Longan fruit is a readily available fruit. It has many health benefits. However, it has a dark brown seed in the center, which is inedible, poisonous and must be discarded. This fruit is highly preferred for its anecdotal uses like improving memory power, reducing fatigue, reducing symptoms of depression, and, most importantly, for acting as antivenom for snake bites.
Let’s learn more about its health benefits.
The following is the nutritive value for every 100 g.
|Dietary fiber||0.4 g|
|Vitamin C||8 mg|
|Vitamin A||28 IU|
Health Benefits of Longan
1. Contains High Amounts of Vitamin C
Longan fruit benefits in boosting the immunity of the body as it is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for the body that repairs the tissues. It regulates collagen formation, iron absorption, boosts immunity, speeds healing of wounds, and prevents common diseases like flu and viral infections.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties
The pulp of this fruit was traditionally used by Asians to heal wounds, flu, allergies, and other inflammatory diseases. The outer layer of longan fruit, seeds, and the pulp consist of phytochemicals like gallic acid, epicatechin(1), and ellagic acid that are anti-inflammatory.
The compounds in this fruit reduce the growth of chemicals like histamines, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, and tissue necrosis factors that promote inflammation in the body.
Vitamin B and C present in longan fruit encourage healing and treat inflammatory conditions like GERD(2), edema, IBS, skin allergies, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.
3. Rich in Fiber
Longan fruit is rich in fiber. It helps to bulk stools and improve bowel movements. This also lowers cholesterol levels and improves the flora of the gut and bowel health. Fibrous food helps to control the blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes.
A natural way to increase your fiber intake is by consuming longans.
4. Rich in Antioxidants
Longan fruit is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are free radicals that help damage the harmful cells that cause diseases.
Research shows that the antioxidants gained from fruits and vegetables offer maximum health benefits.
5. Reduces Stress
The drugs that are commercially available to treat insomnia target histamine and GABA receptors(3) and other areas of the brain have temporary benefits and come with side-effects.
The longan leaves and pulp have bioactive compounds that reduce the neurotransmitter levels that lead to stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
A study in 2014 stated that longans when combined with hypnotic derivatives, increase sleep rate and duration. The fruit also improves memory and improves learning, as it increases the rate of neuronal survival.
It is beneficial to eat the tangy-sweet and fibrous fruit as it provides health benefits most naturally.
6. Gives Glowing skin
The best solution that has been found in treating disorders is through phytochemicals that are in abundance in longan. Corilagin, gallic acid, and ellagic acid are bioactive compounds that are found in vast amounts in dried longans.
Longan fruit prevents the risk of cancer as it has antityrosinase activity(4).
[Read: Benefits Of Ugli Fruit]
7. Treats Anaemia
The extracts of longan fruit are used in Chinese traditional medicine along with mixed herbs that cure thrombocytopenia, anemia, and blood-related disorders.
World Health Organisation (WHO) says that women who did not keep up to the required iron level in their diets were at risk of severe and moderate anemia.
8. Anticancer Properties
Longan fruit prevents the occurrence of cancer due to its high level of polyphenols. Gallic acids are polyphenolic compounds that kill the free radicals that cause stress and the toxic intermediates that cause cancer.
Chinese medicine uses longan seed extracts that obstruct DNA synthesis that suppresses the unwanted oncoproteins in existing tumors, and also destroys them.
Longan seed extract powders can block lung, cervix, breast, and colorectal cancer cells.
9. Improves Cardiac Health
Dried Longan fruit rejuvenates the blood circulation in the body and improves oxygen flow in the body. It also enhances heart conditions and reduces the chances of stroke or cardiac arrest. Regular consumption also improves the functioning of the nervous system.
Longan berries are a great way to maintain a healthy heart condition.
Precautions and Side-effects
- There aren’t many documented side-effects of the fruit, but there is a possibility of being allergic to longan.
- Diabetic patients must not consume longans. It has high sugar content and is potentially dangerous for patients with diabetes as it spikes blood sugar levels in the body.
- As there is a lack of clinical studies of longan fruit, the right dosage hasn’t been established. Therefore, it is essential to consult your doctor before using it as supplements.
Longan fruits are abundant in Asia and are available as dry fruits in Chinese stores. You may also find it in forms of capsule, tinctures, or powder form. This delicate fruit is a wallop of nutritional benefits. You can also make delicious juice or smoothies using this fruit to avail of its ample health benefits.
1. How Can You Eat Longan?
You can take a slight bite and break the shell. Use your fingertip to squeeze it out Then dig the tip of the knife in the stem and peel off the skin.
2. Are Longan Seeds Edible?
The seed is usually not consumed directly but consumed when grounded. It is used in herbal tonics for making tea. The pulp is the one that’s consumed.