“and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks.”Douglas Adams
Lemons are one of my favorite fruits, it’s sour but wonderful. I like a slice in my sweet tea or squeezed all over tacos! Pirates always had cases of lemons to prevent scurvy on long trips. Beyonce’ and Kanye both have had hit songs about lemonade. Lemons are basically the best.
Lemons are popular for making lemonade and lemon juice, but they have a number of lesser known, but immense, health benefits. The popular, yet, humble lemon is commonly used for flavoring food or to make a cooling drink, but its preventive and curative properties are often overlooked.
Its composition contributes to the immense health benefits of the lemon. It is a rich source of Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids, Pectin, and some essential minerals.
The Benefits of Vitamin C in Lemons
Lemons are rich in citric acid and Vitamin C, and therefore used in medicines.
Lemon juice has 90% of the entire Vitamin C found in the fruit. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and keeps cells healthy, thus preventing cancers. Since it wards off free radicals, Vitamin C also prevents cataracts and eye damage. It converts cholesterol into bile acid in the small intestine. Thus, it is useful in digestive disorders. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, speeds up healing and fractures. Therefore, lemons aid in formation and regeneration of cartilage, connective tissue and bone tissue. Moreover, Vitamin C in lemons boosts the production of a protein called “interferon,” which protects cells, fights viruses and bacteria, and thus increases immunity. It also helps in the absorption of calcium, prevents osteoporosis, and builds strong and healthy teeth. Dental decay, caries, loose teeth and bleeding gums can be prevented with lemons.
Role of Bioflavonoids in Lemons
Bioflavonoids are required for biological functions, and contribute to maintaining a high level of vitamin C in the body cells.
The most important one, Quercetin, is found in lemons. It prevents inflammation and allergies, and acts as a natural antihistamine. This is because it slows down the production of histamine (a discharge of tissue hormone) in the body. It is also an antibiotic and antiviral. Quercetin protects the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, and stimulates its production. Thus, it is especially beneficial for diabetes patients.
Benefits of Pectin in Lemons
Pectin is part of a family of complex carbohydrates that are needed for digestion. It helps in boosting the movement of the intestinal muscles. Therefore, it prevents intestinal cancers. Pectin also prevents heart diseases, by lowering harmful LDL cholesterol levels. The latter is responsible for clogging blood vessels, and leading to cardiac attacks and strokes. Moreover, Pectin helps to control weight, and avoid nagging hunger pangs.
Nutrients in Lemon Juice
The juice of the lemon has some essential nutrients, though the pulp has them in more concentrated form. A third of the total Iron and two thirds of the total Calcium is found in the juice. It also has a small amount of Vitamin B complex. Lemon juice has a high Potassium content, which destroys toxins in the body.
Multiple Uses of Lemons in Ancient Times
Egyptians used it for healing and as an aphrodisiac. Ancient Greeks used it to treat ailments, and as a disinfectant to clean water. Romans used it for cooking and making refreshing drinks. In South West Asia and the Middle East, eating lemons and drinking lemon juice was seen as a safeguard against poisons.
In recent times, scientific research in Argentina has proved that the lemon can be used as a natural disinfectant for drinking water.
The presence of Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids and Pectin makes the lemon a potent weapon against cardiac, digestive, eye and dental problems, and a means of boosting tissue regeneration and immunity. Considering its multiple benefits, the tiny lemon is a major aid in ensuring good health.
6 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Lemons from Healthline.
The Health Benefits of Oranges from this mommy blog!
Now onto the fun part, Lemon RECIPES! I’ve gathered my favorites from around the web!
White Chocolate Lemon Cookies from Family Cookie Recipes. These amazing cookies are soft and chewy, the sour lemon balances out the rich white chocolate so well!
Pink Lemonade Jello Shots from Crafty Morning uses the lemon rinds to hold these little vodka jello shots. So adorable for your next party! You could also skip the alcohol and I’m sure your kids would love them!
Lemon Sorbet with honey from Carolyn Williams is the perfect after dinner palate cleanser!
Lavender Lemonade from the Food Blog is such a beautiful relaxing spin on the classic lemonade!
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