Are lychee seeds edible? Know benefits and side effects of eating them; how to consume | Health - Hindustan Times
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Are lychee seeds edible? Know benefits and side effects of eating them; how to consume

By, New Delhi
Jun 08, 2024 08:13 PM IST

Lychee seeds can stabilise your blood sugar and rejuvenate your skin. However, if consumed incorrectly, they can lead to dangerous side effects.

The sweet and juicy lychees are in the season and eating them moderately is recommended by nutrition experts for boosting overall health. However, have you ever wondered if the black and shiny seed of lychee has any use or benefits? Seed of lychee has its own unique benefits. Lychee seed extracts have a hypoglycaemic effect and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. They also have a compound called saponin, which can help boost cognitive function. However, before eating lychee seeds, it's important to process them correctly as raw lychee seeds can have a toxin that can lower blood sugar levels dangerously and can lead to poisoning. (Also read: How many lychees can you eat in a day to avoid weight gain? Amazing benefits of the fruit; best time to eat it)

"Lychee, a tropical fruit loved for its juicy sweetness, hides within its core a seed that is often discarded. However, these seeds hold untapped potential for health benefits when processed correctly(Freepik)
"Lychee, a tropical fruit loved for its juicy sweetness, hides within its core a seed that is often discarded. However, these seeds hold untapped potential for health benefits when processed correctly(Freepik)

"Lychee, a tropical fruit loved for its juicy sweetness, hides within its core a seed that is often discarded. However, these seeds hold untapped potential for health benefits when processed correctly," says Shweta Shah, Celebrity Nutritionist and Ayurveda Expert in an interview with HT Digital.

Are lychee seeds safe to consume?

"Raw lychee seeds contain Hypoglycin A, a toxin that can interfere with normal metabolic processes and lead to a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycaemia. This makes them unsafe for direct consumption. It is crucial to understand that raw lychee seeds should never be eaten due to the risk of poisoning," says Shah.

How to process lychee seeds correctly

When lychee seeds are processed correctly, the harmful Hypoglycin A can be neutralized and diluted, says Shah.

"The seeds can then be ground into a powder or turned into an extract, making them safe and beneficial for various uses. Processing methods often involve drying, roasting, and soaking, which help in eliminating the toxins," adds the nutritionist.

Benefits of lychee seed extract

Processed lychee seed extract offers numerous health benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Digestive health: Lychee seed extract can aid in digestive problems, helping to soothe and improve gut health.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties: The extract is known for its anti-inflammatory effects, making it beneficial for conditions like arthritis.

3. Antioxidant powerhouse: Rich in antioxidants, lychee seed extract can combat oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage.

4. Skin rejuvenation: Topical application of lychee seed extract can help with skin issues such as acne and breakouts. It promotes skin health and rejuvenation, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Consume it in moderation

Lychee seed powder should be consumed in moderation. The recommended dosage is no more than one teaspoon per day. This ensures that you receive the benefits without risking any adverse effects.

"The extract can be soaked in water, and the resultant compound can be used in cosmetic formulations. This extract can be applied directly to the skin to help with various dermatological conditions," says Shah.

"While processed lychee seeds can be highly beneficial, overconsumption can lead to digestive problems and the reappearance of Hypoglycin A-related issues, such as hypoglycaemia. It is essential to adhere to recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare professional before adding lychee seed supplements to your routine, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions," adds the expert.

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