Lychee

Lychee

Lychee is a tropical tree fruit that is native to southern China and Southeast Asia. Its history of cultivation can be traced back as far as 2000 BC according to records in Chinese history. The translucent glossy white flesh of lychee is covered by a roughly textured rind, similar to the flesh texture of grape; about 1 to 2 inches in size. It is sweet and succulent with “perfume” flavor. There are over 40 varieties of lychee worldwide, about 10 of them are available in Canada. Among all the different varieties, “Fei Zi Xiao” is one of the premium kinds of lychee, which gets its name from an interesting story. “Fei Zi Xiao” is also known as “The Concubine Smiles”. It is so-called because the emperor of Tang Dynasty, Tang Ming Huang ordered relay house to transport this perishable fruit fresh from the south of China to the palace in the north for the enjoyment of his beloved concubine, Yang Gui Fei. Therefore, this particular kind of lychee, favored by Yang Gui Fei, is named as “Fei Zi Xiao” because it makes the concubine smiles.

Nutritional Facts

Lychee is low in calorie, it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but it is an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. The fiber content in every 100g of fresh lychee equals to 119% of daily-recommended value. Lychee contains an anti-oxidant, oligonol, which have several anti-oxidant and anti-influenza virus actions; it also helps in improving blood flow in organs, body weight maintenance, and skin protection from harmful UV rays. Lychee is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin and folates; and minerals, such as potassium and copper.

Reference

Tourney, A. (2011 March 28) Nutrition in Lychee Nuts. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/408600-nutrition-in-lychee-nuts/