Lychee and rambutan are both sweet tasting, tropical fruits that look strikingly similar. Both have white flesh, contain a big seed as their center, and have a red and bumpy outer skin. But despite their similarities, these fruits are quite different in terms of taste and nutritional profiles. Luckily, we’re here to spell out those differences for you, starting with the most popular…lychee!
Rambutan Versus Lychee
The lychee fruit comes from the soapberry family and grow on evergreen trees that can soar as tall as 100 feet. This exotic fruit originated in China, but is now cultivated in almost all countries located in Southeast Asia. You can recognize lychee by their trademark reddish-orange skin color, plus the fact that it is bumpy in texture.
The benefits of lychee are numerous, which isn’t surprising coming from a fruit whose name means “gift for loyal life.” Lychee is rich in dietary fiber, helping you to keep your digestion running smoothly and efficiently. This wonder fruit doesn’t just work wonder for your digestion, it also helps keep your bones in tip-top shape, all thanks to its abundance of phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and copper. These minerals are known to strengthen bones on their own, but they also help to increase the effectiveness of vitamin D. Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin D isn’t an easy feat, and many of us are deficient in this nutrient, but it is vital in terms of building strong bones as well as the absorption of calcium. As if you needed another reason to add this tasty treat to your diet, lychee is abundant in vitamin C, boosting your immunity and protecting your body from free radicals.
But, perhaps, the nutrient that makes lychee stand apart is the polyphenol, oligonol. Oligonol has several antioxidant and anti-influenza virus effects including, increasing production of nitric oxide and thus improving circulation, helping to neutralize free radicals, protecting cell health, helping to decrease fatigue and improve endurance, aiding in weight loss, and inhibiting the enzyme of collagenase, and therefore, promoting skin health.
You can taste this delicious treat and reap all the healthy benefits by sipping on our Lychee Ginger Smoothie!
Rambutan closely resembles lychee with its red-colored skin, but is actually part of the Sapindaceae family and is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. The trees on which they are grown do not reach nearly as tall as the ones lychee stem from, growing to only about 10-20 feet in height. The skin of the rambutan is slightly thicker, making it more difficult to peel. Its flesh is slightly firmer and not as sweet as lychee.
Rambutan does not contain the polyphenol, oligonol, but they don’t call it a super fruit for nothing! Like lychee, rambutan boasts many nutritional benefits and contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Rambutan is slightly higher in calories than lychee, but it makes up for it by its fiber content. With 3 grams in a 100gram serving as opposed to 1 in lychee, rambutan is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your stomach satisfied to boot. It’s also rich in vitamin C, with a 100 gram serving containing 40% of your daily recommended dosage. Rambutan is also an excellent source of iron.
From a nutritional standpoint, lychee is a slightly healthier choice, boasting fewer calories, greater benefits, as well as the superstar ingredient, oligonol,. That being said, rambutan is still a great addition to a healthy diet. Plus, both taste sweet and delicious…you really can’t go wrong!