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Sunday, January 17, 2010

How it grows - litchi / lychee

To most of you living in the northern hemisphere, the litchi or lychee would be an exotic fruit and totally unknown to you, but for me it grows here in abundance and is one of my favorite summer fruits which I gorge myself on.

The lychee (usual English spelling) or laichi and lichu is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree. It is a fragranced fruit with a sweet taste.

It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15–20 m tall.
The fruit is a drupe, 3–4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. They are eaten in many different dessert dishes. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape only much less moist. The edible flesh consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The center contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long and 1–1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is not poisonous but should not be eaten. The fruit matures about 100 days after flowering.
The Lychee contains on average a total 72 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. On average nine lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommend Vitamin C requirement.

A cup of Lychee fruit provides, among other minerals, for a 2000 Calorie diet, 14%DV of copper, 9%DV of phosphorus, and 6%DV of potassium.

Lychees are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Most of the energy in a lychee is in the form of carbohydrate (sugar). Lychees are high in heart-healthy polyphenols, containing 15% more than grapes, a fruit commonly referenced as high in polyphenols.
Lychee fruit has many health benefits because it contains different types of nutrition in the fruit lychee. vitamin and the most prominent in the fruit is vitamin c. lychee degree to 71.5 mg vitamin C per 100 grams of pulp. eat 100 grams of fruit lychee, can meet the needs of more than 100 percent of vitamin C per day. Vitamin C is the natural antioxidants that are very useful for attacks against free radicals, causes early old process, and various cancer diseases.
Copper minerals (Cu) can form a complex enzyme system with antioxidants Superoksida Dismutase (Sod), which play a role in neutralism radical superoksida.
Lychees treat coughs and can be trusted to have any effect cure gastralgia, tumor, and gland swell.
Fat content in the fruit lychee very low, so very good to be consumed by all age groups, including those who are diet to maintain or lose weight. Therefore, there is no limit how many lychee that should be consumed each day.
Consume fresh lychee fruit every day to refine the skin. The fruit is also believed to lychee can enrich the blood and improve physical strength. Therefore, for those who completed the recommended treatment because of illness consume fruit lychee to help restore power.

34 comments:

Life in Egypt said...

The first time I tasted lychee was in 1969. I went to the new Chinese restaurant in Bangor North Wales. no not living it up. my birthday.
lychee and ice cream was on the menu for Desert.soon after this became my favorite fruit as we could then buy it in a tin from Tesco's supermarket. then in the late 80s the fruit came in store fresh and could buy it by weight. lovely and now I know How my favorite fruit grows.

Life in Egypt said...

This is one of the best things about Luchee,
the natural antioxidants that are very useful for attacks against free radicals,
and I am more pleased than ever it is one of my favorite fruits.

Andrea said...

I'm really crazy for the juice.
But at the moment I found it only in your country...

Gaelyn said...

Haven't tried this yet, maybe when I get there. Sure is pretty to look at.

Kenneth Ramos said...

Sure are some funny looking little things and sort of pretty, kind of warty, though I am sure that they are good, but for me that inside does not look all that appealing and that great big pit sure takes up a lot of space. Must take a good bag full to satisfy ones self, huh?

Mary said...

Interesting to see what they look like and how they grow! Very attractive in color. I think I have had them at Chinese restaurants?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Tony. Yes, litchi's and icream is always on the menu at Chinese restiarants although they do tend to use the tined ones there as their season is so short.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Tony: Most fruit is very healthy and I am always amazed at how some people, especially men for some reason, do not eat much fruit. Men seem to be strictly meat and potatoes people. :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Andrea. The juice is good too. I am surprised that you cannot find the tinned/canned ones there by you. Maybe it is that your town is too small to have a supermarket which keeps them? :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is one of the things you have to try when you are here Gaelyn. Although the fresh ones will most probably not be available anymore, I will give you the canned ones and cream. Delicious!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Ken. They may not look appealing, but oh what a treat they are!! I will send you some for your birthday. :) You are right though, you do need a whole bagfull at a time and what a pleasure they are to eat.The sweet juice oozes out of them as you peel them. Yummy!! :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You probably have Mary. They are so nice with ice cream or cream.

Rambling Woods said...

I don't think I have ever had one or seen one in the store, but they do sound very healthy Joan...Michelle

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

...and good too Michelle. :)

Natural Moments said...

I remember the Lychee trees when I was spending some time in Hawaii. Exotic and yummi indeed. There is so much of everything to take in in this world. Life is all around us and we just have to be open to it like you are Joan.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Bernie. This world is a fascinating place for many reasons. There is beauty to be found everywhere one looks but I think we are too busy in this life of ours to stop and smell the roses. It is a product of modern days.

Firefly said...

You have a litchi tree in your garden? My wife loves them but down here you have to pay a fortune to get some.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Jonker. It is too cold there for them. Think like litchis and mangoes are common in our gardens especially here on the northern side of Pretoria. I guess you are going to have to pack up the family and move here. :)

Philip said...

Yum Yum it's a good job you are in Pretoria My Wife's favorite fruit wow!! I didn't know you were a botanist as well full of surprises Joan :)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Send her and the kids over Philip. There are plenty on the tree but disappearing fast. :) No, I'm not a botanist..Google Search is a very great program when doing research. :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: Neat story of the lychee fruit, I think I ate them while in Costa Rica.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You could have Tom as they do grow there.

Päivin päivät said...

So beautiful pics again!
I have seen lichis in our best stores, but never tasted. Though usually they have been quite green, so perhaps not ripe yet?
Next time I try to find some reddish ones and have a go. :)
So many good qualities they have!

Päivi

Becky and Gary said...

What a cool fruit Joan. I LOVE any fruit and I sure wish we had them here.
Enjoy. Any way to preserve them for later eating?
B.

Craver Vii said...

That looks a lot like a spikey fruit I ate when visiting the Philippines. There were always ants to fight off, when we were served those things. It didn't seem to bother anyone that we had ants crawling out of our food bowls.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Päivi. The redder they are they more ripe they are and sweeter too. They should look like those in the last picture to be at their best. If you have the chance to eat them, you should try, they are really good.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I love them too Becky. Yes, they can be preserved just like any other fruit but you would have to take this pips out first. I am sure you would be able to buy them at any large supermarket there and you should find them where the other preserved/canned tins of fruit are.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Well I always say ants add to your vitamin intake Craver, so dont worry too much about them. As a matter of fact, ants are a delicacy in many countries. :) As long as it is not flies or cockroaches, eat ants them and grow healthy. LOL!!

Leeloo said...

Thank you so much for posting all that info and your lovely pictures, it was very interesting! I knew nothing about lychee fruits until I read this entry. I keep seeing them at the grocery store but I never bothered trying it out. I'm doing my groceries today on my lunch break, I'll buy a few and get back to you ;)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do Leeloo. Just remember the redder they are the sweeter.

I am please you enjoyed the post. :)

JM said...

I've think I've never seen the lychee plant before.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You passed a lot on your way through Nelspruit Jose but naturally you would not recognise them. In many ways they look identical to avodacdo trees and that is the region where they are most plentiful.

maya said...

i love the fruit so much..=)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Me too Maya. :)