5 Incredible health benefits of longans (recipes included)
04/19/2022 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
5 Incredible health benefits of longans (recipes included)

Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, the longan fruit (Dimocarpus longan) is a great addition to the selection of fresh fruits you should be eating.

A member of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), longan is a tropical fruit native to South Asia and China. It is commonly known as “dragon’s eye” because of how its insides look: translucent flesh surrounding a single, black seed. Longan can be enjoyed as part of a healthy breakfast or as a tasty midday snack.

Longan offers several health benefits, such as:

Brighteon.TV

  1. Provides essential nutrients – Longans are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, B vitamins, copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. Longans are also rich in antioxidants that support optimal health, such as corilagin, gallic acid and ellagic acid.
  2. Aids in weight loss – Low in calories and high in fiber, longans are great for weight loss. Fiber helps keep you full for longer periods, making you less likely to snack between meals or overeat during meals. Recent studies have also found that diets with fiber-rich foods are linked to weight loss.
  3. Strengthens your immune system – Longans are high in vitamin C, which can boost immunity by helping white blood cells – immune cells that fight infection and other diseases – function more effectively. Vitamin C can also strengthen your skin’s defense system.
  4. Fights inflammation – Corilagin, gallic acid, ellagic acid and other antioxidants in longans help reduce chronic inflammation, which is at the heart of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.
  5. Uplifts mood – In Traditional Chinese Medicine, healers use longans to relieve sleep problems. It’s said that the fruit can calm nerves and reduce irritability and fatigue, giving your body a relaxed feeling.

How to eat longans

Longan is very popular in Asia, so an Asian grocery store may be your best bet for finding fresh longans. If you can’t find the real deal, you could opt for canned or dried longans, which are available year-round.

The flavor of the longan fruit is best described as being somewhat like lychee, which also belongs to the soapberry family, only sweeter and more grape-like.

Longan is an amazing snack eaten by itself. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to eat it:

  1. Crack the shell with a knife or with your fingers. Discard the shell.
  2. Remove the black seed and discard. Do not eat. Some longan seeds contain poisonous cyanide.
  3. Enjoy the succulent, translucent flesh of the fruit.

Fresh longan makes a great addition to any salad, especially if you want to add a sweet contrast to savory flavors. If you want to do more with your longans, try either of the two recipes below.

Recipe for longan soup

This recipe for Cantonese-style longan soup may be basic, but it’s very delicious. It can be served hot when the weather is biting cold, but it’s also incredibly refreshing served chilled during hot summer days.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 12 ginkgo nuts
  • 6 dried red dates
  • 5 pieces snow fungus, soaked until soft
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup dried longans
  • Sugar, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the longans, red dates, ginkgo nuts and snow fungus.
  2. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the water turns brown.
  3. Add sugar to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve hot or chilled.

Recipe for no-bake longan cheesecake

This no-bake cheesecake has a unique, gentle flavor thanks to longans. It tastes like a cross between a cheesecake and an ice cream but without the added sugar and dairy.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 soft Medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 20 longans, peeled and de-seeded
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts, pre-soaked and strained
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Pulse all the crust ingredients into a sticky crumble using a food processor.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a springform pan. Press down on it firmly and evenly, then put it in the freezer.
  3. Blend all the filling ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  4. Take out the chilled crust. Pour the filling into the crust. Smooth it out using the back of a spoon.
  5. Top with more longans if desired. Freeze for 5 to 6 hours or overnight before slicing.

Longan is a tropical superfruit linked to some amazing health benefits, including weight loss and reduced levels of inflammation. Enjoy the many benefits of longans when you add them to your diet.

Note that longans aren’t safe to consume for pregnant women. Longans can make your body feel hot. Pregnant women are especially prone to hot flashes due to their fluctuating hormone levels, and eating longans may worsen that uncomfortable sensation.

Sources:

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

Academic.OUP.com

RasaMalaysia.com

UnconventionalBaker.com

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