevat29 Comments

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 an incredible taste and in modern times, it has found its niche in desserts, juices and ice creams.

litchi fruit health Benefits and nutrition facts

Lychee is a small fruit packed with loads of healthy nutrients. It 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 fruits transported to capital at a significant cost to the Kingdom.

See also: 45 Healthiest Fruit List On The Earth

Nutritional Value of Lychee<

Lychee is a very nutritious fruit. It has a high water content and is full of energy. Following is the detailed nutritional chart that shows the nutritional value of per 100 grams of Lychee. (1)

Energy 66 Kcal
Carbohydrates 16.53 gms
 Sugar  15.23 gms
 Dietary fiber  1.3 gms
 Protein 0.83 gms
 Vitamin B1 0.011 mg
 Vitamin B2 0.065 mg
 Vitamin B3 0.603 mg
 Vitamin B6 0.10 mg
 Vitamin B9 (Folate) 14 ug
Vitamin C 71.5 mg
Calcium 5 mg
Magnesium 10 mg
Manganese 0.055 mg
Phosphorus 31 mg
Potassium 171 mg

Lychee has a high level of vitamin C in it and meets about 86% of the body’s daily requirement of this vitamin.

It contains 15.23 gms sugar and has a reasonable 1.3 gms of dietary fiber.

Lychees are a valuable source of Polyphenols that make it a reliable and highly recommended antioxidant.

The composition of minerals makes it an excellent 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 a tasty way.

1. Strengthens Immunity

Vitamin C is a water-soluble Vitamin which means that it is not stored in the body. (2)

Our bodily excretions like sweat, stools and urine flush it out of our body every time and every day. It’s the reason we need 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 that improves the immune function of our body.

Lychee increases immunity to protect against common diseases like a cough, cold and flu.

Vitamin C also strengthens the 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. (3, 4)

Vitamin C is also known to alleviate scurvy that is mainly caused by the Vitamin C deficiency. (5)

This condition begins with symptoms like general lethargy, spongy and bleeding gums, spot formation on skin and bleeding in the mucous membrane. It is a serious condition that can prove to be fatal if not controlled in time.

Wrap up : High Vitamin C content of Lychee makes it an excellent anti-oxidant which makes the immunity of our body strong. Lychees are also recommended to alleviate scurvy which is caused by deficiency of Vitamin C.

2. Protection from Free Radicals

Lychee contains a good amount of antioxidant Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex and phytonutrient flavonoids. These antioxidants and phytonutrient flavonoids are an important nutrient that makes lychee healthy. (6, 7)

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.(8)

Wrap up : Lychee contains flavonoids and anti-oxidants that protect from various types of cancers, inflammation and arrests the rapid progress of degenerative diseases.

See also: 12 Health Benefits Of Turmeric That Make Healthiest Spice

3. The Blood Relation

Lychee is a rich source of nutrients that are required for the production and circulation of blood.

Hemoglobin in our blood transports oxygen throughout out body is made of Iron. Iron is what gives the red color to our blood that is a clear indication of the high content of iron and its importance in the blood.(9)

Folate is also an essential part of Hemoglobin. (10)

Magnesium plays an important role of forming blood clots in our body. Without the clotting function, a single cut can bleed out the last traces of blood from our body.

Copper is used by our bodies for healthy metabolism of Iron and formation of red blood cells (RBC).(11)

On top of all, Vitamin C is necessary for absorption of Iron in the body.

No matter how much iron rich diet you consume, it is not going to convert into healthy levels of hemoglobin in the blood if there is a deficiency of Vitamin C.

All these minerals- manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, Vitamin C and folate are present in lychee and make it a complete food for blood formation, its level and overall health.

Wrap up: The mineral composition of Lychee along with Vitamin C aids blood formation with a healthy count of red blood cells in it.

4. Increase Metabolism

Lychee contains a good amount of fiber and Vitamin B-complex, which increase metabolism.

Metabolism is required to assimilate, absorb and throw the excess nutrition out of our bodies. It includes fats, proteins, sugar and carbohydrates.

People suffering from insulin resistance due to poor metabolism must consume food items like Lychee, that is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids.

Though due to its high sugar content, lychees are just not recommended for diabetics, but those who have a potential threat of this disorder can take advantage of the healthy metabolism encouraging qualities of this fruit.

It also helps in dissolving fat from the body.The high water content of about 80-85% is also made lychee a great flushing agent.

Wrap up: Lychee is a metabolism booster which helps in cleaning out the body’s systems by flushing out excess sugar, fats and proteins from the body. It also helps in combating insulin resistance.

5. Skin’s Best Friend

Our skin bears the brunt of ageing, pollution, exposure to harmful UV rays, stress and other lifestyle-related disturbances.

Though ageing is a natural phenomenon but is expedited by rest of the factors mentioned earlier. The result is dull skin with fine lines that make you look much older than your age. The primary cause of

The primary cause of ageing is free radicals produced in our body, due to high oxidative stress.

But antioxidants have proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the ageing process. A right combination of food items in our diet can delay the onset of skin ageing significantly.

Vitamin C and high water content of Lychees are an ideal blend of age-delaying factors.(13)

Vitamin C cleans the impurities and water flush them out. Both of these keep the skin radiant and well-hydrated diminishing the wrinkles and fine lines.

Wrap up: The anti-oxidant Vitamin C and high content of water in lychee keeps the skin well hydrated and cleans out the impurities in form of free radicals thereby making the skin look young and fresh.

6. Heart Disease & Blood Pressure

In a research, it was found that antioxidants rich foods lower blood pressure. Lychee contains a high amount of antioxidant Vitamin C.

A high fiber content also discourages fat formation and fat reserves in the body. Lychee contains a high amount of dietary fiber which proves the best nutrient that promote cardiovascular health.(14)

Also, lychee has shown 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. It brings down the overall blood cholesterol level that creates an obstruction to the blood circulation.(15)

Potassium further aids the heart beat by keeping and regulating the muscle function of our body. (16)

Wrap up: The high fiber and Vitamin C in Lychee reduces the cholesterol levels in the body and potassium regulates the heart beat leading to an overall good cardiac health.

See also: 11 Health Benefits of Garlic And Nutrition Facts | Side-Effects

7. Aids Digestion & Bowel movements

The process of digestion is vital in nutrition absorption in our body.

Pectin with the dietary fiber of lychee is considered very beneficial for a bowel movement and maintaining healthy digestive system.(17)

Both of these content make the stools bulky and soft so that they can pass through the anal passage quickly.

This function is further enhanced by the high water content of lychee as it is the combination of roughage and water that helps in preventing constipation.

Regular and complete emptying out of bowel not only cleanse the body but also protects from conditions like piles and colon cancer.(18)

Wrap up: The fiber, pectin and water in lychee aids healthy bowel movements and protect from constipation, Colon cancer and Piles.

8. 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 constant sweating. If this is not supplemented with right food, then all you will end up with is a cramped up and dehydrated the body.

Lychee also contains a good amount of potassium that is required to maintain sodium level. Also high potassium is necessary 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.(19)

Also, it contains minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and folate that maintain blood pressure.

9. Rutin

Lychee are rich source of nutrients. Along with these nutriets, it is richest source of polyphenols in among fruits.

Among those, it is rich source of polyphenol know as rutin.

Rutin is known to strengthen blood vessels. It is used by varicose veins and hemorrhoids, as well as bruising.

Deficiency of bioflavonoids may allow blood vessels to break easily. But eating Rutin rich can protect, if you bruise easily.

So take benefit of lychee rutin content and strengthen your blood vessels.

But Rutin doesn’t just benefits blood vessels. Studies also found to protect from cancer, diabetes and heart disease.(2021).

10. Mitochondrial Health

Lychee contains large amount of phenolic compound and also antioxidant activities. Due to these high nutrient varieties, it protects from oxidative stress.

In animal studies, it was found that Lychee phenolic compounds protected against stress-induced liver injury by modulating mitochondrial dysfunction. (22)

11. Anti-viral

Proanthocyanidins content in lychee seeds has potent anti-viral activity. It protects against coxsackie virus and herpes simplex virus. (23)

12. More antioxidant power than vitamin c

Proanthocyanidins in lychee seed are special nutrient that we still don’t know much.

Many research is done to find the benefits. It is found to be much more powerful antioxidant than potential Vitamin C. (24)

Thus it gives an another reason to eat but to get benefits you need to eat seed part.

13. Flavonoids

Flavonoids are strong antioxidants that plays crucial role in protect from degenerative diseases like cancer.

Antioxidants are also required for normal functioning and development of cells and nerves that leads to optimum health.

Quercetin in lychee fruit is an powerful antioxidants that protect from cancer.

It also contains kaempferol that are heart healthy.

A Biggest Misconception

Oligonol is nutrient that are said to found in Lychee fruit but its found in its skin.

Oligonol is patent developed mixture of lychee skin and green tea, by the Amino Up Chemical Corporation in Japan.

So it can’t be considered as the part of fruit.

Plant Compounds That Make It Special

Lychees are an healthy fruit loaded with multiple nutrients. Antioxidants activity is high due to its antioxidants and flavonoids content.

Know the top nutrients that make preffered fruit to eat.

  • Vitamin C: Lychees is loaded with high amount of Vitamin C. 71.mg in 100 g which is 119% of RDA. Protect from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. It also strengthen body immunity to fight many diseases.
  • Rutin: Rutin also protects from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases (25, 26)
  • Quercetin: It protects from cancer and also heals cell damage caused due to oxidative stress. (27)
  • Kaempferol: It has anti-inflammatory property that makes it heart healthy.(28)
  • Epicatechin: It is an antioxidant that boost heart health. Also, it protects from diabetes and cancer (2930).
  • Proanthocyanidins: Proanthocyanidins in lychees seed possess strong effect than Vitamin C.

Side Effects of Lychee

Lychee is a wonderful fruit that tastes as good as it is beneficial for our bodies. However, if you tend consume it more quanilty, then the high sugar content should be kept in mind.

If diabetes runs in your family, then the consumption of lychee might necessitate a medical opinion. However, in moderate quantities, it is healthy.

In rare case, it can cause allergies. (31)

More about Lychee

In some parts of India and Vietnam, lychee has been suspected to cause a disease called Acute encephalitis (AES). Though the virus causing AES earned a disreputable name of “lychee virus”, but most of the studies and scientific observations have not been able to link these two conclusively.

Lychee tree is an evergreen shrub that grows almost 10-28 meters, but the fruit itself only lasts a few days after ripening. China is the largest producer of this fruit followed by India.

Since it is such a rare and exotic fruit with health benefits that go far and wide, this luscious and succulent treat must be one fruit to look forward to during the summers.

See also: Star Fruit Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts | Side Effects

Comments

  1. Mapparenta

    Reason busy, a lot of people who do not pay much attention to his health condition, hopefully with the review-reviews health. The people who originally too concerned with his health back can maintain his health.

      1. Author
        Deepak Kevat

        Sorry, but I don’t know about that as I stay in India. But, I think you should go to the market place as they can give idea about it.

      2. Jackie

        Keisha, I saw them in the canned fruit section at Walmart. Sorry, I don’t know where you can buy them fresh. Hope that helps…..

      3. Kris

        Try down south in Homestead! Some farms grow it there. However, keep in mind the lychee season is very short – 2-4 weeks or so and begins in early May. Good luck!

      4. Lupe

        Come down to homestead and you will find people in every corner selling them by the bag or by the branches the hang on to.

  2. Imtiaz

    my father planted a lychee tree nearly 30 years ago, every summer we enjoy its fruit , this summer we had more than 20 kg till now and more to come…. lychee is my breakfast, lunch n dinner as well…. its no doubt an amzingly refreshing fruit… we all luv it….
    Imtiaz
    Islamabad Pakistan

  3. Silky Anand

    Litchi is my favourite fruit.my daughter and me love to eat this fruit. It is very healthy fruit. Every summer I wait for it. While reading so much benefits of litchi I want to eat more…..;)

  4. Abdul basith

    Is anybody know that- is it really help to loose weight ? Because I doubted when I saw the high sugar level in this fruit

    1. Author
      Deepak Kevat

      It’s not doubt that lychee is a healthy fruits. Lychee is good source of healthy nutrients which boost metabolism which boost digestion.
      So it will help to maintain healthy weight.
      While 15.23 g sugar in 100 g lychee cannot be considered so high.

  5. praveena karnam

    I eat lychee everyday in summer and feel good.I also appriciate the improvement in skin texture and weight loss caused by lychees.

  6. Mohd. Saad

    Litchi (Lychee) is one of my favourite fruits. I love to eat it. It is nutritious too.
    But I wanna to ask that can litchi increase sugar levels or increase my weight?
    I can eat 8-10 litchies a day?

  7. dale

    i got some ,wonderful taste texture is a little weird, has helped my carpel tunnel

  8. Kiana

    Just tried it for the first time, was a little put off by the texture,but I like them. canned ones a very very sweet, so I hope to still find some fresh ones somewhere. and I like that they have a floral like scent.

  9. sseggujja hassan

    Your Comment * i do love litchi to an extent that i and workmates advised our company to import this fruit and it has started producing it in uganda under harriss international(riham) and its juice is bottled and supplied to all corners of uganda in form of soda

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