Lemon is a versatile fruit used in every kitchen for different purposes. It not only adds a zesty flavor to the salad, sauces, salad dressing, desserts, and a variety of other baked dishes, but lemons are also a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Let’s explore the Benefits of Lemons.
These nutrients can provide a lot of health benefits. Lemon can help in weight loss and improve heart health and digestive health. Moreover, lemon was used in ancient times for medical purposes as well.
Lemons originated from India, then spread globally to temperate and tropical regions of the world. They were sought after by early sailors to prevent or treat Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy.
The early explorers took lemon with them on their long journeys to treat scurvy, a life-threatening medical condition common among sailors. It is grown on an evergreen shrub and the tree produces ripe yellow fruits practically all year round. It is highly prized in the manufacturing industry for lemon oil, lemon juice, pectin, and citric acid.
Nutritional Value of Lemon
Medicinally, lemons have been used for centuries. They have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lemons contain vitamin C or ascorbic acid, citric acid (which gives lemons a sour taste), flavonoids, Vitamin B complex, potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, and fiber. The fruit is low in calories – 29 calories per 100 grams – contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Although lemon is acidic when eaten, it has an alkalizing and purifying effect on the blood.
Lemons mainly consist of water and carb, and they have fat and protein in very little quantity. These are also low in calories. A medium-sized lemon contains only 20 calories. Half cup of peeled, raw lemon contains:
- Calories: 29
- Water: 89%
- Carbs:3 grams
- Protein:1 grams
- Fiber:8 grams
- Sugar:5 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
9.3 grams of carbs that lemon contains are mostly composed of fiber and sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. And the fiber in lemon is pectin, a soluble fiber that can help lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of starch and sugar.
Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemon is not only popular for its use in various dishes and delicious recipes, but it can also provide many health benefits. Lemon can also be very beneficial when it comes to beauty and skin.
1. Contain a High Amount of Vitamin and Minerals:
Lemon is not only a good source of fiber and vitamin C, but it contains many other vitamins and minerals, which play an important role in some major body functions. For example, potassium present in lemon can improve heart health.
According to a Study (D’Elia, 2011), a diet high in potassium can be very beneficial in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for various heart diseases. So, potassium-high foods like lemon can have positive effects on heart health.
Lemons also contain B vitamins like vitamin B6, which convert food into energy. Moreover, the main vitamin present in lemon in very high amounts, vitamin C, can provide multiple benefits. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant that plays an essential role in improving immunity. Moreover, it can also provide various skin benefits.
2. Contain Various Plant Compounds:
Besides vitamins and minerals, lemons are also a great source of some plant compounds that can positively affect human health. According to research (O Benavente-García, 2008), the plant compounds present in citrus fruits like lemon can be very beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer, inflammation, and heart diseases.
Lemons are also a great source of citric acid, which reduces the risk of kidney stones. Moreover, lemons also contain antioxidants like Hesperidin and Diosmin; these antioxidants can improve health. According to researchers (Rı́o, 2004), (Lisa J. Wilcox, 1999), hesperidin can strengthen the blood vessels and prevent the risk of atherosclerosis. On the other hand, Diosmin can improve muscle tone and the inflammation present within blood vessels.
Moreover, the lemon peel also contains antioxidants and D-limonene, a component responsible for lemon’s aroma. This component has shown to be beneficial for heartburn and stomach reflux.
Most of these antioxidants and other plant compounds are not present in a large quantity in lemon juice. So, it is recommended to eat whole raw fruit to get the maximum benefits of it.
3. Improves Heart Health:
Various heart diseases have become a common cause of death in the world. But intake of fruits high in vitamin C can reduce the risk of these chronic diseases. According to studies (Yokoyama, 2000), if a person has a low level of vitamin C in his blood, he is at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, especially if he is overweight or has high blood pressure.
Moreover, the fiber in citrus fruits can also be beneficial in reducing high cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemon can prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol particles.
According to a recent animal study (SubramaniSrinivasan, 2013), plant compounds like Hesperidin and Diosmin can be very beneficial in reducing some key factors of heart diseases.
Scientific studies have shown that intake of lemon juice has reduced the total serum cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
4. Helps in Losing and Maintaining weight:
Lemons have been used in weight loss remedies for many years. It is also very famous for being added to weight loss drinks. Lemons have this ability due to the presence of pectin fiber in them. This fiber can expand in the human stomach, making the person feel full for a longer time.
There are a lot of people who drink hot water with lemon to lose weight. And according to a survey, most people see a major change in their weight loss as well. But according to research (Boschmann, 2003), it is not confirmed that this weight change is due to lemon because drinking only water can temporarily increase the number of burning calories. So, the role of lemon in it is not confirmed yet.
Moreover, plant compounds present in lemon can also help in losing weight. According to an animal study (Fukuchi, 2008) of mice on a fattening diet, the mice given a lemon extract from the peel gained less weight than the other mice.
5. Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones are a medical condition in which the waste product of the body crystallizes and forms small lumps which build up in the body. This medical condition is very common, and if a person gets them once, there are high chances of getting this disease again.
Lemons can be very beneficial in preventing kidney stones. This is because of the citric acid present, which can increase the urine volume and pH, making a less favorable environment for kidney stones to build up.
One-half cup of pure lemon juice can provide the amount of citric acid required to reduce the risk of stone formation in people who already have these. Some studies (Kang, 2007) also found the positive effect of lemonade in preventing kidney stones.
The citric acid in lemon juice dissolves gallstones, calcium deposits, kidney stones, and pancreatic stones. In Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss recommends taking 2 Tbsp lemon juice, followed by 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vice versa on an empty stomach for 3 days.
6. Helps in Preventing Anemia:
Anemia or iron deficiency is a common medical condition that can be caused when you are not getting enough iron from your daily diet or the food you eat. Lemons contain a small amount of iron, but they primarily prevent the risk of anemia by increasing the absorption of iron from other plant foods. The human body does not easily absorb iron from the plant source known as non-heme iron.
But this absorption can be improved with the help of Vitamin C and citric acid, both in lemon in high amounts, making these a great option for those suffering from iron deficiency.
Moreover, a high amount of Vitamin C in lemon also boosts the immune system, which means the body tends to fight against diseases.
7. Reduce the Risk of Cancer:
A healthy diet with many fresh fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of various cancers. Some studies have also found that people who add more citrus fruits like lemon to their diet have a lower risk of cancers. For example, one test-tube study (Kim, 2013) found that plant compounds present within the lemon can kill cancer cells.
Another research (Lv, 2015) also shows that naringenin and limonene, plant compounds in the lemon, have an anti-cancer effect. And can prevent the risk of various types of cancers. Moreover, D-limonene, present in lemon oil, has anti-cancer properties.
Another study (Tanaka, 2012) of the pulp from mandarins contains beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin. These both are plant compounds that are also present in the lemon. This study found that these compounds can prevent the growth of tumors in rodents’ tongues, lungs, and colons.
Lemons contain compounds called limonoids which have been shown to stop cell division in cancer cells. Cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon have been proven to be relieved with the help of lemons.
8. Improves Digestive Health
Lemon contains a high amount of carbs, mostly simple sugar and soluble fiber. The main fiber present within the lemon is pectin, which is a form of soluble fiber with a lot of health benefits. Studies (Kaczmarczyk, 2012) have shown the link between soluble fiber in improving gut health and slowing down the digestion process.
Moreover, this fiber can keep you feeling full for a longer time, which helps in weight loss. But to get all the maximum advantages of this citrus fruit, you need to eat its pulp. And in raw form.
Lemons relieve digestive problems when mixed with warm water. It helps with nausea and heartburn. The liver removes toxins from the bloodstream and converts them into free radicals, vitamin C in lemons is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. Lemons also help with digestion by stimulating the liver to produce more bile.
9. Can Help in Treating psoriasis treatment:
Psoriasis is a troublesome skin condition in which the patient faces scaly and itchy skin with red patches. There are many different lotions and creams on the market which can reduce the symptoms; lemon juice can also be very helpful.
A high level of citric acid in lemon has an exfoliating effect on the skin, which can tear off the dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. Various evidence shows the effectiveness of lemon juice in different home remedies for Psoriasis.
Moreover, lemon also has anti-fungal properties, which are beneficial for skin in treating a variety of fungal rashes, scalp rashes, and also symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. A recent study (Man, 2019) also shows lemon essential oils’ effectiveness against harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and E Coli.
10. Can Help With Acne and Oily Skin:
Both lemon essential oil and lemon juice are beneficial for skin, especially acne-prone skin. Lemon oil for skin is extracted from the lemon peel by various methods like cold-pressing or steam extraction. This lemon essential oil is also very popular in many serums and creams.
Lemon juice can also regulate oily skin, which is a major cause of acne. Lemon contains a high amount of astringent, a type of AHA. This AHA is used in almost all good beauty products nowadays. Moreover, citric acid can also shrink large pores and exfoliate skin surfaces.
Moreover, lemon also contains magnesium and calcium. Both of these minerals are important for healthy skin. Calcium is mostly present on the skin’s upper layer and maintains skin health while slowing magnesium down the skin aging process and making it glowy and supple.
Lemon juice can be directly applied to the skin, but try to dilute it with water or rosewater in case of any skin condition.
11. Colds And Influenza:
Lemons contain large amounts of vitamin C (88 percent recommended daily allowance), it is a water-soluble antioxidant. It is widely known that the consumption of foods high in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance to infections and also removes harmful free radicals from the blood.
Free radicals attach to healthy cells damaging them and their membranes, causing inflammation and painful swelling. In the book Back To Eden by Jethro Kloss his recommendation for influenza: Add lemon juice to a large glass of hot water, while submerging your feet in a deep bucket of hot water about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, while adding water as hot as tolerable or around 110 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes, or until perspiring. Take lemon water hourly until symptoms are relieved.
12. Helps With Elimination:
Juice of 1 lemon in 1 quart of warm water first thing in the morning has laxative properties. This will flush the waste materials of the intestines out. You can also mix in 2 Tbsp flaxseed oil to also relieve constipation.
13. Relieves rheumatoid and osteoarthritis:
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C in lemons, it has been shown that it relieves symptoms of pain and swelling. 1-2 oz. of lemon juice diluted should be taken 3 times a day.
Lemons contain a compound called hesperidin, which lowers blood sugar by increasing the activity of the enzyme glucokinase metabolizing glucose from the bloodstream.
15. Relieves sore throat:
Use diluted lemon juice (½ lemon ½ water) and gargle frequently. It is better to use its full strength if possible.
16. Stops bleeding gums:
Massage lemon juice gently into the gums for a few minutes each day.
In case of nosebleeds, place on a cotton ball and apply over the nostril.
Use to give prompt relief for cuts.
Great for acne. Apply lemon juice with a finger or cotton ball to the acne, leave on overnight then rinse the following morning. Blotch removal. Mix 1-2 lemons with banana puree and apply to blotches for an hour. Make a paste by combining lemon juice and salt, and use it to rub off dead skin cells on elbows and thighs.
Removes residue buildup from the use of hair products, lightens dark hair and adds golden or red highlights. How to use: apply the juice of ½ of a lemon to the hair, sit in sun for an hour or until lightens to the desired color, then shampoo and deep condition. *Do not do if you have very dry hair.
21 Mosquito bites:
Squeeze lemon juice on mosquito bites to relieve itching and pain.
22 Ant repellant:
Squeeze lemon juice on windowsills and baseboards to repel ants.
Consuming lemon juice during pregnancy builds strong bones and teeth in infants.
Use on hands to soften and remove strong odors, such as onions.
25 Stain Removal:
Use salt to remove ink stains, rusts, or fruit stains. Rub the stain with lemon juice then apply salt then put in the sun.
How To Prepare Lemon Juice
- Wash lemons with warm water and use a vegetable wash if not organically grown to remove pesticide residues.
- Roll on a flat surface with the palm of your hand, this will help to extract more juice
- Cut in half and remove the visible seed, squeeze by hand or use a juicer.
To receive optimal benefits of lemons, substitute lemon juice for vinegar in your favorite salad dressing. Combine extra virgin olive oil/or flax seed oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, minced onions, minced red bell pepper, sea salt (opt), and herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, dill or thyme.
Recipes With Lemons
Other Fruits To Try
- Tuna Fruit
- Papaya Fruit
- Key Lime
- Loquat Fruit
- Mangosteen Fruit
- Ground Cherries Benefits
- 10 Amazing Benefits Of Noni Fruit
*Note: The above statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This recipe is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. When in doubt, always consult your physician or healthcare practitioner. This formula is to provide you with information to maintain your health.
Lemon Water Health Benefits
Lemon water has gained popularity these days due to its abundant health benefits. Many restaurants serve it in their routine menu, as most people like to start their day with lemon water instead of tea or coffee.
For optimal benefit drink lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you are less than 150 lbs- use ½lemon squeezed into a glass of purified water and drink twice a day. If you are over 150 lbs squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into a glass of purified water and drink twice a day.
As lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Lemon juice can provide a lot of health benefits, including weight loss. But the nutritional value of lemon juice depends upon the amount of lemon used in one glass of water. Several benefits can be obtained from lemon water:
1-Hydration: Drinking the recommended amount of water daily is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But most people don’t drink enough water because they don’t like the taste of plain water. So, by adding lemon to flavor, the plain water can make you drink more.
2-Weight Loss: Lemon water is very popular these days as a weight loss drink, and lemon juice is also used in different weight loss remedies. Drinking lemon water on an empty stomach or first thing in the morning is suggested to lose weight because it can boost the metabolism and make you energetic to do the exercise well.
3-Replacement for Sugary Drinks: Another great advantage of lemon water is that it can be used as a replacement for sugary drinks and juices. Regular drinking of these sugary drinks can be associated with various health risks like obesity, diabetes, liver diseases, cavities, kidney diseases, and tooth decay.
Lemon is a versatile citrus fruit used in drinks, foods, and recipes. Lemon not only enhances the flavor of dishes, but it can provide many health benefits. The fiber in lemon can make you feel full for longer and helps in weight loss. Moreover, lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C, which boosts immunity. Lemon essential oil and lemon juice are also very popular in cosmetics. Many serums and creams have lemon extract as one of their ingredients.
But avoid applying lemon juice directly to the skin. Try to dilute it with water or rose water to reduce its acidity. Lemon can also be used in tea. For example, using a few drops of lemon in green tea can enhance its taste and increase its benefits.
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