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What is lychee?

Lychee, also known as litchi, is part of the soapberry family and a close relative to the rambutan and longan. It is a tropical fruit that is native to southern China but can be grown in warm climates around the world. It’s hard, bumpy reddish-pink exterior reveals a white fleshy interior with a large seed when peeled. Sweet and aromatic, its delicate flavor is sometimes compared to grapes, watermelon and rose. While sometimes hard to find fresh, canned lychee is available at most supermarkets.

What are its benefits?

Lychee is the secret superfood you’ve (probably) never had. Despite a high-water content, lychee is high in Vitamin C and rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that is believed to protect against heart disease, help digestion and boost brain health. Studies have revealed lychee to offer several health benefits, including:

  • Anti-aging

Due to its high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants, lychee helps fight signs of aging and supports healthier-looking skin. The antioxidants and Vitamin C work together to fight free radicals and oxidative stress that cause premature aging, like wrinkles and brown spots.

  • Reduce abdominal fat

If you’re looking to lose weight but worried about what you’ll have to cut out of your diet, stock up on fruit! Lychee, strawberries, and cherries are all healthy additions that can help reduce BMI and abdominal fat.

  • Help blood circulation

Do you worry that you don’t get enough copper in your diet? An essential mineral, it helps maintain a healthy metabolism, promotes strong and healthy bones and forms red blood cells. Luckily, lychee contains high amounts of copper and can help blood circulation.

Quality of Life’s Oligonol® is derived from lychee polyphenols and is the world’s first low molecular-weight polyphenol. It also won the prestigious NutrAward for "Top Evidence-Backed Product of the Year."

How can I incorporate lychee into my diet?

Lychee is best eaten fresh and makes a great addition to a fruit salad or smoothie. You can also eat dried lychee, which tastes like raisins. If you’re interested in adding more lychee to your diet, here are a couple of healthy recipes to get you started!

Lychee Salsa


  • 2 cups fresh or canned lychees, pitted, peeled & diced
  • 1⁄4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Combine all the ingredients together. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Lychee & Lime Sorbet

  • 3 14-ounce cans of lychees in syrup
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • Zest from 2 limes, juice from 1


Drain the syrup from two cans of lychees into a small pan. Add the sugar and dissolve over a gentle heat. Bring to a boil for 1 min.

Blitz the drained lychees in a food processor until very finely chopped. Pour in the lime juice and syrup with the blade still whirring – don’t worry if the mix isn’t perfectly smooth at this point. Tip into a 1-liter container and freeze for at least 6 hrs. until solid.

Break up the frozen mix, then return to the bowl of the processor. Tip in the egg white and whizz until thick, pale and smooth. Add zest from 1 lime. Return to the container and freeze again, ideally overnight. Serve in scoops with remaining lychees scattered with remaining zest.

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