What are Lychees?
A close relative to the rambutan and longan, the lychee is the ultimate summer fruit you never knew you needed. Lychees are native to Southern China, but are grown in tropical climates worldwide and are most popular in Southeast Asian countries. While it might be tough to find fresh lychees at your local supermarket, the canned version is available almost everywhere, especially in Asian markets.
About the size of a golf ball, these bumpy fruits grow on trees in bunches and are ripe when the skin is a vibrant, beautiful red. Once the skin is peeled away, the lychee fruit is translucent, fleshy and off-white, with a large brown seed in the center.
In the lychee, the balance of sweet and tart is perfected. Its light, floral taste — some say it’s a grape/rose, others insist pear/watermelon — pairs perfectly with coconut, lime, and other tropical tastes.
Lychee is often used in cocktails; lychee martinis and mojitos, for instance, have been popping up on trendy restaurant drink menus for years. Lychee desserts like ice cream and bubble tea are also extremely popular and refreshingly delicious. In Hawaii, simply stuffing them with cream cheese is a timeless summer treat.
If you remain unconvinced, we’ll let this lychee sangria do the talking:
Lychees are the rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, copper, folate, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. It has many health benefits which includes preventing cancer, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation,improving digestion, aiding in weight loss, improving the skin health and optimizing metabolic activities.
History of Lychees
Cultivation of lychee began in the region of southern China, going back to 1059 AD, Malaysia, and northern Vietnam. Unofficial records in China refer to lychee as far back as 2000 BC. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. There are many stories of the fruit’s use as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. It was first described and introduced to the West in 1656 by Michal Boym, a Polish Jesuit missionary (at that time Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth).
In the 1st century, fresh lychees were in such demand at the Imperial Court that a special courier service with fast horses would bring the fresh fruit from Guangdong. There was great demand for lychee in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), according to Cai Xiang, in his Li chi pu (Treatise on Lychees). It was also the favourite fruit of Emperor Li Longji (Xuanzong)’s favoured concubine Yang Yuhuan (Yang Guifei). The emperor had the fruit delivered at great expense to the capital.
The Chinese classical work, Shanglin Fu, states that the alternate name, meaning leaving its branches, exists, because once the fruit is picked it deteriorates quickly.
The lychee attracted attention of European travellers, such as Juan González de Mendoza in his History of the great and mighty kingdom of China (1585; English translation 1588), based on the reports of Spanish friars who had visited China in the 1570s gave the fruit high praise:
[T]hey haue a kinde of plummes, that they doo call lechias, that are of an exceeding gallant tast, and neuer hurteth any body, although they shoulde eate a great number of them.
The lychee was scientifically described by Pierre Sonnerat (1748–1814) on a return from his travels to China and Southeast Asia. It was then introduced to the Réunion Island in 1764 by Joseph-François Charpentier de Cossigny de Palma. It was later introduced to Madagascar which has become a major producer.
About Lychees Plant
It is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 40-50 feet. The leaves are alternate, 3-6 inches long, pinnate with leaflets that occur in 2 to 4 pairs on 7-8 mm petioles. The flowers are small and greenish to white to yellowish.
The fruit is an aromatic, subglobose to ovoid or heart shaped berry which is 4 cm long and 2 or 5 cm wide. The leathery skin is yellow-pinkish or red which is thin and rough. The fruit flesh which is aril is white or translucent with subacid or pungent flavor.
The single seed is glossy dark brown, ellipsoid to oblong and 20 mm long. The fruits could be eaten raw or added to recipes. They could be added to desserts, ice creams, jams, jellies, sorbets, syrups and sauces.
How to use Lychees
Though lychees are sometimes called “lychee nuts” because of their hard outer rind, these fruits are not nuts at all. In fact, they are much more like a berry than a nut, though their rind is inedible. Lychees are best eaten raw because their flavor is delicate and they loose their perfumy quality after being cooked. They are eitehr eaten whole or chopped up and added to desserts like ice cream, shaved ice and fruit salad. Another reason that they are rarely cooked is that their texture is at its best while the fruits are fresh. While fresh lychees are only available for a few months, canned lychees packed in syrup are available year-round. These fruits are very sweet and do not have the subtle flavor of the fresh fruit, though they can still make a tasty addition to a dessert or a fruit salad if you are looking to add something tropical to a Â dish.
To peel a lychee, simply pierce the rind with a small knife or your fingernail and gently peel it off the flesh of the fruit. The fruit can then be peeled away from the pit, which should be discarded.
Lychees Are a High-Sugar Fruit
Lychees do have one downfall and that is their high sugar content — about 29 grams in one cup. For this reason, eat lychees only in moderation. In rare cases, lychees have also been associated with severe allergies, something to be aware of if you’ve never tried them before.
If you want to learn even more about what’s in the food you’re eating, visit our Food Facts library. Most people are not aware of the wealth of nutrients available in healthful foods, particularly organic fruits and vegetables. By getting to know your food, you can make informed decisions about how to eat healthier and thereby boost your brain function, lower your risk of chronic disease, lose weight, and much more.
Food Facts is a directory of the most highly recommended health foods to add to your wholesome diet. Its purpose is to provide you with valuable information about various types of foods including recipes to help you maximize these benefits. You’ll learn about nutrition facts, scientific studies, and even interesting trivia about each food in the Food Facts library.
Remember, knowing what’s in your food is the first step to choosing and preparing nutritious meals each and every day. So visit Mercola Food Facts today to get started.
Lychees (Litchi) Nutrition
Lychee is packed with health benefits and they come from the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the fruit, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. Furthermore, lychee is a great source of dietary fiber, protein, and a good source of proanthocyanidins and polyphenolic compounds.
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 66
- Fat 0.4 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 1 mg
- Potassium 171 mg – 4% RDA
- Carbohydrate 17 g – 5% RDA
- Dietary fiber 1.3 g – 5% RDA
- Sugar 15 g
- Protein 0.8 g – 1% RDA
- Vitamin C 119% RDA
- Iron 1% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 2% RDA
One of the most prominent nutrients in lychee fruit is vitamin C. Vitamin C has numerous functions in the human body, including acting as an essential cofactor in enzymatic reactions. In this way, it plays a role in your body’s production of collagen, carnitine (which helps your body turn fat into energy), and catecholamines (hormones made by your adrenal glands), for starters.
Vitamin C is also used by your body for wound healing, repairing, and maintaining the health of your bones and teeth, and plays a role in helping your body absorb iron.
Vitamin C is considered an anti-aging vitamin and actually reversed age-related abnormalities in mice with a premature aging disorder, restoring healthy aging. Vitamin C even plays a role in brain health, as it is necessary to make certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin. It has also been found to play a role in preventing the common cold, cancer, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration, asthma, and more. Vitamin C may also be useful for
|Boosting immune system function||Improving vision in people with uveitis (inflammation of the middle part of the eye)||Allergy-related conditions, such as eczema and hay fever|
|Treating sunburn||Alleviating dry mouth||Healing burns and wounds|
|Decreasing blood sugar in diabetics||Fighting viral illnesses, such as mononucleosis||Maintaining healthy gums|
Often thought is found only in animal products, vitamin B contributes largely to our energy levels. Lychees are rich in B-vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and folates, which have a huge effect on viruses and the body’s nutrient absorption. Beta-carotene is also a derivative of vitamin B that strengthens the immune system along with strengthening the hair nails and protecting the eyes.
Lychees contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that can help you plough through all that pollution and daily stress. Being vitamin deficient can lead to a slew of medical problems and expensive treatment plants. Just eat a couple of lychees before or after lunch or dinner and you will be able to incorporate a healthy dose of vitamin C, phytonutrients, vitamin B-complex and various antioxidants.
Carbohydrates and Fibers
Besides water, lychees are mainly composed of carbohydrates. A single lychee (either fresh or dried) contains 1.5-1.7 grams of carbs. The majority of the carbs in lychees comes from sugars, which are responsible for their sweet taste. They are relatively low in fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lychees are a decent source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.
- Vitamin C: The most abundant vitamin in lychees. One lychee provides around 8% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C .
- Copper: Lychees are a decent source of copper. Inadequate copper intake may have adverse effects on hearth health.
- Potassium: An essential nutrient that may improve heart health when eaten in sufficient amounts.
Other Plant Compounds
Like other fruits, lychees are a good source of various antioxidant plant compounds. In fact, they have been reported to contain higher levels of antioxidant polyphenols than several other common fruits.
Epicatechin: An antioxidant that may improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Rutin: A powerful antioxidant. Studies indicate that it may help protect against chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Health Benefits of Lychees/ Litchi
1. Aids in Digestion
The significant amount of dietary fiber in lychee helps add bulk to the stool which helps bowel movements move through the digestive tract smoothly, and fiber also stimulates peristaltic motion of the smooth small intestine muscles, increasing the speed of food passing. It also stimulates gastric and digestive juices, so the absorption of nutrients is efficient. This can reduce constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Why This Works
As a fruit native to the region, litchis were consumed by the Chinese to help with digestion and relieve stomach ailments. Litchis have a lot of water content, which has a soothing effect on the stomach. They also have a considerable amount of fiber, which helps in digestion.
2. Boosts Immunity
Lychees contains a large amount of Vitamin C which is a major antioxidant and is known to stimulate the activity of white blood cells, which are the main defensive line of the body’s immune system.
Why This Works
The presence of vitamin C in litchi makes it very effective in strengthening our immunity. This water-soluble vitamin is full of antioxidants that protect our body from foreign germ invasion. Hence, it is a highly recommended fruit for young kids.
3.Reduces Cancer Risk
The polyphenolic compounds and proanthocyanidins found in lycheeare powerful antioxidants which help neutralize the free radical. Free radicals are the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause cancer.
Why This Works
Research using litchi extracts have shown that they contain powerful antioxidants and flavonoids and have anticancer effects, which are especially effective against breast cancer cells
4. Controls Blood Pressure
Lychee has a wealth of potassium, meaning that it can help your body maintain a fluid balance; it is also low in sodium, which helps too. Fluid balance is an integral part not only of metabolic functions but also in hypertension. Potassium is considered to be a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces the constriction of blood vessels and arteries, thereby lowering the stress on the cardiovascular system.
Why This Works
Litchis carry balanced potassium and sodium levels, which is absolutely necessary for maintaining proper blood pressure. Also, the vasodilatory properties of potassium enable it to soothe and relax the blood vessels in the body, leading to the controlled hypertension
5. Improves Blood Circulation
Lychee is rich in copper which is an an integral part of RBC formation. Therefore, the copper content in lychee can boost blood circulation and increase oxygenation of the organs and cells.
Why This Works
The presence of a variety of nutrients, including magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, folate, and vitamin C, plays an important role in making litchis a blessing for our circulatory system
Lychee is rich in fiber which helps eliminate cholestrol from the blood which could otherwise clog the blood vessels and lead to heart diseases like heart attack. Lychee also contains rutin, a bioflavonoid known to strengthen blood vessels. Lychee contains oligonol which increases the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which aids in opening constricted blood vessels and lowering the blood pressure.
7. Skin Care
Lychee contains antioxidants which neutralizes free radicals that can lead to premature aging and dark spots. They also contain vitamin C which helps cleanse the impurities and it also plays a role as a good cofactor in enzymatic reactions in which it promotes the production of collagen.
8. Prevents Inflammation
Lychee contains flavonol which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This extract from is also believed to treat inflammatory diseases effectively.
Why This Works
It has been found out that flavanol-rich litchi fruit extracts (FRLFE) possess anti-inflammatory properties.
9. Aids in weight loss
Lychee contains high levels of fiber which gives a full feeling thereby preventing snacking and overeating.
Why This Works
Litchis don’t have too many calories, with 100 grams containing only 66 calories . They also contain a lot of water, a significant amount of fiber, and have negligible fat content. This makes them ideal for those looking to lose weight.
10. Mitochondrial Health
Lychee contains a good amount of phenolic compound along with effective antioxidant activities due to which it can prevent the oxidative stress. In a study on animals, the phenolic compounds found in the lychee pulp can modulate mitochondrial dysfunction thereby protecting against stress-induced liver injury. In other words, lychee pulp is appreciated as a functional biofactor that mitigates oxidative stress.
The proanthocyanidins in lychee have been studied extensively, and they have also demonstrated antiviral capabilities. Litchitannin A2, a compound found in lychee, has been closely connected to preventing the spread or outbreak of viruses, including herpes simplex virus and coxsackievirus.
This powerful phenolic compound found in lychee has been connected to a number of important health benefits, including anti-influenza activity, an improvement in blood circulation, reduction in weight, and the protection of your skin from harmful UV rays when exposed to the sun. It also demonstrates considerable antioxidant capabilities, just like ascorbic acid, and other proanthocyanidins in lychee.
13. Heals Colds and Flu
Influenza can lead to severe health issues such as pneumonia and common colds are extremely uncomfortable as well as weaken the body’s immune system. Lychees are rich in phenolic acids, which protect the body from viruses such as influenza and common colds. Ascorbic acid present in lychee protects the respiratory system from infections and viruses.
14. Source of Oligonol
Oligonol is a molecular compound found in abundance in lychees that further breaks down into many antioxidants. This promotes blood circulation and also protects the body from harmful UVA and UVB rays.This is also very effective in reducing fat as it targets fat directly while increasing stamina.
As time progresses our bodies’ age physically and internally. A diet rich in antioxidants and vitamin C can ensure a slower aging process while promoting overall health. Lychees are a good source of vitamin C, which is a necessary component of the anti-aging diet regime. Vitamin C can improve elasticity and production of collagen leading to better radiant and supple skin.
As you grow older, your skin starts to show the first signs of aging. Litchis, when used topically, can help delay their appearance.
What You Need
- 4-5 litchis, deseeded and peeled
- ¼ ripe banana
What You Have To Do
1. Mash the banana and litchis. Mix well so that they form a smooth paste.
2. Gently massage the paste on your face and neck using circular motions.
3. Keep the mask on for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water.
Why This Works
As you age, your body produces more and more free radicals. These free radicals damage your skin and cause wrinkles. Litchis are rich in antioxidants that combine with the free radicals and prevent them from damaging your skin.
Litchis play an important part when it comes to the prevention of anemia.
Why This Works
This fruit contains an essential amount of copper, which increases the RBC count in the blood. We all know that anemia occurs due to decrease in the hemoglobin levels. This can be avoided by consuming litchis
17. For Stronger Bones
Lychee is full of essential nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper. These minerals are known to increase calcium absorption in the bones, thereby making them strong and healthy. This delicious fruit has several health benefits, but it is also very sugary and so, diabetics should avoid it or consult their doctor before consuming. If consumed in moderate quantities, it should not cause a problem.
Why This Works
Litchis are full of essential compounds required for healthy bones, such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and many others. These minerals actually increase the calcium absorption in the bones, thus making them healthy.
18. Help Remove Blemishes
Blemishes are the bane of anyone who seeks flawless skin. Applying litchi juice can help fade away the blemishes and marks, leaving you with clear skin.
What You Need
- 4-5 litchis, peel and seed removed
- 2-3 cotton balls
What You Have To Do
1. Mash the litchis to make a paste.
2. Soak the cotton balls in the paste, and apply to your face or just the affected areas.
3. Keep for 15 minutes, and wipe off with a clean washcloth soaked in cold water.
Why This Works
Blemishes are basically spots bearing the signs of hyperpigmentation. Litchis are excellent sources of vitamin C (2). This makes them a potent cure for blemishes.
19. Reduce Sunburns
Spending too much time in the sun can cause redness and blisters. Sunburns can cause pain and irritation, and applying litchi infused with vitamin E can help soothe your inflamed skin.
What You Need
- 3-4 litchis, peel and seed removed
- 1 vitamin E capsule
What You Have To Do
1. Extract the juice from the litchi pulp. To do this, you need to mash the pulp and pass it through a strainer.
2. Puncture the vitamin E capsule and add it to the juice.
3. Apply to the affected areas and rinse with cold water after 30 minutes.
Why This Works
Litchi is effective for treating sunburns because of its vitamin C content. A combination of vitamins C and E has been proven to treat the effects of the sun on the skin.
20. Promote Hair Growth
Be it stress or pollution, a host of factors can wreak havoc on our hair. Litchis, when used topically, can help promote hair growth.
What You Need
- 7-8 litchis, juice extracted
- 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
What You Have To Do
1. Mix the litchi juice and aloe vera in a bowl.
2. Massage the mixture into your scalp.
3. Keep it on for 60 minutes, and then wash it off with a mild shampoo.
Why This Works
Your hair grows when the hair follicles are properly nourished. Copper peptides enlarge the hair follicles, which drastically reduces the resting phase of hair growth. Since litchi is an excellent source of copper, it helps stimulate the hair follicles and makes your hair grow.
21. Provide A Distinct Shine To Your Mane
Is your hair losing its natural shine owing to the harsh weather conditions? Start using litchi pulp as a conditioner for your hair.
What You Need
The pulp of 8-10 litchis
What You Have To Do
1. Mash 10 litchis to make a pulp and apply this pulp to your hair.
2. Wash thoroughly after 15 minutes to achieve shiny and beautiful hair.
Why This Works
Litchi is rich in vitamin C that enables it to refurbish the shine in our hair. It is also full of copper and iron that are responsible for maintaining the original hair color.
22. Promote Cardiovascular Health
Researches state that the antioxidants present in litchis can help promote cardiovascular health.
Why This Works
Litchis contain a compound named oligonol that promotes the production of nitric oxide . Nitric oxide or NO is a vasodilator, which means it helps expand the blood vessels to allow blood to flow through properly. This reduces the pressure on your heart to pump blood, reduces the wear and tear your heart goes through, and improves the overall cardiovascular health.
23. Prevent Cataract
Cataract is a visual impairment that is caused due to the clouding of the lens in the eyes. Since cataract affects millions, there have been numerous studies conducted regarding it. One study concluded that litchis might help inhibit cataract.
Why This Works
Litchis contain phytochemicals that exhibit antioxidant and antineoplastic properties. This means that they help prevent abnormal growth of cells, which helps prevent cataract.
24. Act Against Influenza
Influenza is caused by viruses and is an extremely communicable disease. Due to certain strains of these viruses showing resistance to traditional antiviral drugs, there is a need to develop new medications. Litchi fruit extracts have shown to be effective against these viruses.
Why This Works
Litchis exhibit antiviral properties due to the presence of oligonol that stops the virus from multiplying
25. Prevent Blood Vessel Rupture
Consuming litchis or litchi juice can help in controlling abnormal bruising owing to blood vessel rupture.
Why This Works
Litchi is rich in abundant polyphenols like the bioflavonoid called rutin. This makes it a necessity when it comes to the strengthening of the blood vessels. This property also makes it useful in treating conditions like varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
26. Provide Instant Energy
Having litchis in the morning can provide the much-needed kick start to your day.
Why This Works
Litchi is rich in vitamin C, which serves a number of important functions in the body including being an important co-factor in all enzymatic reactions. It plays an essential role in the production of collagen and carnitine that are required to break down fat, providing us with instant energy.
27. Protect From Herpes Virus
Litchis can also protect us from the deadly herpes virus.
Why This Works
This wonderful fruit has proanthocyanidins that carry very powerful antiviral properties. These properties make it effective against rare and troublesome viruses like herpes or coxsackie.
28. Increase Libido
Many studies have concluded that litchi can enhance sexual desires in humans.
Why This Works
Litchi is known to stimulate the libido because of the abundance of important components like potassium, copper, and vitamin C
How To Eat Lynchees
How to Eat Lychee
- They are added to fruit salads and fruit cups.
- Lychee arils are packed with mixture of mayonnaise and cream cheese or pecan meats and whipped cream.
- The arils are covered with whipped cream and pistachio ice cream in parfait glasses as a dessert.
- Lychee arils are halved and placed on the top of ham during final hour of baking or grilled on the top of steak.
- The pureed Lychee arils are added to the ice cream mix.
- The juice is extracted from Lychee and it made as sherbet by adding plain gelatin, light cream, hot milk, sugar and lemon juice.
- In Thailand, India and China, Lychee is canned in sugar syrup.
- The arils are consumed like raisins of dried lychees.
- Lychee could be consumed fresh or raw.
- The slices of Lychee are added to fruit dressings and salads.
- Lychee can be made into jellies, sorbet, jams, sauces and syrups.
- The fruit is found fresh, dried or canned.
- The dried Lychee is added to the recipes, desserts and ice cream.
- It is included in the sour and sweet Chinese dishes.
- Lychee is also used as mixed salad with the slices of avocado.
- Lychee also mixes well with juices such as banana, strawberry, mango, papaya and coconut water.
How To Store Lychee?
Litchis are mostly grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions. They are seasonal fruits, and are usually available from June through October. They are highly perishable, and once plucked from the tree, do not ripen any further. A pinkish-brown shell indicates that the fruit is fresh. Select litchis that are firm, feel heavy, and have a dry shell. Avoid the ones that feel soft, or have cracked shell or black spots. Litchis don’t have a long shelf life. When stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, they can last about 10 days. Refrigeration usually turns the shell of the litchi darker without affecting the fruit.
Lychee Healthy Recipes:
Lychee Lime Lassi (Yogurt Drink)
- 1 cup yogurt (lime, lemon)
- 1/2 cup lychees (chopped)
- 1 fresh lime juice
- 1/2 Tbsp. honey
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (fine powder)
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy.
- This recipe makes one serving.
Make a refreshing summer drink by adding litchi to the classic lemonade.
- 12 litchis, peeled and pitted
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Blend the litchis till a puree is formed.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend or use a shaker to combine.
- Serve in a tall glass with ice cubes.
Who doesn’t love pudding? Here’s a quick recipe to make yummy litchi pudding.
- 50 g pomegranate
- 1 ½ cups chopped litchis
- 200 ml fresh cream
- 1 tbsp
- 3 tbsp
- custard powder
- 3 cups
- 1 tin
- Milkmaid sweetened condensed milk
- Mix the custard powder in a little milk. Now, add this thick paste to rest of the milk and let it boil. Make sure the consistency is thick.
- Soak gelatin in a dash of water and add this to the custard. Mix well. Now, add milkmaid and stir properly. Let the mix cool for some time.
- Take another bowl and whisk the cream in it and pour it in the custard. Add pomegranate and litchi and refrigerate it for two to three hours.
Your custard is ready!
Litchi Iced Tea
Here’s a recipe for litchi iced tea to quench your thirst.
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp black tea
- 5 tbsp powdered sugar
- 8 tbsp litchi crush/ litchi puree
- Ice cubes
- Boil water in a pan.
- Add tea leaves and cover it for 20 minutes. You can add more tea if you like your tea strong.
- Let the mix cool for half an hour and then strain it. Add litchi crush and sugar to it. You can increase or decrease the quantities of sugar and crush according to your taste.
- Take a glass and fill it with ice cubes. Now, pour the litchi tea over it and serve chilled.
Usually, litchis are eaten with their shell and seed removed. Their sweet taste makes them a great addition to smoothies, salads, and desserts.
1. Peeled and chopped litchis can be served on a cheese platter.
2. Litchis can be added to ice cream, custard, and yogurt and served as dessert.
3. They can be dried with the rind intact so that the pulp shrinks. Dried litchis are also known as litchi nuts.
Litchi fruits are so delicious that people don’t need to be prompted to include it in their diets.
- The decoction made from the root, flowers and bark are used as a gargle in order to eradicate the throat ailments.
- Seeds are used as sedative in an orchitis and neuralgic disorders.
- Lychee is provides relief from coughs, cells growth and stomach pain.
- It helps to treat tumors, gastralgia and gland enlargements.
- A tea made from fruit peel helps to cure eruptions of smallpox and diarrhea.
- In India, the powdered seeds are used for intestinal problems.
- In China, Lychee is used to provide relief from neuralgic pains.
- In India, grinded seeds are used to sooth gastric.
- The flowers are used to promote bleeding, cure sore throats and prevent the UV rays.
Precautions Of Lychee
- The diabetic patients should consume it in limited amounts as it is high in sugar.
- One should discontinue the use of Lychee extract before two weeks of a scheduled surgery.
- Some people might experience allergic reactions.
- The overconsumption of Lychee results in diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems and abdominal pain.
- The tea might increase the auto-immune disease symptoms.
- The Chinese doctors say that excessive consumption leads to hypoglycemia, seizure, fever and unconsciousness.
- Western and Eastern health professionals say that diabetic patients should not consume more than six lychee at once.
Facts Of Lychee
- The leaves consist of 2 to 4 thin leaflets which are pairly arranged.
- The flowers can be green, white or yellow colored.
- The flower of Lychee blooms in the Northern hemisphere from November to February and in the Southern hemisphere from April to August.
- The fragrant flowers attract bees which are the main pollinators of the plant.
- After pollination, Lychee ripens in 100-120 days.
- Lychee possesses a floral aroma with sweet taste which resembles a mixture of pear and grape.
- Lychee is called Chinese strawberry because it is originated from China and also looks like strawberry.
- In China, Lychee is considered as the symbol of romance and love.
- China and India are the highest manufacturers of Lychee in the world.
- The dried Lychee has a smoky flavor.
- The rough and thin skin of Lychee is peeled before it is consumed.
- Lychee has red to pink skin and white or translucent flesh.
- They are used to add flavor to various dishes.
- Lychees are rich in vitamin C and a good source of copper, vitamin B, potassium and fiber along with other minerals and vitamins.
How To Grow Lychees
The first step of growing lychee is collecting seeds. Lychee seeds are a rich brown color with a glossy appearance. After eating fresh lychees, keep any seeds that are plump and ½ inch or longer. Rinse the seeds to remove all fruit from their surface.
After collecting the lychee seeds, soak them in water for three days; replace the water each day. During the soaking process, the seed shells will start to split; once this happens, the seeds are ready to germinate.
Fill seedling trays or small paper cups with potting soil. Make sure drainage is possible so the soil does not get soggy. Place one lychee seed into each cup, on its side, at a depth of 3-4 inches; then cover. Place the trays or cups in a warm, sunny place like a windowsill, a sun room or a greenhouse. Water regularly to keep the soil damp. After 3-4 weeks, the shoot will grow to 3-4 inches in size and develop dark green leaves. Four weeks is the average germination period for lychee seeds, but sometimes they take up to six weeks to be ready for replanting.
Once a good-sized seedling has developed in the small containers, the lychee plants are ready to be replanted in individual pots. Choose a 3-gallon pot so the root system will have room to develop. It is best to use a pot with drainage holes so that excess water can flow away from the plant. If this is not available, fill the bottom 3 inches of the pot with pebbles or broken terracotta. Fill the pot with potting soil and plant the seedlings at the depth they reached in their seedling containers. After about a year the lychee tree will need to be replanted into a 7 gallon pot so that it does not become root bound. The following year, move the tree to a 15-gallon container, and replant in a 25-gallon pot the year after that. By the tree’s fifth year of life it is likely to be ready to be planted into the ground.
Caring for Young Lychee Plants
Lychee plants need to be protected from wind in their first year. They need to be exposed to full sun gradually. Water regularly to keep the plants hydrated. There is some dispute among growers about fertilization in the first year of life. Some growers do not fertilize plants at all in the first year because of the risk of root burn. Other gardeners give the young trees small amounts of water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks in the spring and summer. In the first year, these growers use the fertilizer at half-strength (watered down) before gradually increasing it to full strength over the next few years. When replanting young lychee trees, it is wise to prune away excess leaves to give the root system a break while it is adjusting to the new container; this will also encourage healthy new growth.
Planting in the Ground
Mature lychee trees require full sun, so plant the tree well away from buildings. Do not mound the tree because its root system is shallow and needs to spread in the ground. If possible, plant in an area that is shaded from wind, which tends to damage new growth on lychee trees. Fertilize your tree with organic fertilizers made with compost extracts or kelp. Using artificial fertilizers is risky, as the roots burn easily. Do not plant anything under your lychee tree, as other plants can damage the tree’s root system or compete for vital nutrients.
How to Buy Materials to Grow Lychee Trees on eBay
eBay retailers sell items like seedling trays, plant containers and water-soluble fertilizers. Shop for these items by visiting the eBay home page and writing a description of your preferred product in the search box. Press search, then browse through the results to find the item you are interested in. Read the item description carefully to ensure that you buy the product you want. It is also a good idea to read item reviews and seller reviews before purchasing.
Negative Effects Of Lychees
May Cause Hypoglycemia
Lychees are very beneficial for us and provide a number of health benefits. One such benefit is the ability of lychees to lower our blood sugar level, and this helps with the diabetics patients. However, over consumption of lychees is bad as it can lower our blood glucose level to extremely low level, and give rise to hypoglycemia.
In addition to this, if you are a diabetic patient and already taking medication to control blood sugar level , then consumption of lychees could worsen the situation.
Extremely low blood sugar level is bad for our health as it can cause hypoglycemia which is characterized by the symptoms like blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, sudden nervousness, pale skin, headache, dizziness, shaking, unconsciousness,fever, seizure etc. ( source )
May Drop Blood Pressure To Extremely Low Level
One of the most important health benefits of lychees is their ability to provide relief from high blood pressure. This helps in controlling hypertension which could otherwise give rise to a number of problems like a headache, severe anxiety, breathing difficulty, an increased risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat etc ( source ).
This benefit of lychee is mainly due to the abundance of potassium in them. Consuming just 100 grams of lychees provides around 171 mg of potassium. Being a vasodilator, potassium relaxes our blood vessels and ensures that blood flows through them smoothly.
Although lychees are good for regulating blood pressure, but one should not consume them too much as overeating lychees could reduce our blood pressure to extremely low level and give rise to conditions like dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, cold, extreme tiredness, shallow breathing etc. ( source ). If you are already taking medication to regulate your blood pressure level then you should be very careful about the consumption of lychee and eat them in a very moderated quantity.
High Sugar Level
Lychees are good for the people with diabetes as they help in regulating our blood sugar level. However, one should not forget that they have high sugar level. Consuming too many lychees in short duration can cause a sudden rise in our blood sugar level and worsen the condition of the diabetic patients. It could also work otherwise and drops our blood sugar level to dangerously low level. For a safe side, both eastern and western doctors advice consuming no more than six to seven lychees at a time.
Lychees are “Hot”
They may be sweet and so delicious in taste, but as per Chinese culture, they are “hot ” in nature.Consuming too many “hot” food is bad for our heath as it is believed to throw off the balance of our body, and give rise to conditions like bleeding nose, sore throat, mouth soreness etc. For this reason, it is better to eat lychees in a limited quantity.
Lychees During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Stage
Lychees are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. and provides a number of health benefits. However, not much is known about whether or not they are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding stage. For this reason, pregnant and nursing women are advised to be on the safe side and avoid eating lychees. Or, if you want to eat lychees then get in touch with your doctor and follow their advice and recommendation.
Lychees and Auto-Immune Diseases
You never know when an advantage could turn into a disadvantage and lychees are a perfect example of this. They are an excellent source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that fights with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells ( including the immune system ).
By protecting our immune system from oxidative damage, lychees make our immune system more active and this protects us from various disease-causing microbes like bacterias,viruses etc. However, there is a disadvantage of this. Consuming too many lychees make our immune system hyperactive and this increases the risk of auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus ( systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis etc. For this reason, it is advised to be cautious and eat lychees in moderate quantity.
Lychees And Allergies
No doubt lychees provide a number of health benefits and are very delicious in taste, but unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy their benefits and taste. It has been found that individuals who are allergic to birch, sunflower seeds and other plants belonging to the same family, mugwort, and latex are also allergic to lychees.
These individuals should avoid consuming lychees as it may otherwise cause symptoms like hives, itching, labored breathing, swelling of lips and tongue. ( source )
Interference With Surgery
If you have a surgery scheduled, then it is advisable to stop consuming lychees at least two weeks prior to surgery, and even after surgery, wait for at least two weeks before including lychees in your diet again. This precaution is necessary because lychees could interfere with the blood sugar control during and after surgery.
In addition to this, lychees also lower our blood pressure level and this could also have an adverse effect on our health during surgery phase.
Lychees And Weight Gain
Lychees are low in calories and this makes them very beneficial for the individuals who are on a weight loss regime. Consuming 100 grams of lychees provides only 66 calories. They are also a good source of dietary fibers which keeps our stomach full for an extended period and decreases our urge to eat again and again. This controls overeating which is a major behind weight gain and obesity.In addition to this, lychees are mostly water ( which means no calories).
All these factors combined together, make lychees very beneficial for weight loss. So, does that means we can consume as many lychees as we want without worrying about weight gain ? The Answer is “No”. Every bite counts and if you start consuming too many lychees then you’ll end up acquiring a higher number of calories and this could interfere with your weight loss plan, and even lead to “weight gain”.
High In Carbohydrates
Another important reason to eat lychees in moderate quantity is their high carbohydrate level. Lychees are high in carbohydrate, and most of which is “sugar”.
Consuming a single cup serving of lychees provides around 30 grams of sugar , which is much higher in comparison to the sugar present in apples ( 13 grams of sugar per cup) and blueberries ( 7 grams of sugar per cup). Although there is no limit on the sugar obtained from natural sources (like fruits) but too much of carbohydrates is bad.
As per the Institute of Medicine, adults should get no more than 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates and rest from fat and protein. Lychees lack fat and protein and if you are consuming too many lychees then it means you are getting a large portion of calories from carbohydrates.
This side effect is a matter of concern only when you are consuming lychees in excessive quantity and when your diet lack protein and fat. If you are balancing things, then there is not much to worry, but as a matter of precaution, it is better to stay within limits.
Lack Certain Nutrients
Lychees are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins,minerals,antioxidant, phytonutrients etc. and this makes them beneficial for our health. However, it should be noted that lychees lack certain nutrients like proteins, essential fatty acids, calcium etc.
All these plays an important role in our body and if you want to stay healthy, then we need to have a balance of all these things in our diet. For this reason too, it is advisable to eat lychees in moderation.
High Sugar In Canned Lychees
Lychees are high in sugar and this level could be even higher if you are eating canned lychees. A single serving of canned lychees contains about 27 grams of sugar. Another reason to worry is that not all of this sugar is obtained naturally from fruit. So, if you are eating canned lychees then you may surpass the limit of added sugars recommended by American Heart Association.
As per American Heart Association, men should not consume more than 150 calories and women should not consume more than 100 calories from added sugar.
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