Lemon is considered a nutritional powerhouse as it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Aside from being rich in vital nutrients, it also has antioxidants that provide the body with many impressive health perks.
This citrus fruit has been touted for years for its amazing benefits to skin health, detoxifying powers, and role in weight loss.
So, if you’re not adding lemon to your diet yet, we’ll tell you why you should start savoring it now.
Discover how lemons can help boost your immunity, fight skin aging, promote heart health, assist your weight loss efforts and more in this health guide!
What is Lemon?
Lemon is a small tree that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Its edible fruit has an oval shape with yellow, thick skin and an acidic juice.
Native to South Asia, lemons favor warm temperatures. Places with warmer climates such as Italy, Florida, and California commonly cultivate lemon trees.
This citrus fruit, however, is most abundant in India. In 2013, the tropical country was named the top producer of lemons worldwide. Other leading producers of this fruit include Brazil, Mexico, the United States, and China.
No matter where you are in the world, though, lemons are commonly used for culinary purposes. Its distinctive flavor is usually used to perk up various fish, vegetable, and poultry dishes worldwide.
Lemon: Nutrition Facts
Aside from enhancing the flavor value of dishes, lemons help to boost their nutritional powers, too! A rich source of essential nutrients, lemon proves to be more than just a taste enhancer.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database, lemon contains 89 percent water and is a good source of dietary fiber, too.
This citrus fruit is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that also acts as an electrolyte. It also has considerable amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium.
And aside from vitamin C, lemons also contain vitamin A and folate, and smaller amounts of niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and riboflavin.
What are the Health Benefits of Lemon?
Adding nutrient-dense fruits such as lemon to your diet may help improve your overall health and wellness. Let’s have a closer look at these impressive lemon health benefits:
It is a rich source of vitamin C
All citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C, which is a known immunity booster for your body.
Aside from fighting against bacteria, infections, and viruses, this essential nutrient also combats free radical damage or oxidative stress, which cause diseases.
So, if you want to prevent sick days, you may want to consider adding more lemon to your diet!
It promotes heart health
Lemon is also friendly to your heart. Its powerful antioxidant properties can reduce the adverse effects of toxins and free radicals that may damage your blood vessels and heart.
Other studies found that lemon’s plant compounds, particularly flavonoids, significantly reduced risk factors for heart disease.
The rich potassium content of this citrus fruit also helps to eliminate mental stress and relax the heart muscles. These beneficial effects make lemon a perfect fit for your heart-friendly meal plans.
It helps treat respiratory diseases
While further studies are needed to solidify this claim, consuming vitamin C-rich foods has been found to lower the risk of asthma.
According to a systematic review of studies, vitamin C produced beneficial effects for people with common cold-induced asthma and bronchial hypersensitivity.
The study suggests that vitamin C may be used by asthmatic patients if they have asthma caused by respiratory infections.
Whether it’s a mild bronchial issue or asthma, you can start your day by drinking lemon water in the morning to help relieve the symptoms of your respiratory disease.
It combats acid reflux
Acid reflux often causes a burning sensation in the chest, which is commonly known as heartburn. And this often-painful sensation isn’t a wonderful feeling at all.
Aside from avoiding common triggers such as smoking, carbonated beverages, and spicy foods, drinking lemon water also helps to relieve and prevent acid reflux.
While it is acidic in nature, small amounts of lemon juice mixed with water can help neutralize your stomach’s acid, producing an alkalizing effect.
To use lemon as a cure for acid reflux, simply mix one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with eight ounces of water. Drink this mixture preferably 20 minutes before you chow down a meal to avoid symptoms that may be triggered by food.
Note: Some experts advise against lemon consumption when you are experiencing heartburn. It’s best to seek professional advice if you are uncertain about taking this citrus fruit.
It prevents kidney stones
As a natural diuretic, lemon also helps to increase urine volume, promoting the elimination of toxins and preventing the risk of kidney stones.
Some studies suggest that lemon juice can be used as an alternative treatment for urinary calcium stones, particularly in patients with hypocitraturia.
It aids in weight loss
Looking to boost your weight loss efforts? Lemon may help, too! Lemon water is a popular staple in many weight loss plans and routines as it can promote fullness and satiety without adding calories.
Several studies also show that citrus flavonoids in lemon have a beneficial effect in treating metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
In one study it was found that lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel suppressed weight gain, fat accumulation, and insulin resistance in experimental rats induced with a high-fat diet.
It is, however, not known if this would produce the same effect in humans as there are no studies yet confirming the weight loss effects of lemon in human subjects.
It improves your skin health
Another prized benefit of lemon is its ability to improve your skin health. It helps to fight free radicals that cause skin aging, give you clear skin, and lighten acne scars.
How to Add Lemon to Your Diet?
Luckily, reaping the benefits of lemon comes in handy because you can add it to so many recipes! If you’re looking to enjoy lemon in your diet aside from mixing it with water, here are other tasteful ideas:
Perk up a basic dressing
Combine lemon juice with olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, Dijon mustard and chives for a flavorful dressing. Pour it over your veggie salad or use it as a dip.
Boost your tea’s detoxifying power
Green tea is also touted for its incredible health perks. So, you can just imagine the nutritional punch you’ll get when you pair it with lemon!
Squeeze a little lemon juice on your cup of hot tea and sip it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You’re sure to jumpstart your metabolism!
Make a zesty dessert
Looking to give your dessert a little zest? Throw lemon into the mix! Make a zesty lemon cake or lemon bars. It’ll surely impress your guests the next time they come over!
Other Uses of Lemon
Aside from being a perky addition to your recipes, you can use lemon in many other ways, too. Discover how else you can use this citrus fruit in this list:
Use lemon to get rid of stubborn stains in your windows, cutting boards, marble, and hardwood floors, and toilets!
Some anti-acne creams tend to worsen the problem, especially when your skin is oversensitive.
If you’re looking for a natural substitute to your expensive creams that is also sure to deliver results, look no further than lemon!
As a natural astringent, lemon juice helps to fight acne. Apply lemon juice to your acne scar using a cotton ball and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing with water. Do this twice a day.
Lemons also make a great laundry bleach. Simply mix lemon juice with hot water. Soak your white linens in this mixture for a couple of minutes and then rinse and wash as usual.
You can also use lemons as shoe polish, jewelry sanitizer, and insect repellant! Keep those flees and roaches away by mopping your floor with a mixture of lemon juice and water.
You can also repel ants and mosquitoes by spraying concentrated lemon juice on areas where they frequent.
What are the Potential Risks of Consuming Lemon?
While lemons come with promising health effects, lemon consumption has risks too, especially when you overindulge.
Excessive intake may result in tooth enamel erosion, cavities, ulcers, nausea and vomiting, and frequent urination.
To avoid these risks, experts say the key is to consume lemons moderately and to combine it with other nutritious foods.
It’s pretty easy to understand why many people are touting lemon’s benefits to health. As a nutritional powerhouse, lemon can do so much for your body and health.
Adding it to your diet may let you enjoy incredible health perks, so go and savor on some lemons!
Just remember to not overindulge to avoid experiencing adverse effects. Also, it is best to see your doctor if you are allergic to citrus foods or have gall bladder or kidney problems.
While lemons exhibit beneficial effects, professional advice is always recommended if you have a serious illness.