Pucker up, the health benefits of lemons far out weight the tart, bitter taste. Not a very appetizing mid-day snack on its own, however, lemons are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C. Adding lemons to your daily regimen will aid in weight loss, improve your heart health by helping to lower your blood sugar and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
More than just a lemon wedge added as a garnish, lemons add flavor to your food, improving the taste, and bring a list of health benefits to the table.
Drink Lemon Water Every Day
Although there is no solid research on the health benefits of drinking lemon water and the beneficial information is based on anecdotal evidence. However, devote lemon water enthusiasts tout these seven changes they attribute to drinking water loaded with lemon slices.
- Drinking lemon water keeps you hydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no set answer on how much water you should drink every day. But, the eight glasses a day rule is a good goal for the average person. The bottom line, if adding lemon slices to your water helps you drink more water – go for it! Staying hydrated is one of the easiest and kindest things we can do for our body and internal plumbing.
- Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C. Working as an antioxidant, Vitamin C will help boost your immune system and protect your cells from free radicals.
- Lemon water may help reduce weight gain. The polyphenol antioxidants in lemons may reduce chronic inflammation which can lead to weight gain. Additionally, research suggests drinking water every day can have a positive effect on weight loss by suppressing your desire to over eat, rev up your metabolism, and help improve your exercise. The simple act of drinking more water and adding lemon for its health benefits is certainly a win/win on the weight loss front.
- Vitamin C may help keep your skin supple and reduce wrinkles. Keeping our skin soft and taught as we age will take years off your looks. We all want to look younger, and squeezing lemon into your water will help your skin glow.
- Drinking a cup of hot water with lemon juice every morning may help wake up your digestive system and work as a natural laxative. Replacing just one cup of coffee with hot water and lemon will reduce your caffeine intake and help flush out your system with one little switch.
- Halitosis, chronic bad breath, can be an unpleasant issue for some people. Drinking a glass of water with lemon in the morning helps prevent bad breath bacteria caused by dry mouth. The acid present in lemon neutralizes odors which can fight unpleasant breath. The next time your toothbrush doesn’t seem to do the trick, reach for a tall glass of water and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it. Your mouth will wake up fast!
- Lemons contain citric acid which makes urine less acidic and may even break up small kidney stones. This is good news for people who suffer from painful kidney stones. Sipping a daily glass of water with lemon slices could help prevent dealing with the issue altogether.
The good news is drinking lemon water may help you with some health benefits listed here. The ultimate goal is to drink more water and stay hydrated. If a squeeze or slice of lemon helps you reach that goal, so much the better. The happy side benefit is that lemon water can add antioxidants, Vitamin C, and citric acid to your diet.
Drink More Lemon Juice
Just like lemon water, lemon juice provides wonderful health benefits. Juiced lemons pack a bigger punch than lemon slices in water so there is more lemony goodness for your body to absorb.
- Lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey is a soothing drink for a sore throat. You can take that a step further and turn it into a Hot Toddy. The easy-to-make cocktail is perfect on chilly winter night. The basic Hot Toddy recipe is: to your mug add 2 ounces of whiskey, 1/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1 lemon peel, 2 teaspoons of honey, and top if off with hot water.
- The juice of lemons may prevent the development of oral cancer. Citrus limonoids, a phytochemical, may reduce tumor activity in the mouth. This is a surprising health benefit and one of the best reasons to add juice to your diet.
- Just like lemon water, lemon juice may help prevent kidney stones. The juice adds more citric acid to your drink, so it ups the beneficial effects and offers more protection and prevention.
- Lemon juice that contains pulp and peel zest brings pectin to the table. Pectin is a soluble fiber that promotes digestive enzymes that aid in eliminating waste. Good internal plumbing is a wonderful health benefit of lemon consumption.
- The pectin also plays an important role in making you feel full for a longer period of time. This can help manage cravings and help you achieve your weight loss goals. Feeling full can help keep you on a good path when those cookies are calling your name.
- When juicing lemons, keep the pulp and peel zest to add more fiber to your diet. Eating a high fiber diet has been found to help regulate blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Lowering your blood pressure may be achieved by consuming lemon every day. One study showed that participants who walked at least 7,000 steps a day and had an intake of at least a half of lemon reduced their blood pressure. Adding the juice, pulp, and peel to your diet in conjunction with a walking regimen is good for your heart.
- Use lemon juice topically to brighten, exfoliate, and remove blackheads from your skin. Lemons contain alpha hydroxyl acid which may aid in reducing skin age discoloration.
Keep in mind, lemon juice is not lemonade. Lemon juice is just what it sounds like, the juice of a lemon, period. Lemonade, on the other hand, is packed with sugar, so it isn’t the best choice when it comes to grabbing a refreshing, healthy beverage.
Nutrition Facts About Lemons
The nutritional facts for one lemon without the peel – not that you would eat an entire lemon cut into wedges! That would be very tart, and quite the feat.
Like other citrus fruits, the health benefits of lemon shines through in the Vitamin C counter.
According to Live Strong, the juice from one lemon (2 tablespoons) contains 12.9 milligrams of Vitamin C, which is roughly 20 % for the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended daily requirement. By adding two tablespoons of real, fresh squeezed juice to your morning routine gets you off and running on your essential Vitamin C intake for the day. You need to use fresh lemons, a real food, and include the pulp and some zest to your diet. It is not swappable with the bottled variety that comes with additives you don’t need.
Vitamin C has been known to reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain, fatigue, digestive problems, and cancer. Bring on those antioxidants – reducing inflammation is one key to living a long and healthy life.
Other Nutritional Facts
Lemon is not just about adding acid to brighten your food, it also contains B Vitamins including Vitamin B 6, Folate, and Thiamin. Additionally, lemons contain small amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Has there ever been a better pairing than lemon and fish. They are made to go together. More than just a lemon wedge on your plate, lemons add flavor to your food. Not only are they good for you, they should be a regular ingredient in your daily menu.
Nutritionist and health experts agree, the Mediterranean Diet loaded with whole foods, is good for your heart health, help you maintain proper weight, and is a healthy weight loss program. Lemons are grown throughout the Euro-Mediterranean and are a favorite condiment, ubiquitous on every Greek plate, lemons are a daily staple.
The key factors of the Mediterranean Diet are:
- Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily
- Eat fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly
- Add dairy products in moderation
- Eat limited amounts of red meat
- Enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally
- Add physically activity daily
- Dine with family and friends as often as you are able
When you build your meals around plant based foods and add small amounts of animal protein, particularly seafood, your meal is filled with good-for-you whole foods. Also included in the Mediterranean diet is healthy fats. Unctuous olive oil, nuts, avocado and fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are daily staples.
Something as simple as lemon based salad dressings will up your daily intake. Squeeze the juice from one lemon, add extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix with a whisk and pour over your favorite salad. Easy and quick, homemade salad dressing offers a punch of flavor to your food and has none of the unpronounceable additives when compared to store bought dressings.
Want to get started on the Mediterranean Diet, try out American’s Test Kitchen cookbook or Christine Patorniti’s 14 Day Mediterranean Diet Plan for Beginners. Both books are excellent sources to guide you on the path to a heart healthy weight loss program.
Grow Your Own Lemon Tree
Growing your own lemon tree is a fun way to get this powerful, immune system booster into your diet. Lemon trees can be grown indoors for climates that have severe winters. The improved Meyer Lemon Tree grows well indoors and is small enough to be transferred to an outdoor patio when the weather is warm.
The blooms are lovely and fragrant. The fruit is zingy and fresh. The improved Meyer Lemon tree is self pollinating and produces a steady amount of fresh lemons. They are a beautiful specimen plant and add a touch of greenery to your home.
Are lemons grown in the US?
Approximately one third of the worlds lemons are grown in southern California. Italy ranks second in lemon production, providing the Mediterranean people with their daily lemon fix.
Does lemon disinfect surfaces?
Lemons may make cleaned surfaces squeaky and smell great, but they are not nearly as effective as Chlorine Bleach as a disinfectant. According to Water and Health, lemon juice’s citric acid component is not strong enough on its own to properly kill common bacteria. Use your lemons for health reasons and leave the cleaning to a more powerful solution.
What type of fruit is a lemon?
Lemons are actually berries. They are Hesperidium, a berry with a leathery rind.
How many seeds does a lemon have?
An average lemon has eight seeds. Most grocery stores carry a seedless variety of lemon saving you from squeezing your fruit over a sieve to catch all the tiny seeds.
Can lemon create highlights in hair?
By applying the juice of a lemon to your hair natural highlights should shine through. According to Healthline, “when you expose your hair to sunlight after applying lemon juice, the citric acid opens up your hair cuticles. This strips away the first layer of hair color, resulting in a nature change in color.” A word of caution, if your hair is color treated, the citric acid may react differently, so test before your squeeze.
How much can a lemon weigh?
The Guinness World Record for the heaviest lemon grown clocked in at 11 pounds, 9.7 ounces. The massive citrus fruit was grown in Kefar Zeitim, Israel. That is truly an amazing fruit.
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To learn more about lemons, visit our Lemons hub page. There you’ll find great bog posts about different lemon varieties, how to grow and care for lemon trees, and suggestions for how to use lemons in your kitchen.