[tr-shareit]fun fact: A little known fact is that the seed of the lychee is toxic, and while the fruit itself is a great aid for digestion, the seed can wreak havoc with the digestive system. Ensure that you do not consume the seed.[/tr-shareit]
A member of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae, lychee is a sweet and juicy treat. This fruit, scientifically known as Litchi chinensis, is commonly found in South East Asian countries. Small in size, but definitely a giant in nutritional benefits.
Lychee is naturally juicy, which gives it a high content of water. This is very advantageous to keep you dehydrated. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that for a 100-gram serving of lychee, there are only 66 calories without cholesterol and saturated fat.
A good source of energy, lychee is made up of 16.53g of carbohydrates, which is 12.7% of its daily recommended value. It also holds 1.5% of the daily-recommended intake of protein and 2% DRI of fat. The dietary fiber of lychee is about 3.5% DRI making it a healthier snack option.
Our body needs to replenish water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, which are eliminated by sweating or urinating. Lychee is rich with vitamin C. It contains 71.5mg or 119% DRI of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential to protect the body from infectious diseases by improving the resistance and boosting the immune system.
Lychee is also known to contain a polyphenol called oligonol, which is found to have antioxidant properties, regulates blood flow, and reduces weight.
The vitamin B complex contained in lychees assists in the metabolism of macronutrients like fat, protein, and carbohydrates- all of which are converted by the body into energy. Among the B-vitamins in lychee, pyridoxine has the highest contribution with 9% of its DRI. Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 produces neurotransmitters that carry signal between nerve cells. Among the key functions of this vitamin is to make red blood cells and control homocysteine level.
For minerals, lychee carries significant amount of copper, phosphorus, and iron. Copper (16% DRI) is important to ensure the health of bones, blood vessels, and nerves. It is also involved in the formation red blood cells. Phosphorus (4.5% DRI), meanwhile, aids bone and teeth formation, maintains acid-base balance in the body, and controls the release and utilization of energy. Iron (4% DRI), which rests in red blood cells and muscle cells, carries oxygen across the body.
Other minerals present in lychee include magnesium, manganese, selenium, calcium, and zinc.
Moreover, the tropical fruit carries minimal amount of sodium and good quantity of potassium. Both are vital components of body fluids. Potassium control heart rate and blood pressure. It also offsets the effect of sodium in the body.
The Important Health Benefits of Lychee
Lychee is a great source of dietary fiber that helps in achieving efficient digestion. Lychee is one of those fruits that are able to bulk up stool for immediate and normal elimination. This optimizes the digestive process avoiding various types of digestive issues like constipation, gastrointestinal problems, and indigestion. Fiber also helps in the nutrient absorption ability of the body through stimulating digestive and gastric enzymes. If the body does not receive sufficient amounts of fiber daily, it tends to waste the nutrients contained in the food we eat. If you always eat foods rich in fiber, every bit of nutrient will be properly absorbed by the body and distributed to its parts that need them. Fiber also clears up the digestive tract so that food intake movement is regulated and also assures the coordination of intestine’s peristaltic motion for regular bowel activity.
Strengthens the Immune System
Lychee is known for its remarkable levels of Vitamin C content. In fact a cup of it can fill up the daily Vitamin C requirement of the body. Vitamin C is a very essential mineral needed by the body for it to be able to defend multiple disease and illnesses on its own. It is the primary vitamin that boosts the immune system to set up body’s defense against bacteria and viruses that cause common disease like colds, cough, flu, infections, and others more.
Lychee is very abundant in strong antioxidants that remove harmful toxins in the body which triggers development of cancer cells. Lychee has polyphenols and proanthocyanidins that keep free radical formation in control. Free radicals have very horrible effects in the human body. It primarily causes irregularities that lead to serious sickness such as cancer. Lychee contains organic compounds that effectively thwart off cancer cells.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Lychee is also concentrated with rich amounts of potassium. Potassium maintains normal fluid balance in the body. It has very low sodium content that is also beneficial to keep blood pressure low. Potassium is a vasodilator that relaxes the arteries and blood vessels eliminating constriction and stress. High blood pressure compromises the stability of the heart so make sure to eat lychee regularly.
Normalizes Circulation of Blood
Another very important mineral that can be found in lychee is copper. Copper plays an integral role in formation of red blood cells. Regular consumption of lychee regulates blood circulation through proper oxygenation of the body organs and cells. Lychee also has oligonol which is a very strong phenolic property that helps achieve normal blood circulation.
Supports Heart Health
Eating lychee or drinking its juice is very healthy for the heart because of its antioxidant content. Consumption of foods rich in antioxidants reduces risks of stroke, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, heart attack and other heart ailments. Because of lychee’s high amount of antioxidants and fiber, its condumption stimulate low cholesterol levels, strengthen veins and arteries, support cardiac muscles, and protect cardiovascular tissues.Lychee helps manage the body’s cholesterol level as well as assure the normal condition of the artery walls. It is of much significance that our cholesterol level is managed because too much cholesterol in the body, especially LDL cholesterol, can cause cholesterol oxidation that can lead to heart failure.
Promotes Healthy Bones
Lychee has considerably high levels of magnesium and phosphorus. Phosphorus and magnesium work together for the quality and optimal strength of the bones. This fruit also is a great source of manganese and copper to reduce bone fragility. In addition, eating lychee improves the calcium absorption ability of the bones to keep it always strong and free from bone disorders. Making it a daily habit to consume lychee will surely ward off bone disorders such as bone loss, osteoporosis, fractures, etc.
Helps in Losing Weight
Regularly eating lychee can reduce overall body fats especially in the belly portion. If you are fond of eating sweets, eating a single serving of lychee can cut off fat development. This is because of its antioxidant content that removes toxins in the body that results to shredding of excessive fats. If you are trying to lose weight and looking for an effective weight loss diet, consuming lychee is of great help. Because of the abundance of its fiber, its consumption slowly decreases the body fat storage. This is because food intake is quickly eliminated from the body due to regular bowel activities. The food intake is immediately wasted reducing the probability of fermentation of food which increases the probability of fat accumulation. Because of lychee’s ability to regulate digestion, its consumption also promotes weight loss.
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