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Lychee Juice: An Emperor’s Choice

Lychee Fruit

Lychee is another tropical and subtropical fruit which grows wild in the regions of Southern China and Southeast Asia. It is a nutritious fruit with bright red rough skin and clear, whitish flesh and a single brown seed. This fruit has a distinct and unique aroma that disappears once lychees are canned, so this fruit is mostly eaten fresh.  Its flesh is sweet with an unique flavor that you can taste in lychee alone.

Common Names For Lychee

  • Lychee
  • Litchi
  • Leechee
  • Lichee
  • Lichi
  • Laichi
  • Lichu
  • Lizhi

As stated above, lychees are mostly eaten fresh but they can also be turned into a healthy juice drink or beverage, delicious ice cream, used as sun-dried lychees or for lychee honey, lychee wine, and lychee gums and candies.

ice cream, candy, wine, and dried lychee

Cultivation

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Japan
  • India (Bihar)
  • South Africa
  • Hawaii
  • Florida

History

It was documented that lychee originates from China, particularly the south and from Northern Vietnam and Malaysia. During the 1st century, lychees were very popular in the Imperial Court of China so a special fast horse carriage brought the fresh fruit all the way from Guangdong province where the best lychees grew.

In fact, several emperors announced that their favorite fruit was lychee. They demanded a wide production of lychees. During the Sund Dynasty, Emperor Li Longji was one of the emperors who wanted lychee so much that lychees were delivered in great expense to the capital of China. Several praises for this fruit were documented when European travelers visited China and tasted lychee, they described it as “an exceeding gallant taste”.

Lychee Juice and Extract

Lychee is in fact a really sweet and tasty fruit, but there is another way to consume your fresh lychees – as an extract or as lychee juice.

Apart from it being refreshingly unique and delicious, lychee juice has quite a few health benefits. It contains polyphenol antioxidant. Be careful when picking your fresh lychee fruits, make sure that they don’t have any bruises or discolorations in their skin and flesh. Pick your lychees only if fruits are already ripe, if not, lychee juice won’t taste as good.

 

Lychee Juice Health Benefits

Lychee contains numerous vitamins and minerals which makes it an extremely healthy fruit. Have you ever wondered why Chinese emperors favored lychees so much? The Chinese culture is rich in its herbal and traditional medicines which they generally get from nature. Lychee was, in fact, one of those traditional medicines that Chinese people widely used. It is believed that this fruit could diminish tumors and eliminate any ailments in your body. No wonder Chinese emperors wanted this fruit so badly.

The Chinese surely had good enough reason for believing and relying on lychees. According to the Institute of Vibrant Living, lychees contain powerful antioxidants in the form of polyphenols which has a positive impact on our bodies. Here is a list of lychee main benefits:

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Lychee has been known to strengthen the heart because of its numerous polyphenols (antioxidant) and vitamin C. Both these powerful antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties which among other things, help relieve inflammation in our cardiovascular system.

Good Energy Provider

A daily intake of lychees could provide you with enough energy for the whole day because lychee is full of carbohydrates.

Helps People Loose Weight

Good news for people who are desperately trying to diet and reduce weight. A study in Hokkaido Information University in Japan showed that people with low metabolic rate, which means people who get fat easily because their body’s metabolism is slow, and those people with Metabolic Syndrome (condition which is characterized with hypertension, obesity, and disturbed insulin and glucose metabolism) have significantly reduced weight for 10 straight weeks because of lychees.

The study showed that Oliganols in lychees are an effective weight reducer and are also advised for the prevention of Metabolic Syndrome which could lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Improves Metabolism

Because lychees are naturally rich in fatty acids, they help our bodies absorb nutrients and improve our metabolism.

Makes Skin Healthier

Lychees are rich in Vitamin E which is famous because of its effects on our skin.

Lychee Nutritional Value

(1 cup or 190 g of lychee)

125 Calories

Water: 155.34 g

Protein: 1.58 g

Lipids (fats): 0.84 g

Ash: 0.84 g

Carbohydrate:  31.41 g

 Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g

Sugars(fructose) : 28.94 g

Calcium:  10 mg

Iron:   0.59 mg

Magnesium:  19 mg

Phosphorus:  59 mg

Potassium:   325 mg

Sodium:   2 mg

Zinc:  0.13 mg

Copper:   0.281 mg

Manganese:  0.105 mg

Selenium:  1.1 mcg

Vitamin C:  135.9 mg

Thiamin:  0.021 mg

Riboflavin:  0.124 mg

Niacin:  1.146 mg

Vitamin B:  6 0.19 mg

Folate:   27 mcg

Choline:  13.5 mg

Vitamin E:  0.13 mg

Vitamin K:  0.8 mcg

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated:  0.228 g

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated:  0.251 g

Tryptophan:  0.013 g

Lysine: 0.078 g

Methionine:  0.017 g

 

Lychee Yogurt Drink Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-fat lime yogurt (lemon)
  • ½  cup chopped lychees
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 6 ice cubes
  • ¼ tablespoon ground cardamom

Directions:

  1. In a blender, pour in yogurt, chopped lychees, lime juice, honey, ice cubes, and ground cardamom. Mix until smooth and thick (5 minutes). Make sure the ice cubes are completely in bits.
  2. Pour in a large drinking glass and enjoy!

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