How lychee fruit "travelled" around the world? Lychee, or litchi fruit, is another popular kind in the tropical fruit list that we want to introduce to you this time. Whoever has tried lychee before would completely fall for its white soft texture with sweet juice in every single piece.
In my previous post, where I talked about pomelo fruit fact, I promised that today I would talk about lychee- one of the other Asian fruit wonder that you can't miss. So here you are, I can't let you down at all!
So, litchi fans should not miss all the information that we are going to talk about later, including its nature and nutrition facts, and eating cautions.
First seen in China
As stated in Huffingpost, litchi is believed to originate from southern China. It first appeared during Song dynasty around 2000BC, and it was the favorite fruit of many queens and emperors for its beauty and health effects. It has the name as what it is today because litchi means “leaving the branch”, so once it is picked, it can easily get deteriorated. Later in time, lychee fruit got spreaded over neighborhood Southeast Asia countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. and even to offshore islands, India, and some other European countries. The litchi fruit later on attracted the attention of many European travelers who had a chance to visit China back in the 1500s. In late 1850, Chinese gold miner workers brought litchi to Australia and it started to get more popular since then, especially in New South Wales and Queensland. What’s more, it can be cultivated elsewhere in the world, so you don’t worry about craving this kind of fruit no matter where you live. Unlike other fruits, it is the only member that represents the soapberry family, known as genus Litchi.
Basically, there are more than a hundred kinds of lychee that are currently grown and consumed in Southern China, its origin place, and also Southeast Asia; however, like many other Asian fruits, lychee is best grown in a wet and humid environment, so it can only been found by fewer varieties in the United States. Nowadays, you can find it easily everywhere around Asia in spring-end time, around May to October specifically.
The irresistible taste
The litchi tree can grow up to average 50 ft tall with smooth, gray branches and each tree can bear bunches of fleshy fruits. This exotic fruit somehow resembles longan fruit and rambutan fruit, which are also the well-known fruit names in Asia. Each fruit is almost round-shaped and 1-1.2 in. long with red rind and rough inedible texture outside and white color with soft, sweet and not too juicy flesh inside, the taste that everyone would feel at ease.
Moreover, when peeling off the rind, if you take a careful look, you would notice a very thin translucent white layer covering the flesh inside. This sometimes would taste bitter, so people tend to throw it away together with the peel. However, it is actually also the important part that does good to your health, and we will discuss more later. The fruit seeds are typically round and look similar to those of rambutan or sapodilla fruit.
|Amount Per 100 grams|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.4 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0.1 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 1 mg||0%|
|Potassium 171 mg||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17 g||5%|
|Dietary fiber 1.3 g||5%|
|Sugar 15 g|
|Protein 0.8 g||1%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||119%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
To take a good look at the nutrition chart, the litchi fruit provides a good supply of potassium in every 100gr or 3.5oz roughly. What’s more, the body would consume a great amount of vitamin C in each similar amount of lychee. Those are all essential nutrients for our bodies. It is a very low calorie fruit, which is only about 66 calories per 3.5 oz serving.
You still must be cautious!
It shouldn’t be too dangerous for kids to consume this fruit. However, this famous tropical fruit is also a “hot source” or yang fruit that not many people can get used to it. Even worse, some people tend to be allergic as zits/ ances may appear right away after one day having lychee. Some people may get serious allergies by eating too much lychee. Other side effects of over-eating lychee can be headache, constipation, etc. What the theory behind it is, this is a sugar-rich fruit that makes body consume a lot of energy that in return makes our body feel hotter. Afterwards, it increases the blood glucose, reduces the coefficient of performance of liver and makes the liver work less effectively in detoxifying. Another caution I am always mindful of is never eating lychee with an empty stomach. BBC once stated that there are toxins that prevent the body from producing glucose, thus badly affecting hungry children with low blood sugar levels.
You still can enjoy the litchi fruit...
No worries should you have if you know these small tips and keep you away from the above headaching issues. When eating, it is recommended that you eat the silky white skin behind the peel, as we mentioned above. This skin is somehow tart and bitter, but it helps reduce the body heat when eating together with the fruit meat. Our next tip is to drink any kind of herb tea before eating litchi fruit. Some light-salt water, herbal tea, or mung bean soup, winter-melon soup can also emit the heat out of your body, since these foods are considered as low-sugar food (or yin/ expansive food). Last but not least, you need to eat lychee after your main meals because your body has absorbed enough level of sodium that can balance out the sugary effects afterwards.
I am always fascinated by how Asian fruits got widespread over other places around the countries and became more popular thanks to their tasty flavor and colorful shapes. Lychee is also one of them, which is the combination of mild sweetness with the beautiful pink-red skin color and milky white flesh. And you would be more surprised after reading the beneficial side of lychee fruit. And surely, I would also like to recommend a few useful and easy-to-do recipes to make lychee into delicious soup, smoothies or even desserts.
Lately, I've been craving sugar apple. This is definitely another nature wonder that you will fall hard for. So if you wonder more about how I like this fruit so much, stay tuned in my blog. Have a nice day!