Lychees

It is Lychee season; I grew up with lychees and love this delicious fruit. It is named as “the king of fruits” in Asia. It is not only very tasty with a sweet flavor and fragrant smell, but also has numerous health benefits.

Lychee belongs to soapberry family. Fresh lychees are available in the markets from May to August. It is a tropical fruit originally from Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, but now it is growing in many parts of the world.

Based on Chinese Medicine, lychees belong to the food groups that have “hot” nature, which benefits your “Yang” energy. There is a Chinese saying “three lychees are equal to a fire.” I used to eat quite a few at a time but got the “fire” in my throat afterward. Then I was told by local people to soak peeled lychees in salty water for a few minutes before eating, which would help reduce the “fire”. Interestingly enough, after I followed this and I have been enjoying more lychees without suffering from a sore throat.

Nutrition facts of lychees are as follow:

Fresh Lychee Fruit
Nutritive value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy66 Kcal3.3%
Carbohydrates16.53 g12.7%
Protein0.83 g1.5%
Total Fat0.44 g2%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber1.3 g3.5%
Vitamins  
Folates14 µg3.5%
Niacin0.603 mg3.5%
Choline7.1 mg1%
Pyridoxine0.100 mg9%
Riboflavin0.065 mg5%
Thiamin0.0111%
Vitamin A0 mg0%
Vitamin C71.5 mg119%
Vitamin E0.07 mg0.5%
Vitamin K0.4 µg0.3%
Electrolytes  
Sodium1 mg0%
Potassium171 mg3.5%
Minerals  
Calcium5 mg0.5%
Copper0.148 mg16%
Iron0.31 mg4%
Magnesium10 mg2.5%
Manganese0.055 mg2.5%
Phosphorus31 mg4.5%
Selenium0.6 µg1%
Zinc0.7 mg0.5%
Phyto-nutrients  
Carotene-ß0 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin0 µg

Health benefits

Prevent high blood pressure
Ant-aging and skin care: Lychee is a great source of Vitamin C; it also contains other nutrients such as thiamin, niacin, and copper that help improve your skin condition.[1] Thiamin plays an important role in metabolizing fats and protein for healthy skins; niacin enhances the hydration condition of the skin while a small amount of copper speeds up the recovery of a damaged skin. All these benefits make lychee a super fruit for your healthy and vibrant skin. With a high amount of Vitamin C and other antioxidants such as flavonoids, lychee helps protect the skin from oxidative stress due to pollution and UV radiation. Those powerful antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect your skin from damage. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps enhance your immune system function and protect you against cold, flu, and infections.
You could also read A Super Charged Anti-aging Diet Part One to help boost your immune system and reverse the aging process.

Prevent high blood pressure: Lychee also contains a decent amount of potassium. Potassium helps lessen the side effect of sodium. In average, most people in America consume more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily, which is more than twice the amount that American Heart Association recommends.[2] Potassium helps excrete sodium through urine; potassium also helps relax blood vessel walls and lowers blood pressure. Thus, it reduces the risk of heart disease. Lychee also contains minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and folate that help maintain blood pressure.
Figs are also a good source of potassium.

Improve blood circulation: Oligonol is a low molecular weight polyphenol and is derived from lychee fruit. The study has shown that oligonol has potent anti-oxidant effects. It helps prevent heart disease,[3] and also helps to improve blood circulation by relaxing blood vessels. Researchers suggested that fat cells generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). The increased oxidative stress in fat tissues may relate to metabolic syndrome. They discovered that polyphenols can improve fat metabolism and glucose metabolism, therefore, they help reduce the waistline and prevent diabetes.[4]

Tart Cherry is another super food that is loaded with antioxidants.

Storage

Lychees can last for a few days in a refrigerator. They should be used quickly because they begin to ferment as they age. To keep freshness, lychees should not be peeled before serving, to prevent color change from red to brown; they should be wrapped in a paper towel and kept in a perforated plastic bag in a refrigerator. You can freeze, can or make jams with them, or even dry them to prolong their shelf life.

How to enjoy lychees in many ways

Lychee drink

  • Eat fresh lychees or lychee nuts (dry lychees)
  • Add lychees into salads
  • Enjoy an icy lychee juice
  • Make lychee jellies, jams, sauces, and syrups
  • Add lychees on a cheese platter
  • Add lychees into yogurt as a delicious dessert
  • Dried lychees can be added to desserts
  • Make lychee tea with green tea and lemon
  • Add lychees into your smoothies

Lychee recipes

  • Mixed Green Salad with Grilled Chicken & Lychees

Ingredients (4 servings)

Lychee chicken salad

  • Lychees (fresh or canned): 1 cup
  • Mixed greens: 4 cups
  • Red pepper (medium, sliced): 1
  • Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless): 1 lb.
  • Ginger (fresh, finely chopped): 1 tsp.
  • Cherry tomatoes (fresh): ½ cup
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon juice: 1 tbsp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • BBQ sauce: ½ cup

Preparation

  1. Peel the skin of lychees and take out the seed in the middle of the fruit.
  2. Lightly brush the chicken with BBQ sauce. Grill the chicken and cut it into strips.
  3. In a large bowl toss together the salad greens, cherry tomatoes, chicken, lychees, red pepper, and ginger, sprinkle olive oil and lemon juice on top and mix well.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  • Lychee & Thyme Grilled Tuna

Ingredients (4 servings)

Lychee with tuna

  • Tuna steaks (yellowfin): 4 (6 oz)
  • Olive oil: ¼ cup
  • Thyme (dry): 1 tsp.
  • Basil (dry): 1 tsp.
  • Lime juice: 2 tbsp.
  • Lychees (canned or fresh, chopped): ½ cup
  • Ginger (fresh, finely chopped): 1 tsp.
  • Garlic (fresh, finely chopped): 1 tbsp.
  • Oregano (dry): 1 tsp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Mix all the ingredients except tuna in a bowl. Rub the tuna steaks with the mixture. Place the steaks in a sealed container in a refrigerator for about 3 hours.
  2. Grill tuna on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes and turn once.

Do you know that you can use your navel to treat digestive issues and other issues? Ancient Chinese Medicine practitioners have been using the navel both as a diagnostic tool and also a treatment center for thousands of years. We created this Magical Navel Patch that has many health benefits including the following; click the image below to find out more.
1. Anti-aging
2. Anti-inflammatory and reduce the abdominal fat
3. Promote a sound sleep
4. Balance Yin and Yang energy.

References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/beauty/face/skin-nutrition
  2. https://nuteksalt.com/uploads/blog/Striking_a_Balance__Less_Sodium_(Salt),_More_Potassium.pdf
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829218/
  4. Nishihira J., et al. Amelioration of Abdominal Obesity by Low-Molecular-Weight Polyphenol (Oligonol) from Lychee. Can Oligonol® have an effect on metabolic syndrome by reducing visceral fat obesity? Journal of Functional Foods. 2009;1(4): 341–348.

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About the author: Lucy Liu
As a Registered Dietitian, Holistic Health Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Master Hypnotist, Master NLP Practitioner, Life Coach and Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Lucy Liu, the founder of optimalhealthsolutions.ca, has established a widely recognized reputation in holistic health. After many years of serving patients and clients as a Clinical Dietitian, Lucy has devoted herself to bringing a holistic approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the mind and body, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.Read More.To connect:
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