Lychee or litchi are delicious fruit that grows on the native tree of the same name. These are native to China but is now cultivated in many regions of the world. Being a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc. they have proved to be very beneficial for our health. In addition to the health benefits, lychees also provide a number of beauty benefits for our skin and hair. Although lychees are great for our health, skin, and hair, still it is important to eat them in moderation as there are also some side effects of eating too many lychees.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Lychees
(1) May Cause Hypoglycemia
Lychees are very beneficial for us and provide a number of health benefits. One such benefit is the ability of lychees to lower our blood sugar level, and this helps with diabetics patients. However, over-consumption of lychees is bad as it can lower our blood glucose level to an extremely low level, and give rise to hypoglycemia.
In addition to this, if you are a diabetic patient and already taking medication to control blood sugar level, then consumption of lychees could worsen the situation.
The extremely low blood sugar level is bad for our health as it can cause hypoglycemia which is characterized by the symptoms like blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, sudden nervousness, pale skin, headache, dizziness, shaking, unconsciousness, fever, seizure, etc. ( source )
(2) May Drop Blood Pressure To Extremely Low Level
One of the most important health benefits of lychees is its ability to provide relief from high blood pressure. This helps in controlling hypertension which could otherwise give rise to a number of problems like a headache, severe anxiety, breathing difficulty, an increased risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, etc ( source ).
This benefit of lychee is mainly due to the abundance of potassium in them. Consuming just 100 grams of lychees provides around 171 mg of potassium. Being a vasodilator, potassium relaxes our blood vessels and ensures that blood flows through them smoothly.
Although lychees are good for regulating blood pressure, one should not consume them too much as overeating lychees could reduce our blood pressure to an extremely low level and give rise to conditions like dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, cold, extreme tiredness, shallow breathing, etc. ( source ).
If you are already taking medication to regulate your blood pressure level then you should be very careful about the consumption of lychee and eat them in a very moderated quantity.
(3) High Sugar Level
Lychees are good for people with diabetes as they help in regulating our blood sugar level. However, one should not forget that they have a high sugar level.
Consuming too many lychees in short duration can cause a sudden rise in our blood sugar level and worsen the condition of diabetic patients. It could also work otherwise and drops our blood sugar level to dangerously low level.
For a safe side, both eastern and western doctors advice consuming no more than six to seven lychees at a time.
(4) Lychees are “Hot”
They may be sweet and so delicious in taste, but as per Chinese culture, they are “hot ” in nature. Consuming too many “hot” food is bad for our health as it is believed to throw off the balance of our body, and give rise to conditions like bleeding nose, sore throat, mouth soreness, etc.
For this reason, it is better to eat lychees in a limited quantity.
(5) Lychees During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Stage
Lychees are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc. and provides a number of health benefits. However, not much is known about whether or not they are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding stage.
For this reason, pregnant and nursing women are advised to be on the safe side and avoid eating lychees. Or, if you want to eat lychees then get in touch with your doctor and follow their advice and recommendation.
(6) Lychees and Auto-Immune Diseases
You never know when advantage could turn into a disadvantage and lychees are a perfect example of this. They are an excellent source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that fights with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells ( including the immune system ).
By protecting our immune system from oxidative damage, lychees make our immune system more active and this protects us from various disease-causing microbes like bacterias, viruses, etc. However, there is a disadvantage to this.
Consuming too many lychees make our immune system hyperactive and this increases the risk of auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus ( systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, etc. For this reason, it is advised to be cautious and eat lychees in moderate quantity.
(7) Lychees And Allergies
No doubt lychees provide a number of health benefits and are very delicious in taste, but unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy their benefits and taste.
It has been found that individuals who are allergic to birch, sunflower seeds and other plants belonging to the same family, mugwort, and latex are also allergic to lychees.
These individuals should avoid consuming lychees as it may otherwise cause symptoms like hives, itching, labored breathing, swelling of lips and tongue. ( source )
(8) Interference With Surgery
If you have a surgery scheduled, then it is advisable to stop consuming lychees at least two weeks prior to surgery, and even after surgery, wait for at least two weeks before including lychees in your diet again.
This precaution is necessary because lychees could interfere with the blood sugar control during and after surgery.
In addition to this, lychees also lower our blood pressure level and this could also have an adverse effect on our health during surgery phase.
(9) Lychees And Weight Gain
Lychees are low in calories and this makes them very beneficial for the individuals who are on a weight loss regime.
Consuming 100 grams of lychees provides only 66 calories. They are also a good source of dietary fibers which keeps our stomach full for an extended period and decreases our urge to eat again and again. This controls overeating which is a major behind weight gain and obesity. In addition to this, lychees are mostly water ( which means no calories).
All these factors combined together, make lychees very beneficial for weight loss.
So, does that means we can consume as many lychees as we want without worrying about weight gain? The Answer is “No”.
Every bite counts and if you start consuming too many lychees then you’ll end up acquiring a higher number of calories and this could interfere with your weight loss plan, and even lead to “weight gain”.
(10) High In Carbohydrates
Another important reason to eat lychees in moderate quantity is their high carbohydrate level. Lychees are high in carbohydrate and most of which is “sugar”.
Consuming a single cup serving of lychees provides around 30 grams of sugar, which is much higher in comparison to the sugar present in apples ( 13 grams of sugar per cup) and blueberries ( 7 grams of sugar per cup). Although there is no limit on the sugar obtained from natural sources (like fruits) too much of carbohydrates are bad.
As per the Institute of Medicine, adults should get no more than 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates and rest from fat and protein. Lychees lack fat and protein and if you are consuming too many lychees then it means you are getting a large portion of calories from carbohydrates.
This side effect is a matter of concern only when you are consuming lychees in excessive quantity and when your diet lack protein and fat. If you are balancing things, then there is not much to worry, but as a matter of precaution, it is better to stay within limits.
(11) Lack of Certain Nutrients
Lychees are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc. and this makes them beneficial for our health.
However, it should be noted that lychees lack certain nutrients like proteins, essential fatty acids, calcium, etc.
All these play an important role in our body and if you want to stay healthy, then we need to have a balance of all these things in our diet. For this reason, too, it is advisable to eat lychees in moderation.
(12) High Sugar In Canned Lychees
Lychees are high in sugar and this level could be even higher if you are eating canned lychees.
A single serving of canned lychees contains about 27 grams of sugar. Another reason to worry is that not all of this sugar is obtained naturally from fruit. So, if you are eating canned lychees then you may surpass the limit of added sugars recommended by the American Heart Association.
As per the American Heart Association, men should not consume more than 150 calories and women should not consume more than 100 calories from added sugar.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.