The Lovely Lychee

This time of year one of my favorite fruits is supposed to appear in the local wet markets.  The month of May should be the season of the Queen of Fruit…the mangosteen !

So off I went to my favorite market with the full intention of bringing home a bag of the yummy fruit. But imagine my disappointment when there was no Shānzhú ( mangosteen) to be found. I walked around the whole market and not one vendor had the fruit. Now I have seen the mangosteen in the market at other times of the year but they are generally not very tasty and I do try to eat seasonally, so May to September should be the peak season.

It is a mystery but I still needed fruit.  I didn’t have to look too far when the piles of bumpy lychees came into view. The earliest  record of lychees as food comes from the Song dynasty, so those of you on the Paleo diet, lychees could add some variety to your day.

Besides being an ancient fruit of China, lychees are a super source of the vitamin C and a great source of copper and potassium. All 3 of these nutrients play a role in cardiac health and supporting a strong immune system. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective lychees nourish the blood which quenches thirst , quiets a cough, “calms the mind and relieves palpitations”* all issues that support a healthy heart.

If you have never had a fresh lychee I suggest you do this month or next.  Peel back the bumpy skin and pop the whole juicy mess in your mouth.  You will find a smooth pit in the center but that is easy enough to spit out, just ask any local!

I will let you know when I find the mangosteens!  Until then enjoy all the other fruits now in season.

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!

*Your Guide to Health with FOODS & HERBS, Using the Wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhang Yifang & Yao Yingzhi

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