Lychee Health Benefits
Lychee Health Benefits
Lychee, also spelled litchi, is a summer fruit in the soapberry family of fruits. This red fruit is native to China and the name lychee is a Chinese word meaning ‘gift for a joyful life’. The Chinese probably named this fruit so because of the numerous lychee health benefits.
The fruit is covered by rough peel which has to be removed to get to the delicious white pulp inside. There is a rather large seed in the middle which is not edible. However, in certain parts of the world, powdered tea is made from the seeds and used for medicinal purposes. Some of the medicinal uses of the tea include pain relief and easing digestive disorders. Some sources however state that eating the seed whole may cause digestive disorders.
The lychee health benefits are not the only reason this fruit is very popular. It is very delicious, flavorful and fragrant. They contain no cholesterol or saturated fats, are high in fiber content and low in calories.
Some of the lychee health benefits are:
Vitamin C – The lychee fruit is a great source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps the human body’s immune system fight off colds and flu. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, helps heal wounds and stops bleeding. Vitamin C has also been linked with increasing life expectancy and promoting cardiovascular health. It is very important to find food sources of Vitamin C as the body does not naturally produce it.
Vitamin B – The lychee is an excellent source of the complex B vitamins niacin (B3), thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B9). Vitamin B6 is necessary for brain health as it aids in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and aids in the metabolism of proteins. Vitamin B1 is used in the production of hydrochloric acid and the breaking down of carbohydrates.
Minerals – Another one of the very important lychee health benefits. This fruit contains minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Potassium for example is a very important cell electrolyte that helps control blood pressure and the heart rate. Copper is necessary from the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
Polyphenols – Like all fruits, the lychee has significant amounts of polyphenolic compounds. The specific polyphenol oligonol is of special interest. Oligonol is found in great quantities in the lychee fruit and it gives several lychee health benefits which include protecting the skin from harmful ultra violet rays, improving blood flow and also aiding in weight loss.
Other lychee health benefits are reducing swelling in the glands, lowering the risk of cancer and diabetes, reducing the effects of aging, curing upset stomachs and fighting viruses.