Longan fruit grows in the United States.

The Effects of Eating Longan Fruit

by Jessica Bruso

If you're looking for a new fruit to try, consider the longan. This small, tan-skinned fruit, sometimes called Dragon's Eye, is similar to the lychee fruit and grows mainly in Asia. However, unlike the sweet and sour taste of the lychee, the longan has a sweet flavor similar to that of grapes. Eating this fruit will provide you with essential nutrients and may also have some health benefits.

Longan Nutrition

You can eat 100 grams of longan fruit, or about 30 pieces, for only 60 calories. This serving will give you more than a day's worth of vitamin C, with 84 milligrams. Getting plenty of vitamin C in your diet may help lower your risk for heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Action

Longans provide you with a variety of different antioxidants, which help prevent damage to your cells by compounds called free radicals, according to a study published in "Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2012. Limiting this type of cell damage can help lower your risk for heart disease and cancer, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Anti-inflammatory Effects

The 2012 "Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" study authors also noted that longans have an anti-inflammatory effect. Reducing the inflammation in your body may make you less likely to suffer from health conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, arthritis, cancer and heart disease, according to MayoClinic.com.

Use in Asian Herbal Medicine

Longan fruit is used in Asian herbal medical treatments for treating insomnia, intestinal parasites, fevers and neurasthenic neurosis, a condition that may cause fatigue, aches and pains and exhaustion. Longan is also used for improving digestive function. However, research to back up these potential health benefits is limited, so don't rely on longan fruit alone to prevent or treat any medical condition.

About the Author

Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.

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