What is the lychee?

The lychee is the fruit of Litchi chinensis, native species of the Sapindaceae family of southern China.


What are the nutritional properties of lychee?

100 g of lychee make 66 Calories and:

  • 16.53 g carbohydrates
  • 0.83 g of protein
  • 0.44 g of lipids
  • 1.3 g of fibers
  • 71.5 mg of vitamin C
  • 7.1 mg of choline
  • 0.603 mg of niacin
  • 0.100 mg of pyridoxine
  • 0.07 mg of vitamin E
  • 0.065 mg of riboflavin
  • 0.011 mg of thiamin
  • 14 micrograms of folate
  • 0.4 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 171 mg of potassium
  • 31 mg of phosphorus
  • 10 mg of magnesium
  • 5 mg of calcium
  • 1 mg of sodium
  • 0.6 micrograms of selenium
  • 0.31 mg of iron
  • 0.148 mg of copper
  • 0.07 mg of zinc
  • 0,055 mg of manganese

The lychee is also a source of polyphenols such as oligonol.


When to not eat lychee?

The lychee should be consumed with caution by those who take medications that affect blood sugar levels, the risk of bleeding, the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, anticancer, anti-inflammatory agents, antiviral, immunomodulatory or painkillers.


Seasonality of lychee

Fresh lychees are available on the market from May to October.


Possible benefits and contraindications of lychee

Besides being rich in nutrients the lychee is also very juicy: which is why its consumption can offer refreshment during the hot summer days. It can also protect the health with fibers useful for the good functioning of the intestines, antioxidants that can protect cells from the damaging action of free radicals (such as vitamin C, which also promotes the proper functioning of the immune system), vitamins B which are fundamental for proper functioning of the metabolism. Minerals and in particular potassium, are valuable for cardiovascular health, copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Finally,  oligonol seems to exert an antioxidant, protection against the flu virus and helps improve the flow of blood, weight loss and skin protection from UV rays.

Allergy to lychee is quite rare, but it seems to be a possibility of cross-reactions with some pollens (such as sunflower) and with latex.

Due to the high content of sugar it is not advisable to consume large quantities of this fruit if you have diabetes.