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7 Health Benefits Of Lychee

Last updated Aug. 11, 2017

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family. Lychees are native to many regions in China, but are also cultivated in other areas like Brazil, South-East Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, southern Japan, California, Jamaica, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Australia, South Africa, Israel, and Mexico.


The lychee (Litchi chinensis) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family. Lychees are native to many regions in China but are also cultivated in other areas like Brazil, South-East Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, southern Japan, California, Jamaica, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Australia, South Africa, Israel, and Mexico. The fresh fruit has a fragile, white pulp with a flowery smell and a fragrant, sweet flavor. This fruit is usually eaten fresh because the aromatic flavor is lost during the canning process.


Here are the 7 health benefits of lychee.

1.     Lychee can help individuals fight infections.

One cup of lychee contains 226 percent of the vitamin C daily requirements. Vitamin C is a potent natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

2.     Lychee is excellent for the hair and skin.

Adequate vitamin C intake does not only improve the immune system but can also create and maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin.

3.     Lychee can help your slumber at night.

Lychee has been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Lychee also helps regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.

4.     Lychee can contribute to maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Lychee has an incredibly high potassium to sodium ratio. One cup of lychee contains 325 milligrams of potassium, compared to 1.9 milligrams of sodium. This helps the blood vessels relax and maintains proper blood pressure, especially for individuals with hypertension.

5.     Lychee can help improve kidney health.

Lychee contains a substantial amount of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing out the toxic depositions in the kidneys. The fruit also helps in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood and reducing the chances of kidney damage and the formation of renal calculi in that organ.

6.     Lychee can help improve your heart’s strength.

Elevated levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for heart attackstroke, or peripheral vascular disease and are found in between approximately 30 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease. The folate in lychee lowers the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Lychee is also a good source of magnesium. This mineral helps the blood vessels relax and improves blood flow in the body.

7.     Lychee is loaded with B-vitamin components.

Lychee is a good source of B-vitamin complex elements like riboflavin and niacin. Niacin has been known to increase an individual’s “good” cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. A deficiency of niacin leads to Pellagra - a disease characterized by diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis, and insomnia, the inability to sleep. Lychee is also an excellent source of folic acid. Folic acid helps the body to produce healthy red blood cells and prevents anemia. It is also essential for aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as during infancy and pregnancy. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns.

Additional Resources:

  1. Litchis, raw [lychee] Nutrition Facts & Calories. (n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2017, from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1945/2
  2. Dwivedi, M. K., Tripathi, A. K., Shukla, S., Khan, S., & Chauhan, U. K. (2011). Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease. Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Reviews6(5), 101-107.
  3. Whelton, P. K., He, J., Cutler, J. A., Brancati, F. L., Appel, L. J., Follmann, D., & Klag, M. J. (1997). Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure: meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Jama277(20), 1624-1632.
  4. Mattson, M. P., & Shea, T. B. (2003). Folate and homocysteine metabolism in neural plasticity and neurodegenerative disorders. Trends in neurosciences26(3), 137-146.
  5. Filippini, T., Violi, F., D'Amico, R., & Vinceti, M. (2016). The effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International journal of cardiology.
  6. Morris, M. S., Jacques, P. F., Rosenberg, I. H., & Selhub, J. (2007). Folate and vitamin B-12 status in relation to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment in older Americans in the age of folic acid fortification. The American journal of clinical nutrition85(1), 193-200.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 7, 2014
Last updated: Aug. 11, 2017