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Lychee Consumption Precautions for Children


Lychee is a little known and rarely used tropical fruit In our country. However, given its accessibility, it is widely consumed in Asian countries, such as China and India, the largest lychee producers worldwide.

Among the benefits of lychee is its content in vitamin C and folic acid, in addition to its concentration of minerals such as iron, copper or manganese. In addition, lychee is characterized by being one of the fruits with the highest content of polyphenols, which makes lychee a fruit of high nutritional density that is very interesting in childhood. We tell you what are the benefits of lychee for the whole family.

They provide vitamin C, folic acid, minerals, iron ... As if this were not enough, small compounds with great antiviral potential can be found in lychee seeds, especially against viruses that are extremely easy to contract among the smallest, such as the cause of hand-foot-mouth disease, or herpes. In lychee pulp, on the other hand, there are flavonoids with anti-inflammatory properties, of great interest in childhood.

Regarding its macronutrient content, lychee contains basically carbohydrates, and a practically zero amount of protein and fat, so its caloric content is relatively low.

However, and despite the tremendous appeal of its health benefits, especially for the heart and circulatory system, and despite its tremendous antioxidant potential that lychee presents, its consumption has now been linked to serious health problems in disadvantaged populations.

- Hypoglycemia: The truth is that lychee seeds contain a substance, homologous to hypoglycine -an extremely rare amino acid but chemically related to lysine- which is capable of causing hypoglycemia, in other words, drastic and unexpected drops in sugar levels. With this in mind, lychee should be consumed with caution, especially in the case of diabetic children or at times when sugar levels may be low or fluctuate, such as on an empty stomach or during physical exercise.

- Hypoglycemic encephalopathy: On the other hand, and also in relation to hypoglycemia, lychee has been related, in child populations where malnutrition is, unfortunately, widespread, with the appearance of an encephalopathy known as hypoglycemic encephalopathy. According to the investigations carried out, hypoglycemic encephalopathy could be caused by the combination of hypoglycine A together with the homologue contained in lychee (especially in lychees that have not yet matured) and with a low amount of sugar in the blood, as usually occurs after periods of fasting or, in the cases studied, in children with symptoms of malnutrition. Additionally, the presence in lychee of other rare amino acids, apart from hypoglycine, could also be related to the disease.

Although the results of the studies are insufficient to prohibit its consumption, the organizations dedicated to the control of this type of disease recommend that children do not consume large amounts of this fruit and always do it after meals.

You can read more articles similar to Lychee Consumption Precautions for Children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.


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