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.
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.
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