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Lychee fruit nutrition facts

Delicious and juicy Lychee or “Litchi” reminds you the arrival of summer. Botanically, this exotic fruit belongs to the family of Sapindaceae and named scientifically as Litchi chinensis.

The L. chinensis is a tropical type fruit tree native to low elevations of the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien in Southern China. It is a slow-growing medium sized evergreen tree with dense, round-topped foliage, and smooth, gray, brittle trunk and branches. It may reach 40-50 feet height. Litchis, not only eye-catching in spring when the huge sprays of flowers adorn the tree but also is a stunning sight for nature lovers when the tree is full of berries.

In structure, the fruit is a drupe; oval, heart-shaped or nearly round, measures about 3–5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter and weigh about 10 g. In appearance, the fruit has close resemblances with longan and rambutan fruits.

Its outer surface is covered with rough leathery rind or peel featuring pink color. The peel can be easily removable in the ripe fruits. Inside; consists of edible portion or aril that is white, translucent, sweet and juicy.

The fruit has sweet, fragrant flavor and delicious to savor. The pulp has single, glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long, and 1–1.5 cm in diameter. The seeds, like in sapodilla, are not poisonous but should not be eaten. Fresh lychees are readily available in the markets from July to October, about 120-140 days after flowering.

Health benefits of Lychee

  • İt is Natural Cancer Treatment, lychee fruit prevents the growth of cancer cells , Research has also shown that lychee fruit may provide impressive anti-breast cancer properties
  • Lychee fruits are low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but rich in dietary fiber which, can be very important for individuals who are concerned about their excess body weight.
  • Research studies suggest that oligonol, a low molecular weight polyphenol found abundantly in lychee fruit. Oligonol has been found to have several anti-oxidant, anti-influenza virus actions. In addition, it helps improve blood flow in organs, reduce weight, and protect skin from harmful UV rays (Takuya Sakurai (Kyorin University, Japan), Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 72(2), 463-476, 2008).
  • Lychee, like citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C,  and contains approximately 40 percent more vitamin C than orange. Studies suggest that consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are essential since they function by acting as co-factors to help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats.
  • Litchi also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and copper. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids help control heart rate and blood pressure; thus offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
  • Lychee is considered Diuretic and Digestive.
  • It even has high levels of Beta Carotene, greater than that found in carrots. β-Carotene is stored in the liver and many other organs (“golden ovaries”) Strengthens The İmmune System
  • It is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, which are quite essential for the body.

Selection and storage

Fresh lychee fruits are available in the markets from June to October. The Fruit must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree itself since the ripening process stops soon after harvested. Overly maturity makes them turn dark-brown in appearance and lose their luster and flavor. While harvesting, snip off entire fruit brunch, keeping a short piece of the stem attached.

In the store, choose fruits that feature fresh, without cuts or molds. Litchis have very good shelf life. Fresh fruits can be kept at room temperature for up to five days and can be stored for up five weeks in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen or dried and canned for export purposes.

Nutritional Value of One Cup Lychee (190 g)
  • Water – 155.34 g
  • Energy – 125 kcal
  • Protein – 1.58 g
  • Total lipid (fat) – 0.84 g
  • Ash-  0.84 g
  • Carbohydrate – 31.41 g
  • Total Dietary Fiber – 2.5 g
  • Sugars – 28.94 g
  • Calcium – 10 mg
  • Iron – 0.59 mg
  • Magnesium – 19 mg
  • Phosphorus – 59 mg
  • Potassium – 325 mg
  • Sodium – 2 mg
  • Zinc – 0.13 mg
  • Copper – 0.281 mg
  • Manganese – 0.105 mg
  • Selenium – 1.1 mcg
  • Vitamin C – 135.9 mg
  • Thiamin – 0.021 mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.124 mg
  • Niacin – 1.146 mg
  • Vitamin B – 6 0.19 mg
  • Folate – 27 mcg
  • Choline – 13.5 mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.13 mg
  • Vitamin K – 0.8 mcg
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated – 0.228 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated – 0.251 g
  • Tryptophan – 0.013 g
  • Lysine – 0.078 g
  • Methionine – 0.017 g

Lychee Fruit Tea

ingredients:

  • Herbal Tea or White Tea (buds and/or young tea leaves [lowest in fluoride levels], 3x more anti-oxidants than green or black tea which contains high levels of fluoride).
  • 5 cups of steaming hot water
  • ice cubes
  • canned lychee fruit with syrup
  • jasmine flavoring or jasmine tea leaves
  • mint leaf

1. Brew a 5 cup pot of water
- Add 1 tsp for every cup of steaming hot water loose leaf tea
- Let it steep for in hot water for 10 – 15 minutes
- Remove tea and place in glass container
- Let it cool in the fridge

2. Fill half a glass with ice and add couple of lychees from can or fresh.

3. Add 2 Tablespoons of lychee syrup from can, or add natural sweetener of your choice.

4. Add a drop of jasmine flavoring (optional).

5. Add the chilled tea.

6. Garnish with a mint leaf

(Optional) ~  Add your liquor of choice. I like a splash of pear Grey Goose vodka with this. ;-)

Note: In place of soya milk, use these options… Almond, Rice, Coconut Milk, or  Hemp Milk

Lychee Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup of fresh lychee fruit or a can of lychees
  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries

Give ingredients a whirl in the blender and serve immediately.

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