Litchi for Diabetes – All You Need to Know
Litchi (botanical name litchi Chinensis), sometimes called litchee or lichee, is a tropical fruit popular in India’s northern and northern-eastern regions. However, it is widely grown in Southeast Asia, including China, and people love it for its sweet and pulpy texture. This fruit can be eaten raw or incorporated into various dishes, such as ice cream, smoothies, juices, sherbet, jellies, and jam, to add sweetness.
If you have diabetes, you should consider incorporating litchi into your diet. Research has found that litchi is high in potassium and low sodium, which helps to prevent spikes in blood pressure. Additionally, many fruits contain bioactive chemicals that can help to lower your blood glucose levels. Fruits can also boost your immunity, which can help to protect you from diabetes-related issues.
Litchi is a fruit that has many benefits for health. As per research, high fibre content helps to keep the heart healthy and maintain a healthy weight. It is also a good source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and keep the skin healthy. Moreover, litchi can be beneficial for diabetes as well.
Nutritional Values of litchi
As per USDA, one hundred grams of litchi has the following nutrients.
- Water: 81.8g
- Energy: 66kCal
- Carbohydrates: 16.5g
- Fibre: 1.3g
- Calcium: 5mg
- Potassium: 171mg
- Vitamin C: 71.5mg
Rich in vitamin C, litchi fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains small amounts of vitamin B complex, with minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and dietary fibres. Additionally, litchi fruit contains phytochemicals like flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which may provide potential health benefits.
Is litchi Good for Diabetes Patients?
High blood sugar levels characterise diabetes. It usually occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cells do not respond to the insulin. One can only manage these elevated levels through regular exercise and a diet tailored to the individual’s needs.
People with diabetes should avoid consuming sugary meals and foods with high glycemic indexes to maintain their blood sugar levels. For example, litchi is a fruit containing a considerable amount of sugar, yet its 50 glycemic index results in a slow digestion process, gradually releasing the sugar into the blood. Furthermore, litchi’s fibre content helps prevent a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
Can a Diabetic Consume litchi?
If your blood sugar is in check, there shouldn’t be an issue. That is because fructose, the sugar found in fruit, can be metabolised without insulin, unlike other sugars. Research has also suggested that litchi seeds may help treat diabetes.
People with diabetes can benefit from consuming small amounts of litchis in their diet. However, to ensure that you consume the fruit safely and reap its full advantages, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist about when and how much to consume. They might guide you based on the most current blood sugar levels. In addition, you can consult nutritionists at HealthifyMe, who can help you start your journey.
Consuming litchi in moderation can benefit people with diabetes, as carbohydrates can provide energy. However, avoiding eating litchi before or after meals is best, as this could increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, the best times to ingest litchi are in the morning or as a mid-afternoon snack.
The HealthifyMe Note
If you’re looking to maximise the benefits of eating litchis, pay attention to when you consume them. Eating them in the morning or before meals won’t significantly increase your blood sugar levels. However, your blood sugar could rise if you eat these sweet fruits before bed or after a meal. Remember that too much of anything is not suitable for you, so strive to maintain a balanced diet for optimal health and wellness.
Health Benefits of Litchi for Diabetes Patients
People with diabetes are often curious if litchi is beneficial for them. This article focuses on how litchi has a high nutritional profile and can be helpful for people with diabetes.
- Studies suggest that the large quantity of Vitamin C found in litchis can benefit one’s immune system. On top of that, it is an excellent energy source that can help combat fatigue and ward off many germs and viruses.
- Eating litchi can help to prevent constipation, flatulence, bloating, stomach aches, indigestion, and ulcers, providing several digestive benefits.
- This fantastic fruit can help you control your weight. Its high fibre content makes it ideal for aiding in weight loss.
- It is a mineral-rich source that improves circulation by supplying the blood with oxygen more effectively, thus allowing the body to function better. In addition, it helps to purify the blood, which prevents anaemia from occurring by increasing the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Copper and iron are among the minerals in litchi, contributing to these health benefits.
- Research has shown that the flavonoids and antioxidants found in litchi can help fight cancer and provide your body with extra protection. Furthermore, litchi’s antioxidants can help keep blood pressure and cardiovascular health in check.
- Litchis are beneficial in treating specific conditions, such as cataracts, the flu, and herpes virus infections. Furthermore, consuming litchis can help increase the absorption of essential minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese, which can contribute to the development of strong and healthy bones.
- Litchis can be beneficial for facial skin when used as a meal. Extracts of this fruit are often found in lotions and cosmetics to help reduce sunburn, wrinkles, pimples, and other skin issues. Vitamin C, present in litchis, is necessary for keeping skin healthy and youthful.
litchi Recipes for Diabetic Patients
- Stuffed litchis
Total time: 10 mins
- litchis: 3
- Low-fat paneer: ¼ cup
- Low-fat milk: ½ tbsp
- Vanilla essence: ⅛ tsp
- Blend into a filling – low-fat paneer, low-fat milk and vanilla essence.
- Slit the litchis horizontally and remove the seed.
- Stuff the litchis with the filling and refrigerate
- Serve chilled.
- litchi Smoothie
Total Time: 10 mins
- litchis: 5
- Water: 1½ cups
- Lemon: ½
- Mint leaves and lemon slices to garnish as needed: Optional
- Remove the litchi seeds.
- Place the entire fruit pulp in a blender and blend the mixture until it is smooth and fine.
- Add water as needed along with lemon juice.
- Garnish with mint and lemon and serve immediately.
The HealthifyMe Note
A standard serving of litchi consists of five to seven fruits. People with high blood sugar levels should consult their doctor before consuming any. Make sure only to eat ripe litchis, as unripe ones contain chemicals that can increase blood sugar levels. Eating litchis on an empty stomach can drastically reduce blood glucose levels. However, overeating can cause hypoglycemia or nausea. Extremely high litchi consumption can lead to delirium, unconsciousness, lethargy, or a drop in blood pressure.
Litchi is a popular fruit worldwide and can be part of a diabetes-specific diet plan. However, it is essential to talk to a doctor before consuming these fruits, as it is best to maintain a healthy balance and exercise in moderation. Following a proper diabetic diet requires a lot of moderation and balance, so while one can enjoy litchi in moderation, it is crucial to avoid overindulging.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is litchi low glycaemic?
A: Litchi fruit has a medium to high GI value, which may cause a moderate to a significant increase in blood sugar levels. The exact GI value of litchi fruit can vary depending on several factors, including the type of litchi and how ripe it is. For example, fresh litchi fruit has a lower GI value than dried litchi fruit, and ripe litchi fruit has a higher GI value than unripe litchi fruit.
Q. Does litchi reduce blood sugar?
A: There is some evidence to suggest that litchi fruit may have potential benefits for blood sugar control. Some studies have found that litchi fruit extract or juice may help reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand the mechanisms behind any potential blood sugar-lowering effects of litchi fruit.
Q. Can diabetics eat litchi?
A: It is generally safe for people with diabetes to eat litchi fruit in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, it is essential to pay attention to portion size, as litchi fruit has a medium to high glycemic index (GI) and may cause a moderate to a significant increase in blood sugar levels.
It is also a good idea to consider the other foods you are eating at the same time as litchi fruit and the total amount of carbohydrates you are consuming. In addition, it may be helpful to keep track of your blood sugar levels before and after eating litchi fruit to see how it affects you personally.
Q. Does litchi have high sugar?
A: litchis contain 15g of sugar per 100g, but due to their low GI of 50, they can be enjoyed in moderation by people with diabetes. Eating meals that are low on the GI scale can help manage blood sugar levels better.
The Supporting Sources
1. Zhang Y, Jin D, An X, Duan L, Duan Y, Lian F. litchi Seed as a Potential Hypoglycemic Agent, and Exploration of its Underlying Mechanisms. Front Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 8;12:737803. Doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.737803. PMID: 34690773; PMCID: PMC8531476.
2. Whelton PK, He J. Health effects of sodium and potassium in humans. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2014 Feb;25(1):75-9. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000033. PMID: 24345983.
3. Lim JC, Caballero Arredondo M, Braakhuis AJ, Donaldson PJ. Vitamin C and the Lens: New Insights into Delaying the Onset of Cataract. Nutrients. 2020 Oct 14;12(10):3142. doi: 10.3390/nu12103142. PMID: 33066702; PMCID: PMC7602486.
4. Pandel R, Poljšak B, Godic A, Dahmane R. Skin photoaging and the role of antioxidants in its prevention. ISRN Dermatol. 2013 Sep 12;2013:930164. Doi: 10.1155/2013/930164. PMID: 24159392; PMCID: PMC3789494.
5. Slavin JL. Dietary fibre and body weight. Nutrition. 2005 Mar;21(3):411-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2004.08.018. PMID: 15797686.
6. U S Department of Agriculture