The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits Associated with Lemons
The scientific name of lemon is citrus limon. It is among the most popular citrus fruits. The fruit may trace its origin from Asia and India. Lemons bring the flavor of other foods. These oval-shaped yellow fruits have the inner flesh divided in eight to ten segments. Lemons can be sweet or sour. The sour lemons have citric acid in them. Though they are acidic, they produce an alkaline effect in the body. Hence are good for balance the pH levels in the body. Lemon is among the great powerhouse fruits recommended for everyone. The fruit contains antioxidants and antibiotic that makes it ideal for therapeutic purposes. Lemons can deal with very many health conditions. They range from cancer, typhoid to arthritis and more. Do you want to know health benefits associated with this wonder fruit? Then read on.
Healthy Benefits of Lemons
- Lemons contain unique flavonoid compounds. The compounds have antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. Vitamin C found in both fruits and veggies helps in the fight against cancer. Lemon is in the category of citrus fruits. In fact, this humble fruit may contain 22 anti-cancer compounds. The flavonoids are believed possess antibiotics that help to curb cancer cell division.
- Other than the phytonutrients in lemons, they are also an excellent source of vitamin C. The role of vitamins is to neutralize any free radicals in the body. If these free radicals come into contact with the body cells, they get damaged together with their membranes. Inflammation may also result or even painful swelling. This may be one of the reasons why vitamin C fights inflammatory polyarthritis. This is a form of rheumatoid arthritis that involves two or more joints in the body. It is becomes common as people get older. The free radicals can damage the blood vessels. They also change the cholesterol making it more likely to stick to the arterial wall. Vitamin C helps to reduce the progression to atherosclerosis and heart disease. Free radicals are also associated with fast aging. The isolated fibers found in citrus fruits like lemons helps to lower the levels of cholesterol.
- Vitamin C also plays a significant role in ensuring a healthy immune system. It fights conditions such as flu, cold and recurring ear infections. This helps prevent any illnesses. American Heart Association studies on lemons indicate that they can combat risk of ischemic stroke among women. Eating a higher amount of citrus fruits lowers the risk substantially. The study concluded the lemon and other citrus fruits reduce the possibility of stroke by 19%. Low level of vitamin C in the blood is associated with stroke. This is mainly in individuals who are overweight and also those with high blood pressure. Cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart attack are among the leading causes of the death in the world. Save yourself the medical bills from cardiac problems by making lemon juice a part of what you take.
- Consuming lemons help maintain a healthy skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in lemons. It can help prevent the damage of the skin by the sun. The sun emits UV rays that which get into contact with the skin and may cause cancer. It also helps reduce skin wrinkles and maintains a soft skin. Vitamin has a primary role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is the support system for the skin. Thus, it is an anti-aging component. Retain a healthy skin and prevent wrinkles by drinking lemon juice every morning.
- Lemon contains antibacterial properties that neutralize the bacteria from other dangerous diseases. They include typhoid, malaria, diphtheria and cholera. Research also shows that lemon can act as a vaccine for cholera. It has been used in some African countries and showed potential to fight the bacteria from cholera.
- Lemons also combat asthma. Those who consume lemons on regular bases report a lower case of asthma. Asthma is a condition whereby one experiences difficulties in breathing. Vitamin C takes credit for its ability to block asthma. To ward off any asthma complications, you better include lemon into your shopping list.
- The fruit increases the absorption of iron in the body. Iron deficiency is a major concern even in developed countries. In fact, it is the leading cause of anemia. If you include incorporate foods rich in vitamin C to a meal rich in iron, the absorption of iron by the body will be faster. Pre-menopause women need a lot of iron to replenish blood lost every month. Lemon and foods rich in iron should, therefore, become part of the meals. For instance, spinach is rich in iron, squeeze a little lemon and take as is.
- Lemon acts as a detoxifier. It dissolves uric acidic and other toxins and also liquefies bile. Toxins remain top among the causes of infections in the body. Consider a cup of lemon in the morning to detoxify your liver and stay healthy.
- Drinking lemon enhances cleaning of bowels. This is because it hastens the peristalsis in the bowels. This increases the movement in the digestive tract. This will remove any waste in the body. Also, the citric acid helps eliminate kidney stones by dissolving them. It does so by increasing the amount of urine produced. Make it a habit to add some lemon to warm water and drink every morning.
- They have ascorbic acid an antioxidant that helps to treat scurvy, a dread disease associated with sailors. The primary cause of the scurvy is deficiency in Vitamin C. The sailors lack fresh produce at sea like fruits and veggies that provide the vitamin. This is the reason why soldiers always carry bags of lemon when sailing. That highlights the important of vitamin C in the human body.
- Drinking lemon can also help to decrease stress and improve mood due to the aroma that they have. So when you feel stressed and moody, grab a lemon and squeeze the juice. It will make you relax and have a better night sleep.
- Lemons have rutin in them that corrects eye disorders. Diabetic retinopathy is one of them. Diabetes is associated with vision problems. Include lemon in your daily meal to fix any eye problems even if you are diabetic.
- They destroy intestinal worms. Consider taking a cup of lemon every morning fist thing. You’ll keep any worms at bay.
- Lemons are also good for those that experience difficulty in breathing. So, they are good if you are an asthma patient for proper breathing. Not only that. You can use it where there is little oxygen like when on mountain climbing.
- Lemon is rich in Limonoid, a compound that fight the cancers of the mouth, breast, stomach, and colon. It also fights the cancer of the lungs and skin.
How to Select Lemons
Lemons are available in the stores all year round. To get the best, choose those big in size and heavy. Go for those that are bright yellow. Mature lemons are sweeter than green lemons. Their skin is also fine. Those dark-green oranges are not yet mature and have less juice. They are also more acidic. They are also too soft and hence highly perishable. You want lemon that you can store for future use. Go for the ones that have already reached maturity. Again, select the one that have thin skin. Those with thick skin have less flesh inside and hence less juice. You can store lemon as they are in the freezer or after extracting juice. Lemons stay fresh when kept at room temperature and not direct sunlight. Freezing them can make the lemon last 4weeks.
- When preparing, first wash the lemon for any pathogens. Zest is a good cleaner used to rub the skin gently. Cut the lemon into two halves and squeeze using hands. A juice-extracting appliance is also ideal.
- To extract more juice, you can roll it on top of the counter several times before squeezing it.
- To get flavored salads, chop into small pieces and add on top. You can also combine some lemon in olive oil, crushed garlic and pepper when preparing your salad. The flavor makes you want to take it more and more
- Squeeze some lemon juice on an avocado and eat it as is.
- When preparing cakes and pies, dough, and marinades, you can use lemon for flavoring and softening. Studies also show that lemon can act as a natural preservative. Thus anything made with them last longer.
- Lemon, when cut into thin pieces and cooked, can be taken alongside fish. You may also just squeeze the juice or get the one that is already juiced. It also gives it a distinctive characteristic taste that you’ll enjoy.
- It is a natural alternative to common processed salt. For those who want to regulate their salt intake, you can never go wrong with this. It contains no additives and hence it’s healthy.
Adverse Effects Associated With Lemons Consumption
- Consumption of lemons by individuals with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), may bring symptoms of heartburn. Consuming citrus fruits like lemon may also cause regurgitation. Besides, excess consumption of lemons may aggravate the acid-peptic disease and ulcers.
- For people with dermatitis, lemon contact may cause allergies and skin irritation. The citric acid is the main cause of the irritation.
- Lemon juice contains citric acid. The acid is harmful to the enamel when you fail to dissolve lemon in water. So, always dissolve in water before taking it to avoid problems with the teeth.
- Also, wash the lemons thoroughly after buy because they may contain dangerous pathogenic microbes. You can use zest to scrub the skin before separating in to two halves for juice extraction.
Maintaining the pH level in your body is necessary to achieve maximum body function. With an alkaline body, the number of infections also reduces. Lemon is a very simple fruit. Yet it contains a lot of health benefits for the body. It can make the body more alkaline and keep you healthier than ever. It is very simple to incorporate it into your meals. You do not want to miss all the goodness that it offers.