The Health Benefits of Lychee fruit
Lychees are remarkable little fruits absolutely packed with nutritional goodies including powerful anti-oxidants such as oligonol (a polyphenol), a tremendous amount of Vitamin C, a very good amount of dietary fibre including pectin, a good share of calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and protein and a fair source of B-complex vitamins including folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.
This sweet and incredibly juicy little fruit that harkens back to ancient times, is still a revered favorite amongst health-conscious individuals who enjoy its addictive taste and appreciate its immense health benefits including but not limited to:
- Anti-cancer properties Lychees contain flavonoids in the pulp and can thwart the growth of cancer cells; breast cancer cells, in particular. Oligonol protects the skin from harmful UV rays in addition to fighting off those potentially cancer-causing free radicals alongside its compatriot anti-oxidant, Vitamin C. Calcium lowers the risk of colon cancer. Copper produces red blood cells. Pectin is a high soluble fibre that protects against colon cancer by ridding the tract of harmful toxins.
- Blood health Oligonol improves general blood flow.
- Bone health Calcium is crucial for healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis. Copper produces healthy collagen, which is a key component in healthy bones. Vitamin C is crucial for the proper formation of collagen, which is an imperative foundation for bone mineralization and proper bone density. Adequate potassium intake reduces the risk of bone loss.
- Heart health Oligonol induces proper blood flow and prevents blood clots. Potassium helps regulate the heart rate and control blood pressure. Niacin decreases cholesterol and lipoprotein levels.
- Healthy gums Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
- Healthy digestion Due to its relatively high water content and reasonable amount of fibre, the lychee fruit is a wonderful digestive tool and can rid the body of detrimental toxins as well as prevent constipation.
- Immune system health Oligonol has been shown to have anti-influenza virus capacities. The abundance of Vitamin C in lychee fruits (100 grams has over 100% of the daily recommended intake) helps bolster up the immune system and ward off innumerable diseases and infections and build up immunities to them. Copper helps make healthy red blood cells, which keep the immune system in good shape. The lychee fruit has also been rumored to do wonders to curb fevers and relieve sore throats.
- Anti-oxidant properties Copper may have some anti-oxidant abilities including building up healthy skin collagen. In addition to copper, the lychee fruit contains anti-oxidant Vitamin C, which also does wonders for the skin by staving off wrinkles and fine lines and increasing skin elasticity. Both B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C renew healthy skin, hair and nails.
Besides having no fat, no cholesterol and only a measly, peasly 6 calories per fruit, the innocuous looking little lychee also has the following advantages.
- Diuretic properties The lychee fruit has a high water content and is a diuretic, and both of these factors contribute to a more regular flushing out of the body and subsequent fluid loss.
- Fibre A 100 gram serving of lychee fruit contains 1.4 grams of fibre, and fibre too, helps flush out the system and promote steady weight loss.
- Metabolic advantages Copper helps make energy for the body. Oligonol purportedly boosts energy. B-complex vitamins help metabolize carbs, protein and fat.
- Muscles Potassium helps the muscles stay strong and contract properly, both certainly beneficial to effective and healthy exercising.
COOKING / INGESTION
This fantastically sweet and delicious fruit is wonderful eaten as-is, and is often served as a refreshing after-dinner guilt-free dessert treat at Chinese food restaurants.
These plump juicy morsels are the perfect inclusion to a festive fruit salad. And speaking of, or writing of salads, lychee fruit juice combined with fine balsamic vinegar, some tangy Dijon mustard, a quality turn of EVOO and some favorite seasonings to taste, makes for a delightful vinaigrette.
You can make a unique lychee fruit syrup to drizzle over your Sunday morning whole grain pancake stack, Acai bowl or Keffir smoothie!
Spend an afternoon with friends or family getting messy in the kitchen while telling stories and making a huge brew of lychee Kombucha.
Lightly roasted lychee’s would be an inventive twist to a holiday baked ham. Or, make a sweet and savoury chopped lychee fruit,lime, Vietnamese mint and fresh salty seaweed edible garnish for healthy Cobia fillets; an addition that is easily turned into a tasty salsa with the inclusion of chopped tomatoes and Spanish onions.
Make an easy, breezy batch of lychee, watermelon and mint gelato or sorbet.
For a tantalizing al fresco dinner party drink, grab these simple ingredients: vodka, lychee, spearmint and vermouth, and shake up a slew of lychee fruit , for a healthy twist swirll in some kombucha!
Interesting fact about the lychee fruit: Lychee actually means “a gift for a joyful life” in Chinese. How appropriate!
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