One of the popular quotes synonymous with lychees is, “Slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures”. The saying couldn’t be far from the truth, especially considering the immense lychee benefits. The distinctly skinned, oval-shaped ( also called elliptical at times ), luscious, juicy fruit has three constituents—the hard red shell, the white consumable pulp, and a dark brown seed. Although it is native to Southern China, some other subsets/family classes of this fruit are also grown in sub-tropical regions and South-East Asia, such as India.
Lychee – Exploring Its Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More
Lychee fruit benefits are countless and loaded with essential dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. This flavanol‐rich fruit offers fantastic oxidative tolerance and improves metabolic activity. Litchi also boasts micro-nutrients in the form of Riboflavin (0.0600mg), Thiamin (0.011mg), and Niacin (0.600mg). These are some of the integral elements of B6 and are known for boosting energy metabolism.
Some of the Important Nutritional Values per 100 Grams of Litchi
Lychee is a highly well-balanced fruit. Its calorie content is 64, while its total fat hovers around 1mg. It is the star in this category because of its vitamin and mineral presence, around 120%. It also houses vitamin C (1%), iron (5% or 0.31mg), carbohydrate (17g), and protein (0.80g). Other minerals and metals in litchi include copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. It is a wholesome food with almost no cholesterol (0mg / 0%) and an impressive amount of dietary fibre (1.3g / 3.5%).
Although lychee has many benefits, some people may be allergic to it. Typical symptoms include rashes and itching. Because lychees are delicious, overeating is a common syndrome that can lead to temporary health issues such as nausea, hormonal disturbances, and stomach cramps.
Top 11 Health Benefits of Lychee and Why You Should Add It to Your Wellness Routine
Benefit #1 – Rich in Antioxidants
Human bodies need to fight free radicals continuously. Accumulation and unrestrained growth can increase the chances of multiple illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and even heart problems. Oligonol polyphenols and flavonoids such as Epicatechin fight these free radicals, eliminating them from the body and improving health parameters.
Benefit #2 – Boosts Immunity
Everyone knows that a weak immune system can lead to assorted health issues in the long run. One of the natural ways to boost this is through litchi juice benefits are not limited to immunity alone. Litchi fulfills the daily needs of vitamin C and minerals such as B-complex, which together help strengthen the immune system. Antioxidants in litchi, too, play an essential role in the immunity-boosting process.
Benefit #3 – Improves Digestion
The human digestive system is extremely complex. It demands the right amounts of dietary fibre, acids, and bacteria. Lychee is loaded with Ascorbic Acid, has excellent fibre content, and aids in the production of the right amounts of gastric juices. It also adds volume to the stool. The combined benefits lead to smoother movement of the bowel. The balanced presence of various compounds and minerals provides a perfect environment for a healthy gut.
Benefit #4 – Supports Heart Health
The main culprit responsible for high blood pressure is high sodium levels. One of the easy ways to address this issue is to cut down on salt intake. However, it is easier said than done. Interestingly, litchi fruit benefits also include improved heart health. It offers a perfect alternative. Litchi provides several minerals and Folate that help manage blood pressure. Moreover, the high potassium content in this fruit balances the sodium levels in the body. Litchi being electrolytic in nature, fine-tunes the quantity of various salts.
Benefit #5 – Enhances Skin Health
Everyone knows litchi is a seasonal fruit and therefore needs to be exploited to the fullest. It is also available as an OTC moisturiser and exfoliator, even during the off-season. So, what makes it a great option when it comes to skincare? The answer is the presence of vitamin C and antioxidants. While the former prevents hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and age-related skin problems, the latter slows down the ageing process. The result: flawless skin that looks youthful and vibrant.
Benefit #6 – Supports Weight Loss
Is that really true? Yes, it is and not just metaphorically. There are two reasons for this. Litchi is high in dietary fibre and low in calories. It translates into food that offers an amazing satiating experience and yet does not infuse visceral fat. No wonder health experts endorse that “litchi is good for health”.
On the flip side, it does contain excessive sugar. Controlled consumption is the key here. In one of the recent studies, it has been found that lychees also contain a polyphenol that actually reduces weight/cuts down fat.
Benefit #7 – Boosts Brain Function
Biologists, nutritionists, and food experts have known for a long time that lychee seed contains Saponin, apart from a bouquet of other compounds such as fatty acids, amino acids, etc., which are known to improve cognitive functions and slow down or prevent brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke. Although consuming litchi may not impact the brain directly, its supplements, especially those made from seeds, can be quite beneficial. Consult your healthcare guide before consuming.
Benefit #8 – Improves Blood Circulation
One of the uses of litchi fruit is improved blood circulation, which is no secret. Its high potassium content neutralises sodium, stabilises blood pressure, and relaxes the blood vessels, easing their pathway. Moreover, it is also a well-known fact that consumption of litchi in the right quantity improves good cholesterol in the body, thereby reducing blockages, the villain behind erratic blood circulation.
Benefit #9 – Promotes Eye Health
Ageing triggers the degeneration of body organs. It is inevitable. This includes eyes and vision. However, it can be prevented in the early years and slowed down later by including lychee in your daily diet. So, how does this fruit counter vision problems and promote eye health? Macular degeneration is caused by abnormal growth of cells, typically a by-product of oxidative stress. The phytochemicals in litchi slow down cell growth, preventing diseases such as cataracts, blindness (partial / night), and vision loss.
Benefit #10: Provides Energy and Hydration
Lychee is more than just a tasty fruit. The nutritional value of litchi is simply incomparable. For those unaware, it contains more than 80% water and almost 17% carbohydrates. While liquid keeps the stomach full and hydrated, vitamins B3 and B6 help break down carbs into energy. This is achieved slowly and systematically, providing day-long energy.
Benefit #11 – Potential Uses for Diabetes Health
Lychee seed extracts and, to an extent, lychee helps stabilise blood sugar levels. Lychee seeds are known to combat insulin resistance issues. However, more studies are needed to affirm lychee’s potential benefits vis-à-vis diabetes. However, its seeds are known for their multiple health benefits. Being an excellent source of natural fibre also helps.
A couple of lychees (maximum six) a day will improve overall health parameters and restore mood, cognitive functions, and skin quality. “Lychee benefits for skin” is no secret. On the other hand, its polyphenols are excellent antioxidant and antiviral warriors. Its goodness does not end here. It is also considered Hypoglycemic and known to trigger activities that help reduce weight, improve eyesight, and slow down ageing. Although it is sugar-laden, consuming it in restricted amounts can be beneficial to individuals with diabetes and blood pressure too. The best time to eat litchis is afternoon. It is highly recommended not to eat after meals as it can result in a spike in blood sugar levels.
It is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels using a smartphone-connected glucometer on a regular basis. If you feel doubtful about whether or not you should consume a particular item, you should do a quick sugar check before and after you consume it.
Being a person with diabetes, you can enjoy your favourite treats by making sure that you keep the portion size in check. Overindulging can lead to a spike in your sugar levels. It’s important to discuss with your physician how a food item can affect your blood glucose levels. If you have any doubts about what you can include as a part of your diabetes diet, you should always speak to your doctor or health coach.
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