(Natural News) The longan (Dimocarpus longan) is a good addition to the selection of fresh fruits that you should be eating every day. It can be consumed in the morning as part of a healthy breakfast or during the afternoon as a snack.
A tropical fruit from South Asia, longan got its name of “dragon’s eye” from the way it resembles said organ. It is related to the lychee, being a fellow member of the soapberry family. While lychee is considered the much more nutritious food, longan is quite healthy in its own right.
Longan contains lots of potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin C. It also has small amounts of cholesterol and sodium.
The extract of the longan fruit is known for its strong antioxidant activity. Animal studies with lab mice have shown that the extract is very effective at scavenging free radicals, preventing oxidation, and stopping inflammation. (Related: ‘C’ for Yourself: 10 Surprising Foods with More Vitamin C Than Oranges.)
Longan is great for weight loss, a strong immune system, and healthier skin
Do you want to lose weight, support your immune system, or need lots of antioxidants? Then you should consider increasing the amount of longan in your diet.
The exotic fruit is an excellent choice for people who want to lose weight by following a low-calorie diet. One cup of longan extract contains only 35 calories. So eating the fruit will make your stomach feel full without increasing your calorie intake.
Longan is full of vitamin C. The presence of large amounts of this vitamin strengthens the immune system, the natural protection of the body against the common cold, flu, and other infectious diseases.
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Furthermore, vitamin C improves the efficiency of iron absorption in the blood. It likewise increases the hemoglobin and energy levels. Together, these qualities help prevent the effects of anemia and other blood-related problems.
An additional health benefit of longan stems from the way vitamin C makes skin smoother and healthier. Eating this fruit can prevent peeling and wrinkling in the fragile skin around the eyes.
The healing effects of consuming longan
Longan is often prescribed as an herbal remedy in South Asian traditional medicine. It reduces nervousness, prevents inflammation, and relieves insomnia. It is considered a natural antidepressant.
Eating longans calms the nerves, decreases irritation, and takes away the burdensome weight of fatigue. After consuming longan, the body feels relaxed and full.
Its medicinal value is attributed to its high antioxidant content. The pericarp of longan contains the majority of its antioxidants. A water extract can be processed from the pericarp that retains most of these bioactive compounds and their beneficial effects.
Research supports the protective powers of the antioxidants in longan extract
A 2012 study by China Medical University (CMU) researchers confirms the antioxidant activity of the longan. Their report explains how they tested the water extract of the fruit for its ability to stop inflammation and oxidation.
In their scientific paper, the extract is shown to contain flavonoids, phenolic acid, polysaccharides, and other bioactive compounds. In addition to regulating inflammatory and oxidative processes, the natural antioxidants can inhibit bacteria, cancer cells, and viruses.
The pit of the longan can also serve as a natural antidote for snake bites. If a person has been bitten, place the pit directly on the wound. The material of the pit will absorb any venom in the blood, thereby reducing or even eliminating the danger.
Longan is not recommended for consumption for pregnant women. It causes side effects that could harm the health of the developing baby. It should also be eaten in moderate amounts because it can cause spikes in plasma glucose levels.