According to the Organic Facts and the FAO, longan is an exotic tasty tropical fruit that has a number of great health benefits such as improving skin health, boosting immune system, reducing stress, increasing circulation.
Dimocarpus longan, commonly known as the longan, is a tropical tree within the group of soapberries such as lychee, rambutan, ackee, Spanish lime and guarana. Longan fruit looks like a berry or a grape with a small and smooth seed in the center. As the fruit ripens, the outer layer of skin forms into a hardened shell, hence, the fruit can easily be freed from the shell when the seed is ready to grow into the new plant. The flesh of the fruit is pale white and it is mildly juicy and sweet. Mostly, longan is used in desserts and a flavoring ingredient in many beverages and dishes. Longan can also be dried and consumed as a nice snack. Thanks to its unique nutrient, longan is not only an important ingredient in many recipes but also a popular component in Asian traditional medicine. Therefore, longan has been recently considered as a healthy food.
Longan Nutrition Facts
Longan has very few carbohydrates with only less than 20 calories in an ounce (28.35 g); therefore, this fruit benefits people who are looking for a ketogenic diet (very low-carb diet). This amazing fruit is also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, numerous B vitamins and folic acid. More importantly, longan is an antioxidant booster that can improve your body wellness.
Health Benefits of Longan
Referring to Organic Information Services, some of the most notable health benefits of longan are to improve skin health, support the immune system, reduce stress, increase circulation and lower blood pressure, among others.
Skin Care Improvement
Antioxidants in longan have effects on texture and skin appearance and they also reduce wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and scar appearance. These antioxidants help to clear out the oxidative stress in your system.
Weight Loss Promotion
With extremely low calories, longan is effective for weight loss. Its properties such as low fiber with nutrient dense can support people to suppress their appetite.
Trace amounts of iron in longan can stimulate the red blood cell production and be the circulation booster for the body. With proper blood flow, nutrients as well as oxygen can be delivered to key parts of the body, thus increase energy and prevent anemia symptoms.
Blood Pressure Control
Other minerals in longan such as potassium help lower blood pressure. As a vasodilator, potassium can release tension in blood vessels and arteries. Therefore, it can ultimately protect the cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Nervous System Health Boosting
Many research studies found that longan promotes the electrolyte balance of the body and improves the functions of the nervous system. In everyday action, the electrical signals pass through the electrolytes; therefore, longan can help the overall function of muscles and body movement.
Longan is an abundant source of vitamin C. In terms of vitamin C’s antioxidant activities, only 1 ounce of longan can provide nearly 40% of the body’s daily requirement in ascorbic acid. Thus, longan can be a major booster for the immune system of the body.
With a high level of vitamin C, longan can help in the body’s collagen production which is essential for every tissue, cell and muscle of the body. With sufficient collagen level, the body can be repaired effectively and efficiently.
In Chinese traditional medicine, longan is believed to support the Qi balance, improve energy levels, prevent chronic disease, and boost metabolism. Despite of limited research on this aspect, millions of anecdotal reports from China seem to validate the energy-boosting potential of longan.
Antioxidants in longan can eliminate free radicals and neutralize their impact on our body. It can also prevent the mutation of healthy cells, which can reduce risk of cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and various heart conditions.
Longan is a relatively good source of fiber, which can bulk up the stool and promote peristaltic motion. It helps to promote regular bowel movements and prevent symptoms of constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, cramping and general stomach upset, while improving nutrient uptake efficiency.
Numerous studies found a positive association between longan consumption and cognitive ability improvement, particularly on the formation and retention of memory.