5 Health Benefits of Longan

What is Longan?

Cousin of the lychee fruit, Longan is native to China and a key ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines.

Longan provides various health benefits for your skin, metabolism, immune system, and heart.
It has a sweet, musky, and slightly tart flavor, although its structure is most similar to that of a grape. With a semi-hard shell, white flesh, and a small black seed in the middle, it is commonly referred to as the “dragon’s eye”.

Longan Health Benefits

Due to a high concentration of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B2, Longan:

1) Supports skin health

Packed with antioxidants, Longan supports collagen creation in the body. This aids with repair from UV damage and blemishes from aging.

2) Boosts immunity

Vitamin C naturally supports the immune system, protecting against infections and common colds.

3) Improves sleep

Traditionally consumed to treat anxiety and insomnia, Longan may have stress-relieving properties and is found to improve sleep duration. Rich in potassium, which controls blood pressure, Longan may reduce anxiety or stress and improve quality of sleep.

4) Protects heart health

Vitamin C from plant sources such as Longan may reduce clogging in arteries and defend against cardiovascular diseases.

5) Promotes digestion

With anti-inflammatory properties and fibrous content, Longan may improve overall digestive health and facilitate bowel movements.

Longan Nutrition

Longan is low in calories and carbohydrates, with zero grams of fat; one ounce of longan is 17 calories. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of Lychee. High in antioxidants, Longan is rich in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Drawbacks

You should avoid Longan if you have diabetes; with a high sugar content, Longan may spike blood sugar levels. Additionally, Longan should be avoided during pregnancy, as it may overheat the body and cause complications such as constipation and dryness in the mouth.

Ways to Eat Longan

Longan can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. You may choose to eat it raw, peeling the outside and removing the inner seed, or adding it to a salad. The sweet fruit may also be used in desserts such as smoothies or ice cream. Longan is also enjoyed in teas, mixed with other herbs and fruits. 

Longan is a fruit worth implementing into your everyday diet, providing numerous health benefits for skin, sleep quality, heart, and immune system.

  

By: Suzie Lee, Student at Cornell

Sources: WebMD, NetMeds, National Library of Medicine, OrganicFact

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