What is Longan?
Cousin of the lychee fruit, Longan is native to China and a key ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines.
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 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
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
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