Mums, beware! Lychee can harm your children

Mums, beware! Lychee can harm your children

Not all fruits are created equal, some if them can even be fatal when ingested, which can cause poisoning or even death

Doctors have been reminding us time and again that eating fruits and vegetables is one of the healthiest things we can do for our body. Decades of research has been telling us of this. But latest research claim that a certain type of the lychee can harm and poison, especially when ingested by malnourished children.

Researchers in India found the Asian lychee tree (Litchi chinensis) to be responsible for outbreaks of a fatal brain sickness in the Bihar state, where the fruit is commercially grown.

A team of virologist led by T. Jacob John at the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, in Tamil Nadu, found traces of Methylene cyclopropyl-glycine (MCPG) or hypoglycin G in both semi-ripe and ripe lychee fruit by a team.

Lychee can harm: It’s possibly lethal

When ingested by underfed children, MCPG causes hypoglycaemic encephalopathy, a metabolic illness that affects the brain when body sugar levels are low.

This happens when a person is fasting and the glycerin stored in the body is released for energy production.

lychee can harm

Researchers have proved that lychee can harm young kids who may be malnourished. | Image courtesy: Pixabay

This mobilised body fat. This process requires the breakdown of fatty acids and carnitine and coenzyme usually help with it. “When this metabolism is impaired, hypoglycaemia develops,” said Maya Thomas, a paediatric neurologist at CMC Vellore.

The best way to avoid this is let the children eat the fruit only after a meal. Mummies, are you sure you’re developing good nutritional habits in your home?

Healthy eating at home

Experts recommend the following tips to promote healthy childhood eating:

  • Focus on overall diet rather than specific foods. To promote a lifelong healthy relationship with food, kids should be eating whole, minimally processed, nutritious food—food that is as close to its natural form as possible.
  • Have regular family meals. When kids know a specific dinner time and that the entire family will eat together, it comforts them and enhances their appetite. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal.
  • Cook more meals at home. Eating home cooked meals is healthier for the whole family. It sets a great example for kids about the importance of food and can bring a family together—even moody teenagers love to eat tasty, home-cooked meals!
  • Involve your kids. Children enjoy helping adults to shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner.
  • Make a variety of healthy snacks available instead of empty calorie snacks. Keep plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grain snacks, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) around.
  • Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. 

Also read: Are food additives harmful for children?

Got a parenting concern? Read articles or ask away and get instant answers on our app. Download theAsianparent Community on iOS or Android now!

Written by

James Martinez

app info
get app banner