dried longan fruit

Introduction

Longan fruit is a tropical fruit mainly produced in several Southeastern Asian countries. These fruits are well known for their juicy aromatic sweet taste with light reddish brown peel and white translucent flesh (1) containing one single black seed. Longan fruits closely resemble the common fruit Lychee both in terms of taste and appearance (2). This article is about the benefits of dried longan fruit.

Importance of longan fruits in traditional medicine

The longan fruits are known as a tonic herb of the blood deficiency category. They are warm in nature thus helping in slowing down the acute reactions and detoxifying the body. In Chinese tradition, these fruits are used to purify the blood calm the body, and relieve mental fatigue (3).

Benefits of Longan fruit 

Fruits of longan are rich in vitamins like B1, B2, B3 and C. Minerals like phosphorus, potassium, and adenine are also there in these fruits.  Along with this longans are rich in dietary fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and amino acids (2).

The health benefits of longan fruits are good for the skin, reduces wrinkle thus effects positively aging, anti-anxiety, treats insomnia, can be used as a blood tonic, and immune booster, prevent chronic diseases, helps in digestion, and improves memory, and vision, and healing (7).

Nutritional facts of longan fruit per 100 grams

Vitamins Thiamine (B1) 0.031 mg
  Riboflavin (B2) 0.14 mg
  Niacin 0.3 mg
  Vitamin C 84 mg
Minerals Calcium 1 mg
  Iron 0.13 mg
  Magnesium 10 mg
  Manganese 0.052 mg
  Phosphorus 21 mg
  Potassium 266 mg
  Zinc 0.05 mg
Protein Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Valine, Arginine, Histidine, Alanine, Aspartic acid, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Proline, Serine 1.31 g
Fat   0.1 g
Energy   60 kcal
Carbohydrates   15.14 g
Dietary fiber   1.1 g

Benefits of dried longan fruit

1. Immune-modulatory function

Dried longan fruits have immunomodulatory properties (3). This helps in boosting the immune system of the body by modulating or controlling immunostimulators or decreasing (immunosuppressives) the production of serum antibodies (4).

2. Treats insomnia

Scientists revealed that the dried fruits of longan help in promoting blood metabolism thus soothing the nerves and ultimately relieving insomnia and inducing sleep (5).

3. Reduces anxiety

The dried fruits of lignan also help in reducing anxiety by helping in relaxing the nervous system of the body (6)

Effect of drying the Longan fruits

Drying longan fruits increases their longevity and can be stored for long periods. Drying may change the composition of the fruits as some components decrease and some increase. 

After drying the longan fruits the amounts of ketones and alcohols decreased whereas furans and esters increased. Natural furans have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities (7).

Along with this the total amount of volatile compounds also decreases on drying longan fruits. The amount of total reducing sugars and total free amino acids also decreases after drying (8).

Side effects 

1. Gastriintestinal distress

Along with health benefits, there are some negative effects or side effects of dried logan too like too much dried logan may result in gastrointestinal distress.

2. Avoid during pregnancy

Too much eating longan fruit may cause complications in pregnancy (9).

3. Sugar content

Some products of dried longan also have additional sugar coating. Hence person having diabetes should check the ingredients before buying.