How to eat lychees while avoiding health problems?

By Thuy Quynh   July 2, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
Eating too much of the fruit can cause many health problems, including acne, canker sores, and allergies, as they contain a lot of sugar, which increases your body temperature.

Dr. Huynh Tan Vu, professor at the Department of Traditional Medicine, the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy, says that lychees used to be so precious that only the royal family’s members and nobles could eat them. Yang Guifei, consort of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty, is known for liking the fruit.

Lychees are small round fruits. Their cores are big brown seeds covered in translucent white flesh called aril, which are in turn covered in rough brown shells. When the fruits ripen, the shells turn red.

When lychees ripen, their shells turn red. Photo illustration by Freepik

When lychees ripen, their shells turn red. Photo illustration by Freepik

When eaten fresh, the fruit tastes sweet. Dried lychees are even sweeter with a hint of sourness. Lychees can also be processed and made into drinks, ice cream, sweet desserts, alcoholic drinks, jellies, or dried fruits.

In modern medicine, lychees are rich in water, glucose, protein, fat and vitamin C, which improves your overall health. The main ingredients of lychees are water and carbohydrates, which keep humans hydrated and full during the summer.

Lychees are also rich in fiber while containing few calories, so they are beneficial for the digestive system and contribute to losing weight. Drinks made from lychees can cool us on hot days.

They are rich in vitamin C, so eating them can meet daily vitamin needs. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that prevents several chronic diseases and improves the immune system, and protects skin and hair.

The fruit also contains other antioxidants including epicatechin and rutin, so can help prevent stress and oxidations, chronic diseases, cataracts, diabetes, heart diseases and cancers.

Antioxidants and vitamin C in lychees are beneficial for humans’ skin, as they get rid of bruises and prevent aging.

It is advised not to eat lychees too much, as doing so may increase the blood sugar level and body heat, dry the mouth, cause internal bleeding, acne, canker sore or sore throat. Some people even vomit after consuming too many.

Dr. Vu suggests that adults should not eat more than five to ten lychees at a time. Pregnant women and children should only eat three to four lychees at a time. Women who are in their postpartum period or are breeding their children should only eat from 100 to 200 grams of lychees.

The amount of lychees consumed should also be reduced pre- and post-menstrual period. Diabetic patients should eat lychees moderately due to the high sugar content.

Lychees may also cause allergies. Some people have reported feeling dizzy, vomiting, stomach aches due to being poisoned with Candida tropicalis, often present on the stalk of overripe lychees.

People who have chickenpox or phlegm in their throat should not eat lychees as the fruit will make their situation worse.

Fresh lychees can be preserved in the fridge for five to ten days, or stored in the freezer. Dried lychees can be preserved for a year at room temperature or packed for long-term use.

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