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Lychee vs Rambutan vs Longan

Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan by Ani Harutyunyan | Last updated on August 04, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel


Longans provide more vitamin C, while rambutan has the highest carbohydrate content. On the other hand, lychee contains the highest copper amounts. Lychee is also the richest in sugars. Rmabutan has the highest glycemic index.


Being edible fruits from the same Sapindaceae plant family, lychee, rambutan, and longan have a lot of similarities. However, there are many differences between them regarding nutritional profile. This article will mainly compare these fruits' nutrition and health impact.

Actual differences

First, these fruits differ in size: rambutan is the largest, having the size of a golf ball, while longan is the smallest.

Rambutan is usually red, but its coloring can also vary from bright green to yellow. Lychee has similar coloring, but the lack of hair-like structures covering the rambutan’s skin distinguishes it from rambutan. Longan has a special light brown color.

Rambutan has white flesh with a creamy texture that tastes sweet and flowery. Lychee's flesh can look similar to rambutan's, but it does not taste as flowery. The strangest flavor belongs to longan: it tastes tarter than the other two fruits.

Longan has an ample, round seed: while its skin is removed, it looks like an eye. This is why longan is often called "Dragon eye fruit." Rambutan and lychee have oval-shaped seeds. However, lychee's seed is bigger and smoother than rambutan's.


This section will compare the nutritional profiles of 100g of lychee, rambutan, and longan.

Usually, the standard serving size for lychee and rambutan is one cup, equalling 190g for lychee and 214g for rambutan. Longan is served as one fruit without refuse which weighs 3.2g.


Lychee and longan have almost similar water content (80%), while rambutan is slightly lower in water (77%). The most significant difference in macronutrients is carb content: rambutan has the highest carbs. Lychee, rambutan, and longan contain less than one gram of fats per 100g


Rambutan has the highest carb content providing 20.9g of carbs per 100g. Longan has the lowest net carb content. 15.2g of carbs in lychee are sugars making this fruit the richest in sugars among the fruits we are comparing.


The highest fiber content has lychee, providing 1.3g of dietary fiber per 100g. Rambutan is the lowest in terms of fiber. You can check the rambutan vs. lychee comparison article to learn more about these fruits' differences.


Lychee has the richest vitamin profile, containing vitamins K and E, lacking in both rambutan and longan.

On the other hand, longan contains the highest amount of vitamin C, providing 84mg of it per 100g.

Rambutan is the richest in vitamin B3, covering 23% of its DV.


Lychee and longan have almost similar mineral profiles, while rambutan's differs a lot. Rambutan is especially higher in manganese and iron, fitting into the top 43% of foods with the highest amounts of manganese.

Lychee's top mineral is copper: it covers 50% of its DV. Longan is the winner in potassium content.


Lychee, rambutan, and longan are low-calorie fruits. However, rambutan contains the highest calories - 82 calories per 100g.

Glycemic index

Lychee and longan are low-glycemic index foods. Lychee's GI equals 48, and Longan's GI is 45.

Due to its carb content, rambutan is a fruit with a medium glycemic index with a GI of 59. For more information, please visit this page.

You can also find more information about the GI of the other foods on our glycemic index chart page.

Health Impact

Nootropic effect

One of the key health impacts distinguishing longan from lychee and rambutan is the nootropic effect, which means longan improves memory and cognitive functions.

A study (4) shows that longan consumption is beneficial for the hippocampus - a structure in the brain that is responsible for memory. It also reduces the risk of development of Alzheimer's disease.


Longan differs from lychee and rambutan with its anxiolytic activity. It can fight anxiety and stress by reducing the stress hormone levels called cortisol. Due to the effects mentioned above, longan consumption also improves sleep rate and duration (5).


In contrast, rambutan and lychee have significant anticancer effects.

Rambutan seeds contain a compound that may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and may be beneficial in tumor therapy (6).

While it is not known precisely which types of cancer cells may be affected by rambutan seed extract, lychee has a proven effect on liver cancer. Its extract inhibits cancer cell proliferation and induces their death (7).

Data provided by should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.