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Lychee  is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to the Kwangtung and Fukien provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a floral smell and a fragrant, sweet flavor. Since this perfume-like flavor is lost in the process of canning, the fruit is usually eaten fresh.

The lychee is cultivated in China, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and parts of Southern Africa. China is the main producer, followed by India.

Litchi chinensis is an evergreen tree that is frequently less than 19 m tall, sometimes reaching more than 15 m. The bark is grey-black, the branches a brownish red. Leaves are 10 to 25 cm or longer, with leaflets in 2-4 pairs. Litchee have a similar foliage to the Lauraceae family likely due to convergent evolution. They are adapted by developing leaves that repel water, and are called laurophyll or lauroid leaves.

Flowers grow on a terminal inflorescence with many panicles on the current season's growth. The panicles grow in clusters of ten or more, reaching 10 to 40 cm or longer, holding hundreds of small white, yellow, or green flowers that are distinctively fragrant.

Fruits mature in 80–112 days, depending on climate, location, and cultivar. Fruits reach up to 5 cm long and 4 cm wide, varying in shape from round, to ovoid, to heart-shaped. The thin, tough inedible skin is green when immature, ripening to red or pink-red, and is smooth or covered with small sharp protuberances. The skin turns brown and dry when left out after harvesting. 

The fleshy, edible portion of the fruit is an aril, surrounding one dark brown inedible seed.

Health Benefits of 

Fruit is a great source of vitamin C, a vitamin that the body does not produce naturally. Vitamin C helps the body to fight heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is good for our bones, skin and tissue, and it gives  a very important vitamin to our overall good health.

Through the high content vitamin C content of the lychee fruit, the fruit benefits those suffering from colds, fevers and sore throats. Lychee also helps the body to digest food properly for the best nutrition and an added boost of health.

Lychee, the Chinese believe, also has the ability to relieve pain and shrink swollen glands. People in China treat these symptoms with the lychee fruit using ancient Chinese medicines and they attest to its powers even though there are currently no studies out there that give scientific weight to this argument.

Along with these health benefits lychee also contains phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and protein. Though the lychee fruit is native to Asia, the popularity and reputation of the fruit as a healthful fruit has contributed to the commercial growth of lychee trees in California and Florida. Lychee can be found in Asian supermarkets in cans or dried or they are found in jellies, jams, marmalades or sauces in Asian cuisine.

Read More at Wikipedia

Nutrition Data for Litchis, raw (09164)

NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup1 fruit without refuse
Water81.76 g155.344 g7.84896 g
Energy66 kcal125.4 kcal6.336 kcal
Protein0.83 g1.577 g0.07968 g
Total lipid (fat)0.44 g0.836 g0.04224 g
Carbohydrate, by difference16.53 g31.407 g1.58688 g
Fiber, total dietary1.3 g2.47 g0.1248 g
Sugars, total15.23 g28.937 g1.46208 g
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup1 fruit without refuse
Calcium, Ca5 mg9.5 mg0.48 mg
Iron, Fe0.31 mg0.589 mg0.02976 mg
Magnesium, Mg10 mg19 mg0.96 mg
Phosphorus, P31 mg58.9 mg2.976 mg
Potassium, K171 mg324.9 mg16.416 mg
Sodium, Na1 mg1.9 mg0.096 mg
Zinc, Zn0.07 mg0.133 mg0.00672 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup1 fruit without refuse
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid71.5 mg135.85 mg6.864 mg
Thiamin0.011 mg0.0209 mg0.001056 mg
Riboflavin0.065 mg0.1235 mg0.00624 mg
Niacin0.603 mg1.1457 mg0.057888 mg
Vitamin B-60.1 mg0.19 mg0.0096 mg
Folate, DFE14 µg26.6 µg1.344 µg
Vitamin B-120 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, IU0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.07 mg0.133 mg0.00672 mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin D0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)0.4 µg0.76 µg0.0384 µg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup1 fruit without refuse
Fatty acids, total saturated0.099 g0.1881 g0.009504 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.12 g0.228 g0.01152 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.132 g0.2508 g0.012672 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup1 fruit without refuse
Caffeine0 mg0 mg0 mg
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
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Jimmybrown01@gmail.com.Scotland2015-08-05 18:05 (3 years ago.)