and juicy lychee or "Litchi"
heralds you the arrival of
summer.Besides sweet and nutritious, the berries have cooling effect on
the human body. Botanically, this exotic fruit belongs to the
family of Sapindaceae and
named scientifically as Litchi
The L. chinensis is a tropical fruit tree native
to the low elevations of the Kwangtung
provinces of Southern China.
Its outer surface is covered with rough leathery
rind or peel featuring pink color. The peel can be easily removable in
the ripe fruits. Inside, the pulp consists of edible portion or aril
that is white, translucent, sweet, and juicy.
benefits of Lychee
Lychee fruit contains 66 calories per 100 g,
comparable to that in the table-grapes. It has no saturated fats or
cholesterol, but composes of good amounts of dietary fiber, vitamins,
- Research studies suggest
a low molecular weight polyphenol, is found abundantly in lychee fruit.
Oligonol is thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-influenza virus
actions. In addition, it helps improve blood flow in organs, reduce
weight, and protect skin from harmful UV rays. (Takuya
Sakurai (Kyorin University, Japan), Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem.,
72(2), 463-476, 2008).
Litchi, like citrus fruits,
is an excellent
source of vitamin C;
100 g fresh fruits provide 71.5 mg or 119% of daily-recommended value.
Studies suggest that consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the
against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free
Further, it is a very good source of
such as thiamin, niacin, and folates. These vitamins are essential
they function by acting as co-factors to help the body metabolize
carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Litchi also contains a very
good amount of
minerals like potassium and copper.
Potassium is an important component
of cell and body fluids help control heart rate and blood pressure;
thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
Sources for this article include: