Health benefits and nutritional information

Lychee is a tropical fruit with potential health benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Among other things, it can have anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties.

Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of lychee fruit, including its nutritional profile.

Lychees are the fruit of an evergreen tree Litchi chinensis, which grows in tropical and subtropical regions. China is the primary producer of fruit, followed by India.

The history and cultivation of lychees go back to the past 2,000 BC, according to Chinese records. The Chinese imperial court served it as a delicacy.

Lychee fruits have a hard inedible skin that is ripe red or pink. Pale edible flesh is surrounded on the inside by inedible brown seeds.

People know Litchi chinensis by various names, including:

  • litchi
  • lychee nut
  • leech
  • Chinese cherry

The fruit has a sweet floral flavor, and people usually eat it fresh or canned. Manufacturers use lychees to make ice cream, juices and sauces. It is also available in some Asian supermarkets in dried form.

The nutritional content of raw lychee fruit per 100 grams (g) is as follows. One lychee fruit is approximately 10 g.

100 g of lychee contains 95% of the daily requirement of vitamin C for adult females and 79% of the need for adult males.

Lychee also contains smaller amounts of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

Fresh lychee is a healthy choice for adding two cups of fruit a day recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. One cup of lychee is equal 190 g fruit.

Consumption of canned lychee in syrup, lychee juice or lychee desserts, however, can take someone more than 10% of daily calories because the restriction of added sugars is recommended by experts.

A 2015 study indicates that lychee meat is a rich source of plant compounds called proanthocyanidins. According to the study, proanthocyanidins can have the following health benefits:

  • antioxidant
  • antidiabetic
  • anti-angiogenic, which means preventing tumors from growing blood vessels
  • anticancer, meaning inhibiting or preventing cancer
  • anti-inflammatory
  • cardioprotective

Proanthocyanidins are also present in other fruits such as apples, blueberries and grapes.

According to a 2016 reviews, scientists have discovered the beneficial effects of lychee extracts from different parts of plants in both laboratory and human studies. Scientists have discovered that the extract inhibits cancer cells and viruses, protects the liver and improves exercise.

However, it is important to note that someone may not have the same benefits from eating fruit as scientists have achieved with laboratory extracts.

One more study indicated that lychee pulp, especially the dried type, has antitumor properties. The authors concluded that a fruit diet could be of great benefit.

Lychee may below blood sugar level.

In 2014, scientists investigating the outbreak of unexplained diseases among children in India found that the cause was lychee. Malnourished children ate immature lychees from orchards. The combination of a compound in the fruit called hypoglycine A and low blood sugar caused acute neurological effects and even death.

People who eat typical amounts of mature lychee should be fine, but those taking diabetes medications should be careful.

People who take the following drugs You should also be careful because lychees can interact with them:

  • anticoagulants such as warfarin or heparin
  • antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • anti-cancer agents
  • antiviral agents
  • cardiovascular agents
  • cholesterol or lipid lowering agents
  • immune modulating agents
  • painkillers
  • herbal supplements such as Ginkgo biloba

There have also been a few rare cases of people having allergic reactions to the lychee fruit, as noted by the elderly study.

Fresh lychees are counted on two cups of fruit a day that experts recommend. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, and also contains fiber and other vitamins and minerals.

Herbal compounds in lychee have antioxidant properties that are beneficial to health.

A person should avoid eating too much processed lychee food or drink because it contains added sugars. People taking medication should consult their doctor before consuming moderate or large amounts of lychee.