A hand picking a brown litchi fruit from a tree.

What are the Health Benenfits of Litchi?

What are the Health Benenfits of Litchi?

Originating in Southeast Asia, particularly in China, litchis have gained popularity worldwide for their unique flavor and versatility in culinary applications. These fruits have a rough, textured skin that is easy to peel, revealing translucent white flesh inside. The flesh surrounds a single large seed that is inedible and needs to be removed before consumption.

In various cuisines, litchi fruits are used in both sweet and savory dishes, adding a refreshing and exotic touch to salads, desserts, cocktails, and main courses. The distinctive floral aroma and succulent texture of litchis make them a favorite ingredient in fruit salads and smoothies. Moreover, litchi fruits are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber, making them not only a delicious treat but also a nutritious addition to a balanced diet.

Nutritional Value of Litchi Fruit

Nutritional value of fresh Litchi per 100grams:

Nutrient

Amount

Calories

66 kcals

Protein

0.83 g

Fat

0.44 g

Fibre

1.3 g

Carbohydrates

16.5 g

Potassium

171 mg

Vitamin C

71.5 mg

Phosphorus

31 g

Magnesium

10 mg

Iron

0.31 mg

Zinc

0.07 mg

Selenium

0.6 µg

Calcium

5 mg

Health Benefits of Litchi Fruit

  • Lychees are rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and water, with minimal calories and low fat. Dietary fibre in lychees may aid in weight loss and improve digestion. Lychees can aid in regulating bowel movements and boosting energy levels for physical activity.

  • Lychee juice is a potent source of antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, oligonol, and polyphenols, which help clear skin blemishes. It can effectively treat inflamed skin and acne marks. The combination of vitamin C and E slows skin aging. Research suggests that lychee antioxidants protect skin from sun damage and reduce wrinkles.

  • Exposure to pollution and stress weakens our hair. Topical use of lychees nourishes hair follicles. Copper peptides in lychees boost hair follicle size, reducing the hair growth resting phase. Vitamin C in lychee fruits enhances blood flow to the follicles, aiding hair growth. Lychee pulp restores hair shine and maintains natural color.

  • Lychees are a powerhouse of phytochemicals that exhibit antineoplastic properties. As a result, they help in preventing abnormal cell growth and cataract. Most older adults are at risk of cataracts, a visual impairment formed due to eye lens clouding. Vitamin C levels in lychees may reduce the risk of cataracts by reducing the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

  • Lychee has anti-cancer effects due to powerful flavonoids and antioxidants. Proanthocyanidins and polyphenols in lychee neutralize free radicals, protecting against cancer. Lychee seeds, rich in polyphenols, aid in cancer treatment.

  • Lychee leaf extract contains anti-inflammatory properties that dissolve kidney stones and support bladder function. Research indicates it may enhance kidney function and has nephroprotective polyphenolic compounds.

  • Eating lychees improves bone health. It is rich in iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. These minerals increase calcium absorption in the bone, making it stronger and healthier. Thus, eating lychees is beneficial for bone development in growing children.

  • The fiber content in litchis helps to regulate bowel movements and maintain a healthy digestive system.

  • The potassium content in litchis helps lower blood pressure and support cardiovascular function. Consuming litchi fruit as part of a balanced diet can contribute to a healthier heart and reduce the risk of heart-related issues.

For individuals managing diabetes, understanding the implications of consuming litchi fruit is crucial. While litchis have a moderate glycemic index, it is advisable to consume them in moderation and monitor blood sugar levels accordingly.

Side Effects of Lychee:

  • Skin itching

  • Swelling in the throat

  • Swelling of the lips

  • Urticaria (skin rash)

  • Loose motions

  • Children under 14 years of age are advised to not eat litchis on empty stomach first thing in the morning.

  • Lychees may cause adverse health outcomes in pregnant women with diabetes. Due to its glycemic index, one should be careful when including this tropical fruit.

    Easy Ways to Incorporate Litchi

    Litchi Sorbet:

    Ingredients

    Quantity

    Instructions

    Fresh litchis

    2 cups, peeled and deseeded

    Blend peeled and deseeded litchis, sugar, water, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and freeze for about 4-6 hours, stirring every hour to break up ice crystals. Once fully frozen, scoop the sorbet into serving bowls, garnish with mint leaves if desired, and serve immediately.

  • Litchi Salad:

    Ingredients

    Quantity

    Instructions

    Fresh litchis

    2 cups, peeled and deseeded

    Combine peeled and deseeded litchis, diced cucumber, sliced red onion, and chopped mint leaves in a mixing bowl. Drizzle lime juice over the salad and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld together.

  • Litchi Smoothie:

    Ingredients

    Quantity

    Instructions

    Fresh litchis

    1 cup, peeled and deseeded

    Place peeled and deseeded litchis, sliced banana, Greek yogurt, honey, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and serve immediately for a refreshing litchi smoothie.

    An Overview on Litchi

    The vitamin C content in lychee is renowned for its anti-aging properties, aiding in the reduction of blemishes and promoting hair health by preventing thinning. Additionally, the minerals found in lychee contribute to improved calcium absorption, enhancing bone health.

    While lychees are undeniably tempting, it's crucial to be mindful of potential side effects. Consuming too many lychees can lead to hormonal imbalances, allergic reactions, and spikes in blood sugar levels. However, within moderation, they are generally safe to enjoy. It's recommended to limit intake to around 8-10 lychees per day to reap their benefits without overindulging.

Back to blog