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7 Little-Known Health Benefits of Lychee

Lychee — sometimes spelled litchi — is a white, creamy fruit encased in rough, red, leathery skin. Originating in China, the tropical fruit is known for its sweet and fragrant flavor. You can enjoy lychees fresh by removing the skin and eating the aril — the fleshy part around the seed, or by dehydrating them and eating them dry or adding them to recipes.
litchi

In the northern hemisphere, lychees are in season in May and June. If you’ve never tried them, you’re in a for a sweet treat. They taste similar to grapes and provide many surprising health benefits. Here’s what lychees have to offer:

  1. Disease-fighting flavonoids

    Lychee contains quercetin — a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, plus cancer-fighting heart-healthy kaempferol and more.

  2. Antioxidant protection

    The antioxidants in lychee help fight damaging free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress. They also work to reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

  3. Heart-healthy nutrients

    The combination of flavonoids, fiber and antioxidants in lychee work in conjunction to support heart health. The fruit has also been shown to help increase nitric oxide in the blood, which can help open constricted blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

  4. Anti-inflammatory benefits

    Studies show that flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract has potent anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been found to suppress inflammation and tissue damage caused by high-intensity exercise training and may also be helpful in treating inflammatory disease.

  5. Blood regulation

    Lychee contains magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin C, magnesium and folate — all of which are required for proper blood circulation and formation.

  6. Potent polyphenols

    Lychees have one of the highest concentrations of polyphenols among fruits. Among them is rutin, is bioflavonoid known to strengthen blood vessels. Rutin can be helpful for varicose veins, hemorrhoids and bruising.

  7. High vitamin C content

Another potent nutrient in lychee fruit is vitamin C, which has numerous functions in the body. Vitamin C plays a role in the body’s collagen production as well as wound healing and repairing, nutrient absorption, brain health, immune system support and much more.

Lychees do have one downfall and that is their high sugar content. There are 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.

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