What is Longan?

What is longan?

So, what is longan? It is a tropical fruit native to China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Asia. Longan is also known as dragon eye fruit, or longan bao. It has a sweet taste and is often used in desserts.

Longan is a sweet, translucent fruit with a soft, smooth texture and juicy flesh. It has a short and thin pit inside, but this is not the essential part of the fruit – it’s inedible!

Longan is a round or oval fruit that varies in size depending on the variety. The fruit’s fleshy pulp is surrounded by a thin, translucent skin with a yellow color when ripe.

The seeds are brownish-grey in color and soft enough to eat along with the fruit. It can be eaten fresh or dried for later use.

It’s often used in desserts and jam but can also be made into wine or liquors. The fruit’s pulp contains an edible, translucent seed surrounded by juicy flesh and a sweet taste.

The longan tree:

It has the scientific name, Dimocarpus Longan.

The tree’s fruit is small, round berries less than 1 inch in diameter. These berries can vary in color from green to yellow to orange and have a sweet, tangy flavor that’s often compared to lychee.

It is a fruit native to Southeast Asia and the southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Jiangxi, and Fujian. They belong to the Eugenia genus, which also includes bellflowers.

It is known by other names, including lonkan and lonkwan in China, satin tree in Indonesia, and dragon’s eye in Thailand.

It is part of the Sapindaceae family, also known as the soapberry family. The Sapindaceae family is one of the most prominent families in the flowering plant kingdom and contains over 1,000 species of trees, shrubs, and vines.

Longan nutrition facts:

Here are some of the nutritional values:

  • calories: 46
  • protein: 1 g
  • carbohydrates: 10 g (fiber: 2 g)
  • sugar: 8 g

What does longan taste like?

The fruit tastes like a cross between a lychee and a strawberry. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Its texture is similar to a grape, with a little crunch. The taste is mildly acidic but pleasantly so.

What does longan look like?

The fruit is round and can be up to 7 centimeters long. It has a leathery rind with a soft pulp that contains one seed surrounded by pulp. The pulp is yellowish-white when ripe but turns brown when exposed to air or heat.

The flavor is similar to apricots or peaches, with hints of honey and citrus notes depending on the variety of fruit trees cultivated for commercial purposes (there are over 100 varieties!).

longan cut in half

How to eat longan:    

The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in various dishes such as jams and jellies. The young leaves are also edible when cooked.

The powder can be made from dried seeds ground into powder form and then mixed with water to make a paste or drinkable mixture similar to tea.

Health benefits of longan

It has many health benefits, including boosting your immune system, lowering blood pressure, and improving brain function. Here are some of the most notable benefits:

1. Boosts your immune system

It has been shown to help boost your immune system by increasing the number of blood cells in your body. This can help fight off any viruses or bacteria that might be causing you to feel unwell.

2. Lowers blood pressure

It also helps to reduce high blood pressure levels by preventing excess water retention in your body. This can be especially helpful if you suffer from high blood pressure or want to prevent it from worsening over time.

3. Improves brain function

It contains choline, an essential nutrient for brain health and other organs like the heart and liver. Choline helps protect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease by improving communication between neurons in the brain.

4. Give energy

It is high in vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It also contains B, which help to reform food into energy.

Longan also has iron, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body; and zinc, which plays an essential role in the immune system by helping your body, fight off infection-causing bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli.

5. Vitamins

It contains Vitamin C and Vitamin B1. These vitamins help your body fight infections and strengthen your immune system.

6. Reduce the lipoproteins

It helps control cholesterol levels in the blood. Eating it regularly can reduce your risk factors if you’re susceptible to heart disease or stroke.

7. Antioxidants

It’s packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cell damage in the body. This helps prevent certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer) as well as premature ageing of the skin.

8. Anti-inflammatory

It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to help with pain, swelling and other symptoms associated with arthritis.

Additionally, it is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them great for boosting your immune system and helping you to fight off illnesses.

9. Herbal remedy

It has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

The fruit’s high vitamin C content can help repair damaged skin cells and reduce redness. It also contains vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin growth.

Caring for the longan, the fruits are about to be harvested.

10. Improve skin cells

It is rich in vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy connective tissue and skin cells. It’s also rich in antioxidants that help protect your cells from free radicals that can damage your body over time.

11. Improve your sleep

It helps you get better sleep because it contains theanine, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. When you feel less stressed, you’ll be able to drift off more easily at night.

12. Improve digestion

It aids digestion by reducing stress and anxiety in the body. Its high fiber content helps to keep you full longer than other fruits, so you feel satisfied after eating it.

This keeps cravings at bay, so you don’t over-indulge during stressful situations (like when you’re studying for finals).

13. Good for diabetes

It is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it an ideal snack for people who have diabetes. The fiber helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.

In addition, it contains high levels of phytochemicals that can help fight free radicals that cause damage over time and lead to health problems like heart disease and cancer.

14. It helps with weight loss

It is a fruit that has been used for weight loss and detoxification. The nutrients work together to help with weight loss.

The fiber helps with digestion and bowel movements, while the amino acids aid muscle growth and development.

The vitamin C content of that fruits helps protect against cancerous cells, while vitamin A improves eyesight and boosts immune function.

This combination makes it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight while maintaining their health!

It contains polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that have proven to be effective at reducing the absorption of fat from food. This may help you feel full faster and longer, which could lead to weight loss over time.

How to use longan?

  • On toast with honey and yogurt

Spread Greek-style yogurt over your toast, add sliced and drizzle with honey. You can also add a little salt to give it some extra flavour.

  • In salad

It is also delicious when mixed with other ingredients in a salad with nuts and dried fruit. You can even use it as part of an appetizer: slice the fruit open and fill it with cheese or other tasty treats!

  • Smoothie

This is an easy way to get all the fruit benefits without cooking. Just blend up 1/2 cup of fruit with 2 cups of water, then add 1 cup yogurt and one banana. Blend again until smooth!

Add fresh fruit to your favourite smoothie recipe for a delicious, fruity taste! Just be sure to peel the skin off and remove the seed before using it.

  • As part of desserts

It can be added to cakes and other desserts to add sweetness and texture. Add it to ice cream or custard for a more filling treat.

 

Longan fruit in a basket

Where does longan grow?

The tree prefers warm temperatures and humid air with plenty of rain, so it grows best in tropical climates similar to Thailand or Vietnam.

It can be grown outdoors in containers or greenhouses if you live in cooler temperatures like Canada or the US.

The plant is native to southern China and Southeast Asia but is also grown in other parts of the world, including Hawaii, Florida and California.

Longan flowers

The trees are evergreen, flowering trees with glossy dark green leaves. The flowers are small and white with five petals.

Each flower has a sweet scent that attracts honeybees and other pollinators. The flowers attract bees which pollinate them so that they can produce fruit.

How to grow a longan tree?

The tree cultivation requires warm weather conditions such as those found in tropical regions where temperatures remain above 70℉ during most parts of the year.

During winter, if temperatures fall close to frost or freezing and the tree is outdoors, cover it with plastic sheeting or cardboard until warmer conditions return.

To grow longan:

  1. Purchase a tree from a nursery.
  2. Place the tree in a sunny location with well-drained soil.
  3. Water the tree regularly until it is established, then water it only when the soil becomes dry.
  4. Prune the tree after planting if desired; once established, pruning will not be necessary again unless you wish to shape your tree into another form (e.g., an espalier).

The tree is sensitive to drought and requires plenty of water during its first few years of growth before becoming established in the ground.

Once established; however, it can survive in areas with little rainfall while still producing fruit quality fruit each year.

More exotic fruits:

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