Category Archives: Longan

Longan: Health Benefits and Nutrition

Longans are small, berry-like fruits native to Southeast Asia. They are plain and nondescript, with a light brown shell and a white, translucent fruit inside surrounding a smooth dark seed. However, longans have many health benefits. It’s no surprise, then, that the fruit’s name should literally mean “dragon eye” in Chinese. In Chinese traditional medicine, longans have been used for treating stomach-ache, insomnia, and many other common household ailments. It can also have a calming effect in times of stress, and it has a multitude of positive effects on the blood and the heart, nourishing them with its loads of essential minerals and vitamins.

longan

Fresh longans- did you know it can have wondrous effects on your skin?

The small but powerful fruit contains high levels of potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. These are all vitamins and minerals that are essential to the healthy development, growth, and sustenance of the body—potassium is necessary for the health of the nervous system, while phosphorus and magnesium are needed for healthy bone maintenance. Iron is used in red blood cells, and vitamins A and C help boost the immune system to fight off disease.

Longans can also improve the healing time of wounds—in Vietnam, a traditional remedy for snakebite is to treat it with the seed of the longan. The longan can also work miracles for your skin and appearance, with a multitude of anti-aging effects. It benefits the skin especially, smoothing out wrinkles in the delicate skin around the eyes and preventing the cracking and peeling of skin through its powers of moisturization. As one’s eyesight, teeth, and gum health decreases over the year, fresh longan can also help treat those problems.

This exotic fruit can treat stomach aches, insomnia, and infection, replenish and nourish your body through the high levels of essential vitamins and minerals, boost the immune system and healing time of wounds, and reverse the aging process that is dreaded by so many people, but it is also extraordinarily high in antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are compounds that are naturally found in some foods that help the body fight against free radicals and harmful toxins, some of which could potentially lead to cancer.

Though longans are exotic fruits with a multitude of health benefits, they can be found in many places, such as a farmer’s market, or grocery stores in the international district. A local Chinatown might be a good place to check for these powerful and healthy fruits, since they are native to Asia.

I recommend an excellent and very affordable natural longan product that can be found on Amazon.com, especially if you cannot find fresh longan at your local market:  Grove Grow Notes Dried Longan 12 Oz

Further reading

  1. Litchi and Longan

Longan: Dragon Eye Fruit

The longan, also known as longyan as well as “guiyuan fruit,” is a fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia.  The longan is quite a unique fruit, in the same family as the lychee, though quite different in taste, color, and flavor.  Similarly to the lychee though, the longan grows on a tree and provides many health benefits.

The longan is actually prounounced “long-an,” rather than lon-gan.  This is because, in Chinese, the fruit is called 龙眼 (lóngyǎn), which literally means dragon eye.

Each longan fruit consists of a yellow, semi-rough, but thin, peel on the outside.  The peel is easily peeled away to reveal pure, white, flesh similar to that of a lychee.  On the very inside is the seed, which is what gives the longan its name.  The seed is small, smooth, round, and hard, with a dark, black color.

On the outside, the longan grows in bunches of tens of fruits on the longan tree.  In cultivated varieties, the longan is both sweet, juicy, and succulent.  In East Asia, the longan is not only eaten fresh, it is also used in many food products and dishes, such as soups, snacks, and desserts, or it can be dried.  In fact, it can also be used in sweet-and-sour foods.

It may be harder to find the longan fresh in Western supermarkets, though some Asian markets may import these delicious fruits fresh.  However, it is quite easy to find dried or canned longans.  However, canned longans do compromise on the flavor and nutrition that you can get from fresh longans.

Dried longans have a special place in Chinese cuisine and culture.  Dried longans are called guiyuan, and are used extensively in Chinese cooking and sweet, dessert soups.  In Chinese culture, the guiyuan is believed, and has been researched to help with relaxation.  The longan has long been used in Chinese traditional herbal medicine.  Interestingly enough, the longan’s flesh, while fresh, is pure and white, though when dried, the flesh is dark brown to black-colored.

The longan has been valued for its health benefits since ancient times.  In Chinese traditional medicine, the longan is used not only as a delicious fruit, but also for treating stomach ache, insomnia, and more.  The fruit also is said to have a calming effect, nourish the blood, and invigorate the heart.  Many of these benefits have been confirmed with modern science.

If you cannot find fresh or dried longan in your local supermarket, try purchasing some online! I completely recommend this brand: Grove Grow Notes Dried Longan