8 Reasons to eat this tropical fruit

By: Bel Marra Health | Food Facts | Monday, June 22, 2015 - 04:35 AM

health benefits of lycheeWe’re all pretty familiar with healthy tropical fruits. From pineapples to mangoes these delicious wonders are not only good, but good for us. But you may be missing out on another tropical fruit which is also offering a boost to your health.

Originally grown in Southern China, this superfood can now be found in Hawaii and Florida. This strange looking berry grows from a tree which produces a fruit red in color but with a leathery texture. But don’t let its outside skin scare you away, it hides a powerhouse underneath. So what delicious fruit are we referring to? It’s the lychee and we have eight reasons why you should be eating more of them.

Nutrition facts of lychee

So what nutritious wonders does the lychee hold? Well for starters lychees can offer you 226 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C. Additionally, a cup of lychee is only 125 calories, very low in fat (only 0.8 grams), offers 10 percent of your daily fiber and even provides a small amount of protein. The only real downfall of the lychee is its sugar content. A cup of lychee can add 29 grams of sugar to your diet so do be mindful of this.

As you can see lychees have the make-up to really boost our health and so here are eight reasons why you should eat them every day.

8 health benefits of lychee

1. Boosts the immune system: If you’ve ever had a cold – which you most likely have – you know a good boost to your weakened immune system is to increase your intake of vitamin C. Because of lychee’s high content of vitamin C it can be quite beneficial to maintaining a healthy, strong immune system. So not only can lychees help you recover from illness but they can aid in the prevention of it as well.

2. Digestion: If you’re tired of being bogged down by digestive issues reach for some lychee as a mode of relief. Because of their fiber content lychees can help with constipation as well as diarrhea.

3. Blood pressure: Lychees contain potassium. Potassium is used within the body to regulate and balance fluid. When fluid is balanced it can aid in healthy blood pressure because less stress is added onto the blood vessels. For even more potassium from lychees opt for the dry variety as the potassium levels are higher.

4. Antioxidants: Antioxidants are important to the body as they help fight off free-radical damage. The lychee provides high amount of essential antioxidants to fight oxidative stress.

5. Pain relief: Lychee has been shown to shrink swollen glands which may be the cause of pain. According to Chinese traditional medicine, lychee can be made into a tea for optimal pain relief benefits.

6. Weight loss: As lychees are low in fat, calories and cholesterol they are a perfect snack for anyone looking to lose weight. They are delicious and satisfying and so they may aid in weight loss. Also, as mentioned previously, their fiber content can keep you regular which is also essential for weight loss.

7. Skin benefits: Because of their antioxidant properties, lychee health benefits also extend to the skin. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage which is one of the main causes of fine lines and wrinkles. Lychees antioxidants can not only leave you with younger looking skin, they can eve slow down skins ageing.

8. Hair benefits: Another beauty benefit lychee can help with is hair. Healthy hair is a result of a healthy diet. This is where the antioxidants in lychee shine once again. Lychee’s nutrients can boost oxygen to the hair follicle resulting in healthier hair.

How to pick a lychee

If we’ve sold you on giving lychees a go you’ll probably need to know how to pick the perfect lychee.

Lychees are in season between June and October so shopping for them during that time period is best because they are at their freshest. Bright red lychees are the best and when they turn brown that is when they’ve become over-ripened.

The flavor of a lychee has been compared to that of grapes, strawberries and even watermelon, so if you bite into one that’s sour or bitter it’s not quite done yet.

When storing lychee keep them at room temperature as long as they are being consumed. If you don’t intend on eating them right away, simply keep them in a the refrigerator for longer storage.

How to enjoy a lychee

As a fruit lychees can be enjoyed on their own. If you want to incorporate lychee into other food items it pairs well with desserts like ice cream or other dairy products like yogurt. Dry lychees, too, can be baked or eaten on their own like raisins.

Lychees can be added in smoothies, lemonades, iced teas and even alcoholic beverages – but keep the latter in moderation of course!

If you’re looking for a new tropical fruit to try and still receive a slew of health benefits look no further than the tropical lychee!


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