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The beneficial properties of longan fruit deserve a detailed study. Tropical fruits taste good, but their value also comes from numerous health benefits. The composition contains vitamins and minerals.
What is longan fruit and what does it look like
Longan, also called longan plum or Lam Yai, is a fruit that grows on a tree called longan from the Sapindov family. Longan grows naturally in southern China, and the fruit tree is cultivated in South Africa, South Asia, Australia, in the southern regions of the United States, Israel and Kenya.
Exotic Longan grows in China and other tropical countries
The evergreen longan tree reaches 20 m in height. Its crown is rounded in shape, leaves are paired-pinnate up to 30 cm in length, arranged alternately. The tree blooms with small yellow-brown flowers, collected in large panicles up to 45 cm in length.
The fruits of the tree are small, up to 3.5 cm in diameter, round fruits, covered with a thin, rough skin of a yellow-brown color. Under it lies a juicy translucent pulp with a light delicate aroma, and in the center of the fruit there is a rounded dark and shiny stone.
Important! Longan, like lychee, is also called the "dragon's eye"; in the cut, both fruits really resemble a large eye with a large pupil.
How longan tastes like
It is rather difficult to describe the taste of a tropical fruit. Gourmets claim that most of all it resembles sweet grapes or melon, but with a slight musky note. In any case, the taste of the fruit is sweet and very pleasant, dessert.
The fruit tastes like both grapes and melon.
How longan is eaten
Longan is quite easy to eat and does not require a long cleaning. It is enough to cut with a knife or tear the thin skin with your fingers and peel it off the pulp without effort. Also, you can simply press lightly on the ripe fruit, then the peel will break through itself.
The pulp of the fruit is easily separated from the stone, so it is not necessary to cut the longan, you can eat it whole, and just spit out the seed. Some people sprinkle sugar or cinnamon on the pulp to improve the taste, but the fruits are very tasty and without any additives.
Is it okay to eat longan bones
You cannot eat the seeds of the fruit raw, they contain toxic compounds. At the same time, dried and powdered seeds are used in folk medicine, they have anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
The bones have medicinal properties, but they cannot be eaten raw.
Longan value and composition
Most of all, longan contains carbohydrates, in the total volume of the fruit they occupy about 14 g. Much less fruit contains proteins and fats, they take up 1.3 and 0.1 g, respectively.
There is a lot of water in the fruit, about 83 g, and longan also contains 1.1 g of dietary fiber.
The main value of the fruits lies in their vitamin composition. The pulp contains:
- vitamin C - about 93% of the daily dosage of ascorbic acid;
- vitamins B1 and B2 - 2.1 and 7.8%, respectively, of the daily value;
- vitamin PP - about 1.5%.
Also, the tropical fruit is rich in mineral compounds. Special mention should be made of:
- copper - up to 17% of the daily value;
- potassium - about 11%;
- sodium and magnesium - 2.5% of the daily value;
- manganese - 2.6% of the daily value.
The fruits contain iron and zinc, their share is quite small, but mineral substances still have a beneficial effect.
In addition, longan contains essential and non-essential amino acids, ash, polysaccharides, phenols and flavonoids.
The fruits contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium and copper.
Calorie content of longan
The exotic fruit has an average nutritional value. 100 g of pulp contains 60 kcal, if you do not abuse the fruit, then it will be impossible to get better on it.
How longan is useful
The beneficial properties of longan make the fruit equally valuable for women and men. Regular consumption of the fruit can improve overall well-being and also prevent the development of certain diseases.
For the female body, the properties of longan are beneficial in that the fruit prevents the manifestation of unpleasant symptoms of menopause. During menopause, fruits help to cope with hot flashes, have a beneficial effect on hormones and prevent inflammation. In addition, the minerals in the fruit do not allow osteoporosis to develop.
Women can eat the fruits with painful periods. The fruit reduces discomfort, restores strength and improves mood. Its beneficial properties are well reflected in the appearance, the skin becomes softer, the appearance of the first wrinkles slows down.
During pregnancy, women can eat the fruits, but after consulting a doctor. Low-calorie fruit will help fight nausea and swelling, eliminate constipation. The main thing is to observe the measure and not eat more than 100 g of fruit per day.
The fruit is useful for pregnant women, but in moderation
When breastfeeding, it is better to introduce longan into the menu 3 months after childbirth. Tropical fruits can cause allergies in the baby, you need to wait for the moment when the child's body gets a little stronger.
Longan fruit contains zinc, therefore it is considered a mild natural aphrodisiac. The use of the fruit has a beneficial effect on potency, the beneficial properties of the fruit contribute to the production of testosterone.
Potassium and magnesium in the fruit protect the cardiovascular system of a man from ailments. This reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks at a young age. Large amounts of vitamin C prevent the development of inflammation and prevent negative processes in the genitourinary system.
The beneficial properties of the fruit may be in demand for children. The fruit has a beneficial effect on the digestive system, prevents constipation and also stimulates mental activity. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Longan can serve as the prevention of children's colds.
Do not give fruit to babies - this can cause allergies.
But it is possible to give fruit to a child only after reaching 3 years of age and at first in very small quantities. A tropical product can lead to allergies, you need to make sure that the child does not have a negative reaction.
Attention! In some conditions, longan may be completely contraindicated. Before treating a child with a new product, you should definitely consult a pediatrician.
Benefits of Longan
Dragon's Eye has many valuable properties. In a number of conditions and diseases, it is especially useful for the human body.
When losing weight
A tropical product has a low calorie content, but contains a lot of potassium and dietary fiber. Therefore, on a diet, fruits help cleanse the body, they quickly remove toxins from the intestines and help get rid of excess fluids.
When losing weight, the fruit can be added to the diet as a dessert or as part of smoothies, mashed potatoes and juices. In this case, it is necessary to drink plenty of water, the diuretic properties of the product can lead to dehydration.
On a diet, the product helps to lose weight faster and pleases with a dessert taste
To strengthen bones
Bones can become more fragile due to a lack of important elements. The problem is especially relevant for the elderly and for women during menopause. Longan contains a large amount of copper, and this mineral strengthens bone tissue and prevents the development of osteoporosis. The fruit can be consumed both for the prevention of joint diseases and as part of a comprehensive treatment.
Eating an exotic fruit is beneficial for anemia and low hemoglobin levels. The pulp contains a lot of iron, and it can be obtained from both fresh and dried fruits. There is a longan to combat anemia, especially recommended for athletes, vegetarians and pregnant women, as well as women suffering from severe blood loss during menstruation.
The vitamin C in longan pulp is beneficial for strengthening the immune system. You can eat the fruit to protect yourself from ARVI, influenza, as well as from scurvy and vitamin deficiency, which develop with a lack of ascorbic acid. Vitamin substances in the composition of the fruit activate the internal capabilities of the body, help it fight inflammatory and bacterial processes.
Ascorbic acid in fruits protects not only from colds, but also from the development of scurvy
For the heart and blood vessels
Potassium and magnesium in the fruit pulp have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. The beneficial properties of longan improve blood composition, strengthen blood vessels and give them elasticity. Against this background, heart ailments develop less often, and the likelihood of cerebral disorders also decreases.
With nervous disorders
The vitamins and minerals in longan pulp are mildly sedative and uplifting. The beneficial properties of the fruit can help with depression and anxiety disorders, and sleep disorders. The fruit has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps to cope with severe stress.
Longan's antioxidants stimulate the body to fight free radicals and inhibit the proliferation of malignant cells. When eating the fruit, the risk of developing oncological tumors decreases, the immune system begins to better cope with internal negative processes.
For eye health
Longan contains riboflavin, which is essential for healthy vision. If you constantly maintain a high level of this substance in the body, then the likelihood of cataracts and other ophthalmic diseases will decrease. The beneficial properties of longan will help to cope with eye fatigue during strenuous work at the computer, the fruit will prevent dryness and inflammation of the mucous membranes.
B vitamins in fruits protect eyesight from disease
Longan is not only eaten, but also used for treatment and personal care. The fruit has a good supporting effect, and not only the pulp, but also other parts of the product have beneficial properties.
In folk medicine
In the home medicine of Russia, longan is just beginning to gain popularity, but in the eastern countries, its beneficial properties are highly respected. In China, Vietnam and Thailand, the fruit is used to treat:
- circulatory disorders, the powder from dry seeds of fruits is especially beneficial;
- digestive disorders - decoctions of fresh or dried pulp can help cope with constipation and abdominal pain;
- skin inflammations and insect bites, pulp, leaves or crushed fruit seeds are applied to the affected areas.
Decoctions and infusions with a good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect are prepared from the leaves and flowers of longan. Such drinks help with colds and fevers, and can strengthen the immune system. In oriental folk medicine, fresh longan is recommended for the prevention and elimination of worms.
Also, the fruit is valued as a remedy after serious illnesses. The beneficial properties of longan are well reflected in the state of the nervous system in case of emotional disorders, and help relieve stress. The fruits are recommended for use in cases of disorders in the genital area, since the fruit increases libido.
Dragon's Eye is popular in oriental folk medicine
Longan extracts are found in many masks, hair balms and skin creams. The substances present in the pulp and seeds of the fruit help to regulate fat and perspiration, soften irritated skin on the face and hair roots, and have a tightening effect.
At home, longan pulp can be used in a variety of masks. Chopped fruit is mixed with dairy products and other fruits, vegetables and herbs. Longan enhances the rejuvenating, moisturizing and nourishing effect of homemade masks.
Advice! A decoction of dry longan seeds can be used to rinse hair. The substance sapotin, which is part of the seeds, strengthens the strands and helps to get rid of flaking or excess oiliness of the scalp.
Selection and storage rules
Longan can be found in the fruit shop windows of many large stores. When choosing fruits, you need to pay attention to:
- the integrity of the peel, there should be no cracks on it, since if the skin is damaged, the fruit deteriorates very quickly;
- skin color - fresh longan has a light beige or gray-yellow skin;
- lack of noticeable dents - ripe longan should not be too hard, but if the fruits look "rumpled", then, most likely, they have already begun to deteriorate.
The ripe fruit should taste sweet, if the fruit is sour, it means that they are not yet ripe.
When buying a product, you need to pay attention to the integrity of the peel.
Ripe fruits are stored for a short time, about 5 days indoors and up to 10 days in the refrigerator. It is necessary to keep the longan dry and make sure that it does not come into contact with other foods or neighboring fruits.
Limitations and contraindications
Exotic fruits have certain contraindications. They are not advised to use them when:
- individual allergies;
- diarrhea - the mild laxative properties of the fruit will only aggravate the disorder;
- acute digestive disorders - ulcers, gastritis, pancreatitis.
The glycemic index of the fruit is low - only 45 units. However, diabetics need to use it with caution and in small quantities, since the sugary food can cause an increase in blood glucose levels.
The beneficial properties of longan fruits extend to the entire body, the fruits strengthen the immune system, protect eyesight, heart and blood vessels from diseases. When using longan, it is only important to observe the measure so that the fruit does not lead to the occurrence of digestive disorders.