AUG 06, 2016 9:31 AM PDT

The Nutritional Value Behind the Lychee Fruit

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet
via flickr
As I sat at my dining room table eating an entire bag of lychees with my girlfriends, I began to question whether or not I could excuse my late-night snacking because of how potentially nutritious the fruit could be. After all, I'm all too familiar with the indisputably negative effects of eating late at night

Sure, the crazy high levels of natural sugars in the fruit don't leave much room for excuses; there are about 29 grams of sugar in just one cup of lychees. However, in my defense, I now know for certain that lychees are highly nutritious. 

A lychee is a small and sweet fruit found mostly in South Asia. Its fragrant juicy flesh is protected by a thin rough shell. Just one of these small fruits contain about 11 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, based on a 2000 calorie diet. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps protect that body against foreign invaders and illnesses. The vitamin is water soluble and thus can’t be stored in the body; so it's important to have a constant intake of it. 

Lychees are filled with additional antioxidants, including vitamin B complex, the bioflavonoid rutin, and phytonutrient flavonoids. Antioxidants inhibit the ultimately-damaging process of oxidation, according to the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Oxidation causes oxygen molecules to split into free radicals. The process can cause premature aging, which is associated with deteriorating bone density, an increased risk of developing an illness, and wrinkles. 

The fruit also contains high amounts of fiber. According to a 2010 study published in the Open Access Human Nutrition Journal, “epidemiological and clinical studies demonstrate that intake of dietary fiber and whole grain is inversely related to obesity, type two diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD)."

The fruit has a relatively short season; only about six weeks in the summer. They’re difficult to find in American markets and can be daunting to eat if you’ve never tackled the task before. 

That said, in my humble opinion, they’re totally worth the hassle. 

Sources: The Journal of Biological ChemistryOpen Access Human Nutrition Journal, Lychees Online
 
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
SEP 27, 2020
Microbiology
New Insight Into An Old Bacterial Pathogen
SEP 27, 2020
New Insight Into An Old Bacterial Pathogen
There are many different strains of Escherichia coli bacteria, some of which live harmlessly in the human gut. But some ...
OCT 08, 2020
Immunology
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
OCT 08, 2020
Air Pollution Particles Detected in the Placenta, Immune Cells Mop Them Up
Tiny, black particles much like those found in polluted air have been found in the placentas of pregnant women, as repor ...
OCT 05, 2020
Earth & The Environment
The rising concern of aerosol particles
OCT 05, 2020
The rising concern of aerosol particles
A study from Colorado State University scientists provides insight into the resiliency of aerosol particles, particles f ...
OCT 09, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Older Adults Use Cannabis for Common Health Problems
OCT 09, 2020
Older Adults Use Cannabis for Common Health Problems
Researchers from the University of California San Diego have found that older adults tend to use cannabis for medical pu ...
OCT 16, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FDA Warns Against NSAIDs After Week 20 of Pregnancy
OCT 16, 2020
FDA Warns Against NSAIDs After Week 20 of Pregnancy
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from 20 ...
OCT 18, 2020
Cardiology
Many Heart Disease Deaths Are Preventable With Diet Improvements
OCT 18, 2020
Many Heart Disease Deaths Are Preventable With Diet Improvements
New research has suggested that over two-thirds of heart disease cases around the world are preventable with improvement ...
Loading Comments...