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The fruit of litchi ('litchi chinensis'), which is from an evergreen tree of the botanical family Sapindaceae that reaches a height of about 12m. Litchi, is an oval shaped fruit, enclosing a single brown pit and hangs down its tree in bunches. The litchi fruit is mostly found in the great nation of china, where it has been cultivated for more than four thousand years.

PROPERTIES OF LITCHI

Litchi contains the following:

* Significant proportion of carbohydrates in the form of sugars, about 15.2% of its content.

* Fats, representing about 0.44% of its content.

* Few proteins, making about 0.83% of its content.

* Contains less water than fresh fruits. This fall in water level makes them quite concentrated and energy producing.

* Litchis contains almost all vitamins, only with the exception of two. They are highly noted for their vitamin C content (71.5mg/100g), which is more than that of lemons and even oranges. A hundred grams of litchi provides more than the daily vitamin C requirements of an adult male.

FUNCTIONS OF VITAMIN C FOUND IN ALL FRUITS

Below are some of the functions of vitamin C:

* Strengthens the immune system against infections

* Strengthens arterial and capillary walls

* Improves the actions of teeth and bones

* Facilitates the absorption of nonheme iron contained in dairy products, plant based foods and eggs

* Helps in the formation of collagen, a fibrous tissue necessary for wound healing

* Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that cause cellular aging, cancer and DNA deterioration

* Acts as an antitoxin, neutralizing the action of toxic substances.

HEALTH BENEFITS / MEDICINAL USES OF LITCHI

Litchis have the following effects:

* AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

* AN ANTIPYRETIC (fever reducing) and

* AN ANALGESIC EFFECT

* Litchis, due to their antipyretic, analgesic and high vitamin C content, help increase resistance to diseases.

* litchis are highly recommended in cases of infectious diseases.

* Moreover, eating litchis regularly helps stimulates the immune system and prevent disease.

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