Kitchen Tips

Lychee – The Chinese Romance Fruit

Lychees are tropical fruits native to China. The heart-shaped fruits have thin, tough, inedible rinds that peel off to reveal juicy, whitish flesh surrounding hard, brown pits. Lychees are very sweet and have a subtle, perfumed taste. They are low in fat and sodium and derive most of their calories from sugar.

Lychee - The Chinese Romance Fruit

Image Courtesy: Sugree Phatanapherom used under the Creative Commons Licence

Lychee, when translated from Chinese spells ‘Gift for a joyful life’, and it surely lives up to its name. The lychee fruit contains vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy diet, it is sweet and delicious and it has been enjoyed joyfully by natives of south-east Asia for centuries.

The ancient Chinese legend narrates that the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty would dispatch royal guards some 600 miles to pick lychee in an effort to woo his favourite concubine, to entice her with the sweet, fragrant flesh of the lychee fruit. Hence now the lychee fruit in China is a symbol of romance and love.

Lychee - Chinese Romance Fruit

Image Courtesy: Carol VanHook used under the Creative Commons Licence

Here are some of the claimed health benefits of lychee:

Lychee fruit has no saturated fats or cholesterol, but composes of good amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Like citrus fruits, lychee is an excellent source of vitamin C which helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as Thiamin, Niacin, and Folates. These vitamins are essential since they function by acting as co-factors to help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Lychee also carries 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.

Lychee is a good source of fibre and carbohydrates which are quite essential for the body.

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