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Rambutan VS Lychee: Taste, Side Effects Nutrition, & more

Rambutan vs lychee is quite a common comparative debate. In fact, many people think these two fruits are the same. 

But in fact, even though these are from the same family, they are not the same. They have differences in everything. 

In this article, we’ll provide a comparative discussion on rambutan and lychee. What these two fruits are, their availability, taste, nutrition facts, preparations, health benefits, and the probable risks they might contain.

Rambutan vs lychee debate might require more than just comparing them. It needs details of information on both geography and biology of them.

Let’s not waste any more time and just proceed to the discussion. 

Rambutan VS Lychee
Rambutan VS Lychee

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What is Rambutan?

Rambutan is a tropical fruit. It is native to South Asia. Rambutan is also the name of the tree the fruit hails from. 

This fruit is medium in size and has hairy prongs outside in its red skin. 

Rambutan grows in clusters, each cluster contains 6-18 fruits.

To eat this fruit, you’ll need to peel the hairy skin first, after that you can enjoy the sweet and sour flesh of the rambutan. And well, the seed is not edible though. Make sure you don’t choke on the seed while eating! 

What is Lychee?

Like rambutan, lychee is also a tropical fruit. And this one is native to South Asia too! And yes, the tree that produces lychee has the name “lychee tree” too.

But, lychee is different from rambutan. You don’t even need to be an expert to spot the differences. 

Lychee is smaller in size. And its skin is red too, similar to rambutan; but unlike rambutan, lychee doesn’t have any prongs. Though the skin of lychee is uneven and rough. 

And, lychee grows in clusters too. 

To eat this, you’ll need to peel the skin and consume the soft and juicy flesh of lychee. 

Rambutan vs lychee in appearance 

We hope that the previous points have already figured the differences out clearly. 

We’ll just provide a table of differences in appearance for your glance. 

Feature Rambutan Lychee 
SizeRambutan is medium in size. As they grow in clusters, they look like a big bush from afar.Lychee is comparatively smaller in size. They too grow in clusters. 
SkinThis tropical fruit has skin with hairy prongs. At first glance, you might mistake them for thorns. They don’t have prongs. But, the skin is rough and uneven.
ColorRambutan is bright red on the outer skin. The prongs turn green once the fruit is ripe.The skin color of lychee is dark pink, magenta, and at times- red. But not the bright red like rambutan. It’s more like pink-red.

We hope you won’t ever mix these two fruits up with one another! 

Rambutan vs lychee in nutrition 

As tropical fruits, they have a lot of similarities. But in terms of nutrition, two fruits can never have the same amount. There will always be differences when you check the numbers. 

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts of these two fruits. 

NB: The amount here is based on 100 grams of fruits.

Nutrition factAmount in rambutan Amount in lychee Work of nutrients 
Carbohydrate 20.87 g16.5 gCarbohydrates are one of the most necessary nutrients for a human. It works as the fuel that creates energy. Carbs are important for proper body growth too.
Protein 1 g0.8 gProtein too is important for body growth and development. They help build muscles. 
Vitamin A0.03  mgVitamin A helps you to have good vision as well as good blood circulation. 
Vitamin B0.12 mgVitamin B is another important vitamin. It helps one to build a good immune system and prevents many diseases (eg: scurvy). 
Vitamin C4.9 mg71.5 mgYou won’t find vitamin C in cooked food. The exclusivity of this fruit is- that it remains only in raw fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C builds up the immune system and prevents diseases. 
Iron0.36 mg0.3 mgIron is good for the blood. It helps the hemoglobin level remain healthy. Iron deficiency causes anemia, this is why one needs to make sure to eat foods that contain a sufficient amount of iron.
Sodium 11 mg1 mgSodium is necessary to keep body fluid balanced. It is also efficient for the nervous system.

As we can see, both have differences in terms of nutrition. But they make up for one lacking by providing something else. Interesting, right? 

Availability of rambutan and lychee 

We have already mentioned that both of these two fruits are tropical and native to South Asia. 

But, the availability varies depending on the region and season.

Let’s take a look at the availability. 

Fact Rambutan Lychee 
Season Winter and Fall are the seasons of rambutan. If we have to make it specific, then it would be December-January and August-September. These are the seasons for rambutan harvest. Lychee is a summertime fruit. The harvest of lychee is in mid-summer. Namely, April-June is the harvest month of lychee. 
RegionSoutheast Asia is the region where rambutan is available in a wide range. Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and India are the biggest fields of rambutan.This is also native to South Asia, but you can find them in the USA, especially in Florida. India, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are the countries with big productions of lychee. 

Seems like the season is the main difference here.

Rambutan vs lychee: differences in taste 

One of them is a summer fruit, the other is a winter fruit. 

But that’s not all. They have some differences in terms of taste too.

Rambutan is creamy and rubbery in texture. The white flesh tastes sweet with a hint of sourness. This sweetness is rich in flavor, and the slight hint of sourness in it makes it even stronger.

Lychee on the other hand is not as creamy as rambutan. But, the flesh of lychee is softer in texture. Lychee tastes sweet, but without the sour hints that are present in rambutan. The sweetness of lychee comes with a juicy flavor.  

Interestingly, both of these have a strong aroma once you peel the redskins off them.

In short, both have amazing tastes, both have a mouth-watering aroma. But, these flavors surely differ and make them stand unique. 

Preparations of rambutan and lychee 

Both rambutan and lychee are seasonal fruits.

This is why you might be wondering if they have other preparations. Like- some sorts of jelly, juice, or pickles?

The answer is, yes. Both of them have different preparations that help store them for a long time and enjoy those rich flavors even when it’s not the harvest season. 

Let’s go and take a look.

Type RambutanLychee 
Jam/jellyRambutans can turn into good jams. And you can make it at home. You’ll just need to blend the flesh of the rambutan, mix it with sugar, water, and flavors, and cook it for about half an hour. Once you get that down and cool it- the jam will be ready. You can buy rambutan jam from stores too!To make lychee jam, you will need pectins. This makes lychee jams different from rambutan jams. Other than this one ingredient difference- the preparation itself is very similar. And yes, the tastes of these two jams are different too. Lychee jam is less sweet than rambutan jam.
JuiceRambutan juice is something you might search for during summer. But the truth is, you won’t find any fresh rambutan during that season. Only the canned rambutan juice will stay- but rambutan juice is not as popular as lychee juices. Lychee juice is more popular than rambutan juice. You can make it at home, or buy some from your local grocery shops. This one is more available than rambutan juice too.
Pickles This is popular all over Indonesia. But in other countries, rambutan pickles are not that popular. Lychee pickles are more popular than rambutan pickles too. In India, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan- you will find lychee pickles easily. 

Rambutan jam is more popular, but when it comes to juice and pickles- lychee wins it seems. 

Rambutan vs lychee: which one has more health benefits? 

Nutrition differences make their health benefits different too.

But is the difference margin too high?

Let’s find the answer. 

Rambutan Lychee 
Rambutan is great for kidney health. They contain a good amount of antioxidants that help remove toxins from your kidney. The dietary fibers in lychee are helpful for heart health. 
This fruit is great for your bone health too. They have a good amount of calcium and vitamin B. These facts make rambutan great to strengthen your bones!As a great source of vitamin C, lychee prevents many diseases in advance and builds up a good immune system. 
Consuming rambutan helps remove body wastes and radicals.Lychee has some antioxidants too. They help remove radicals from the body as well.
Rambutan has so many strong antioxidants. This helps develop and repair tissue cells in the human body. And those antioxidants help develop and repair tissue cells just like rambutan. 
This fruit has anti-cancer properties. Consuming rambutan regularly can reduce the risks of cancer. Lychee too has anti-cancer properties. Consuming lychee helps reduce the risks of getting cancer too.

Guess what? Both of these fruits are superfoods! 

Tasty and nutritious both at the same bite; a deal worth not skipping! 

Probable side effects of rambutan and lychee 

Surprisingly, both of these have exactly the same probable side effects. 

Side effects of rambutan 

Rambutan is healthy, but it still has two probable side effects. 

Those two potential side effects are-

  1. They contain a good amount of sugar. This is why consuming lots of them might be problematic if you are diabetic. 
  1. Though it is rare, still some people are allergic to this fruit. They might get an allergic reaction if exposed to rambutan. 

Side effects of lychee 

Lychee, in terms of risk factors, is similar to rambutan.

This fruit too has two probable side effects. They are-

  1. The carbs in lychee are mostly sugar. This might be problematic to diabetic people if they consume a lot of lychees. 
  1. A few people are allergic to lychee. They might get allergic reactions if they come across lychee.

Other than these risks, both are highly nutritious, incredibly delicious, and easy to find and store. 

There were all the comparative discussions. The choice is yours. Though, we’d suggest both as both of them provide some excellence. 

And before we end the discussion, we’d like to remind you that you should always consult a doctor for any sort of physical discomfort. 

If you have any further questions, feel free to write them down in the comment box below. 

Take care of your health, eat well and live healthily. 

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