Lemons are the most popular citrus fruits, along with oranges. They are most often used during the season of flu and it is not in vain. People have experienced that citrus fruits help with such conditions, ie in preventing and overcoming colds more easily. First of all, it is due to the high concentration of available vitamin C in lemons, ie its positive effect on immunity.
Lemons are becoming especially popular in the summer, as they are perhaps the best choice for making refreshing drinks.
They are thought to have originated in northern India and came to Europe through the Middle East in the Middle Ages. From then until today, the use of these particularly useful fruits is constantly increasing.
As part of the citrus fruit family, lemons contain a range of nutrients that the body needs daily to function properly. An average-sized lemon contains almost 100% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Also, lemons contain a high amount of soluble fiber, about 1g of protein, a very low percentage of fat, and smaller amounts of iron, potassium, zinc, and calcium.
We all know that lemons are refreshing, with a specific pleasant taste and very healthy fruits, but here are 8 impressive and less known health benefits of lemons.
Lemons Contribute to Stronger Immunity
As mentioned earlier, there is a good reason why we consume honey and lemon when we have a cold. Vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system, which significantly reduces the symptoms and duration of the disease. Studies show that lemons have a similar effect on viral infections, such as influenza.
Useful in Anemia
Anemia is a very common problem among the population.
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have or does not produce enough red blood cells. The most common cause of this condition is iron deficiency.
Lemons contain a small amount of iron but can help in other ways. Namely, research shows that vitamin C can significantly help in better absorption of iron in the body. So when you eat foods rich in iron, it is good to combine it with foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemon.
Lemons Can Prevent Kidney Stones
Studies confirm that citric acid, which is contained in solid amounts in lemons (but also in oranges, melons, etc.), can prevent the formation of kidney stones. Drinking only half a glass of lemonade or a few glasses of water with lemon can contribute to a significant increase in citrate levels in the urine, without raising oxalate levels.
Lemons are Good for Digestion
Most of the carbohydrates in lemons are made up of soluble fiber, in the form of pectin. This type of fiber is known to slow down digestion, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent colon cancer. Pectin also has a positive effect on total blood cholesterol levels. Like other citrus fruits, lemons contain monoterpene d-limonene, which can relieve the symptoms of some digestive disorders, and some studies have shown certain anti-cancer properties.
Good for the Heart
Not only do they contain pectin, which we mentioned earlier can lower blood cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease, lemons also contain high concentrations of vitamin C and potassium.
These two micronutrients can also contribute to better cardiovascular health. Namely, according to the American Heart Association, potassium can help relax blood vessels and thus contribute to lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
Improves Empowered Quality Skin
Vitamin C has a very important role in reducing wrinkles that appear with the aging process, as well as in protecting the skin from the sun. It provides this property through its powerful antioxidant action, but it is also important for the metabolism of collagen – the most abundant protein in the human body which, among other things, has a very important role in skin health.
Regular drinking of water with lemon is perhaps the best “form” in which lemon can be consumed for healthier skin because, in addition to its mentioned properties, the water from this drink provides adequate hydration of the skin and the whole organism.
The exact mechanism by which water improves the condition of the skin is still unclear, but one thing is certain – if the skin is constantly losing moisture, it becomes dry and prone to the formation of wrinkles, and in the long run, it is more susceptible to various types of infections.
Lemons Can Help Control Weight
Most experts believe that the reason behind the ability of lemons to contribute to weight loss is their rich content of soluble fiber. However, a recently published study has provided information according to which this feature of the lemons is because of one type of phytochemicals – polyphenolic antioxidants.
The researchers from the mentioned animal study fed two groups of mice with high-calorie food, and one group was additionally given polyphenolic lemon peel extract. The results showed that the mice that were not given the extract gained much more weight than the other group.
Lemons Can Also Help Relieve Asthma Symptoms
Studies show that eating high amounts of vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing asthma, but also that foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemons, can help with asthma that has already been diagnosed.
A clinical study shows that volunteers who had asthma attacks triggered by certain infections had reduced symptoms and duration of seizures by as much as 80% when consuming only 1g of vitamin C per day.
The Healthiest Ways To Consume Lemons
- All parts of the lemon have their nutrients and are very useful for the body. Here are some other ways to use lemon.
- Combine lemon ( and its peel ), olive oil, and herbs/spices to taste with the pasta
- Drink lemon water
- Add lemon to your delicious fresh salad
- Lemon is great with any kind of fish
- Add lemon to soups and stews
- Use it as a substitute for vinegar
- Add lemon to dressings for certain salads
- Add lemon to the tasty hummus
- Add it to smoothies and various other fruit drinks