What is Lemon?
The lemon (Citrus limon) is part of the Rutaceae family. This small, oval fruit is approximately 2 to 3 inches/5 to 71/2 cm in diameter. With its bright yellow, pitted outer peel, like that of other citrus fruits, the inner ﬂesh of the lemon is encased in approximately eight to ten segments. The lemon has a characteristic, sour odor with an acidic, tart, astringent taste that is unexpectedly refreshing.
The fruit juice contains mainly sugars and fruit acids, which are principally citric acid. Lemon peel consists of two layers: the outermost layer (“zest”), which contains essential oils (6 percent) that are composed mostly of limonene (90 percent) and citral (5 percent), plus a small amount of citronellal, alpha-terpineol, linalyl, and geranyl acetate. The inner layer contains no essential oil but instead houses a variety of bitter ﬂavone glycosides and coumarin derivatives.
Despite the misconception that lemons are only sour, there is also a sweet variety. The most notable sweet lemon is the Meyer lemon, which is becoming increasingly popular in markets and restaurants. This lemon is relatively easy to grow (indoors) in the U.K. too. It has a much rounder form and a smooth unpitted skin, and takes on a deep yellow to orange color when mature. Meyer lemons have an amazing tangy aroma and are less acidic.
The two main sour lemons are the Eureka and Lisbon. The Eureka has few seeds and a more textured skin (there is now a seedless variety of Eureka in the U.K.), while the Lisbon is smoother and seedless.
Lemon trees are much less hardy in their tolerance for cold than orange trees, hence they have been difﬁcult to cultivate. However, the lemon tree ﬂowers continuously and has fruit in all stages of development most of the year. A tree may bear as many as 3,000 lemons annually.
History of Lemon
Citrus fruits are native to southern China and Southeast Asia, where they have been cultivated for approximately 4,000 years. In fact, ancient Asian literature includes stories about these fruits. The citron was carried to the Middle East sometime between 400 and 600 B.C.E. Arab traders in Asia carried lemons, citrons, limes, oranges, and shaddocks to eastern Africa and the Middle East between C.E. 100 and 700.
During the Arab occupation of Spain, citrus fruits arrived in southern Europe. From there, they were taken to the New World by Christopher Columbus and Portuguese and Spanish explorers. Lemons became quite well known in Florida and Brazil by the sixteenth century.
Superior varieties from Southeast Asia arrived in Europe with Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. Mandarin oranges from southern China did not arrive in Europe and the New World until the nineteenth century.
The desire for citrus fruits increased greatly after the 1890’s when physicians found that people suffering from scurvy (a disease of vitamin C deﬁciency) could be cured by drinking citrus juice. Lemons were in such demand that people were willing to pay up to $1 per lemon, an astronomical price for that time! Later, scientists discovered that the juice is beneﬁcial because it is the most potent and concentrated source of Vitamin C. Lemons also contain vitamins A, B 1, and bio-ﬂavonoids, as well as potassium, magnesium, and folic acid.
The United States (California and Florida lead in U.S. production), Italy, Spain, Greece, Israel, and Turkey are the major producers of lemons.
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Types Of Lemon
There are many varieties of lemons grown worldwide. Often the physical differences between lemons of the same variety are greater than the differences between two different varieties, curiosities of nature.
There are numerous varieties of lemons that although variations of features among them there are no differences between the same fruits as those between the different varieties of oranges and tangerines, for example appreciate. As mentioned, it is often impossible to distinguish one variety from another since the variation that can exist between the fruits of one tree is as large as that may occur between fruits of different varieties.
Most common everyday lemons are either Eurekas or Lisbons, though rarely does a market label their lemons as anything but “lemons.” A short neck at the stem end distinguishes Eureka lemons, whereas Lisbons have no distinct neck but the blossom end tapers to a pointed nipple. Eurekas may have a few seeds and a somewhat pitted skin, while Lisbons are commonly seedless with smoother skin. Both types have medium-thick skins and are abundantly juicy. Florida-grown lemons are likely to be Lisbon-type fruits called Bearss.
We list the different varieties of lemon grown in different citrus growing areas of the world:
- Meyer: is a hybrid of lemon, orange and mandarin. Its big and rounded fruit, with a small nipple, much like orange. The bark is yellowish-orange color, smooth, soft, thin and lacks the characteristic aroma of lemon. The flesh is deep yellow, very juicy and tender. It has enough seeds. It is of Chinese origin but gets its name from the person who first imported to USA: Frank Meyer.
- Eureka: the fruit has a smooth bark medium or thin thickness, although it has some roughness especially if grown in Mediterranean climates. This seed contains few lemon and juice has a high level of acidity. This variety was selected from a population in California from germination lemon, lemon beans imported from Italy.
- Lisbon: the fruit is very similar to the eureka variety, but has a less pronounced nipple and bark texture is rougher. Levels of juice and its acidity themselves are similar to those of eureka. It is believed that this strain of American origin has its antecedent in the gallego portuguese variety, hence its name.
- Femminello: this range encompasses lemons different selections of medium size, relatively thick crust and juice content lower than other varieties, though more acid. The quantity of seeds is not uniform and this will depend on the crop. The femminello variety represents the bulk of Italian production.
- Interdonato: This variety has a large, elongated and smooth but poor in fruit juice. His skin is thin and the pulp is divided into 6-7 segments with very few seeds, almost nonexistent. Nizza (Sicily) is the birthplace of the Italian variety.
- Kütdiken: is the variety that is grown in greater quantities in Turkey, along with the Interdonato lemon variety. It has similar features to Femminello and eureka lemons, which is why it is believed that its origin is Italian.
- Verna: It is a result of rather large size. Its major physical features are its pronounced nipple and well developed neck. The bark is thick, rough and irregular but the flesh is tender and juice has adequate acidity. This variety is the most widespread in the Spanish countryside.
- Fine: also known as Primofiori. It is a spherical or oval fruit with a short, smooth, thin crust nipple. The flesh is juicy with high juice content and very few seeds. The tree has thorns. This Spanish variety coming from a seed germination lemon common Vega del Segura River.
Nutritional Highlights of Lemon
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition, they are a good source of vitamin B 6, potassium, folic acid, ﬂavonoids, and the important phyto-chemical limonene. A 100 gram serving is about 2 medium lemons and provides 29 calories, 1.1 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 9.3 grams of carbohydrate, with 2.8 grams of ﬁber and 2.5 grams of natural sugars.
One lemon without the peel contains approximately:
- 24 calories
- 7.8 grams carbohydrates
- 0.9 gram protein
- 0.3 gram fat
- 2.4 grams dietary fiber
- 44.5 milligrams vitamin C (74 percent DV)
- 116 milligrams potassium (3 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligram iron (3 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (3 percent DV)
Additionally, lemons also contain a small amount of thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium and copper. Many people also use lemons to make lemon water. If you use the juice from half of a lemon and mix with water, one glass of lemon water contains approximately:
- 6 calories
- 2 grams carbohydrates
- 0.1 gram protein
- 0 gram fat
- 0.1 gram dietary fiber
- 10.8 milligrams vitamin C (18 percent DV)
Each glass of lemon water also contains a bit of potassium and folate as well.
Nutritional Facts Of Lemon
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.190 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||88%|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||1%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
The carbohydrates in lemons are primarily composed of fibers and simple sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose.
The main fiber in lemons is pectin. Soluble fibers like pectin can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Dietary fibers are an important part of a healthy diet, and linked with numerous health benefits.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lemons contain several vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C: An essential vitamin and antioxidant. It is important for immune function and skin health.
Potassium: A diet high in potassium can lower blood pressure levels and have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
Vitamin B6: A group of related vitamins that are involved in converting food into energy.
Other Plant Compounds
Plant compounds are natural bioactive substances found in plants, some of which have powerful health benefits. The plant compounds in lemons, and other citrus fruit, may have beneficial effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. These are the main plant compounds found in lemons:
- Citric acid: The most abundant organic acid in lemons, and may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Hesperidin: An antioxidant that may strenghten our blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis.
- Diosmin: An antioxidant that is used in some drugs that affect the circulatory system. It improves vascular muscle tone and reduces chronic inflammation in blood vessels.
- Eriocitrin: An antioxidant that is found in lemon peel and juice.
- D-Limonene: Found primarily in lemon peel. It is the main component of lemon essential oils, and responsible for the distinct smell of lemons. In isolation, it can help relieve heartburn and stomach reflux.
Many of the plant compounds in lemons are not found in high amounts in lemon juice, so it is recommended to eat the whole fruit for maximum benefit.
Health Benefits Of Lemon
The phyto-chemical limonene, which is extracted from lemons, is currently being used in clinical trials to dissolve gallstones and is showing extremely promising anticancer activities. The highest content of limonene is found in the white spongy inner parts of the lemon.
1. Treats Indigestion
Lemon juice helps cure problems related to indigestion and constipation. Add a few drops of this citrus fruit juice to your dish (take care, it does not go well with milk), and it will aid in digestion. It acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent. The recipe is lemon juice, cold water, soda, salts (common salt or rock salt), and sugar/honey for sweetness. You can also add some mint leaves or crushed fennel seeds for added flavor. Drink this whenever you have a heavy lunch or dinner.
2. Treats Fever
Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever. It helps break fevers by increasing perspiration.
3. Dental Care
It is also frequently used in dental care. If the fresh lemon juice is applied on the area of a toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. Massaging the juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding while also eliminating the bad odors that can come from various gum diseases and other conditions.
Additionally, it can be used in cleaning your teeth. Keep your eye out for a toothpaste containing lemon as one of the ingredients, or add a drop of its juice onto your normal toothpaste. Some people also rub their teeth with the outer layer (the inner side touching your teeth) after removing its juice. But be careful, it can be highly acidic, so if your mouth starts burning, rinse your gums and mouth quickly with water.
Lemon juice has proven itself useful in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. Its juice, when applied to the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair loss and other problems related to the hair and scalp. If you apply this juice directly to the hair, it can give your hair a natural shine.
Lemon is a great natural remedy for dandruff. Application of lemon juice on the scalp can help fight dandruff and also prevent its recurrence.
5. Oily Scalp
Lemon can help reduce excess sebum secretion, which often makes the scalp oily and causes the hair follicles to get clogged. Applying a mixture of lemon juice and vinegar cleanses your scalp, thus preventing the hair follicles from becoming clogged. Lemon juice is also a great remedy for greasy hair.
6. Natural Highlighter
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a great bleaching agent and hence, offers a natural way to lighten your hair without any side effects. Just wash your hair, pat them dry and apply lemon juice on the sections of hair you want to highlight.
7. Split Ends
Applying a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil on the hair can help in treating split ends.
8. Lice Treatment
Lemon juice, when mixed with garlic or almond paste, acts a natural remedy to get rid of hair lice. All you need to do is apply this mixture on your scalp and wash off after half an hour. This will kill the lice and loosen them from the scalp, which can be later combed away.
9. Thick and Lustrous Hair
A mixture of lemon juice and fresh coconut water is a good conditioner for your scalp. You can apply this mixture on your scalp and rinse your hair with it to get thick and lustrous hair.
10. Hair Loss
Lemon when mixed with coconut oil is beneficial in treating hair loss. You can make a paste by combining equal quantities of crushed lemon seeds and black pepper; or lemon and vinegar. Apply it on your scalp for 10 minutes and then rinse off. This will prevent hair loss. Massaging your scalp with a mixture of egg and lemon juice can also strengthen your hair roots.
Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. The juice can be applied to reduce the pain of sunburns and it helps to ease the pain from bee stings as well. It is also good for acne and eczema. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking its juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin, and if you thoroughly search the cosmetic market, you will find some soaps containing this juice, but they aren’t too easy to find!
11. Skin Whitening
The citric acid in lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent to lighten and brighten your skin complexion. You can mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 3 tablespoon water and apply it all over your face and neck. Wash off with cold water after 30 minutes.
12. Scars and Age Spots
Lemon juice can be applied overnight to cure the discoloration caused by scars, skin disorders, and age spots. It also helps in lightening the scars caused by burns.
13. Discolored Elbows
Rubbing the lemon rind on the discolored elbows can reduce the dark patches on your elbow.
Lemon can be used to prepare an anti-wrinkle mask. All you need to do is mix a teaspoon each of lemon juice extract and honey and add a few drops of almond oil. Apply it as a mask on your face and neck.
15. Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, you can apply a mixture of lemon juice extract, honey, and olive oil on your skin to combat dryness and make your skin supple and moisturized.
16. Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, you can mix a spoon of lemon juice with egg white and grape juice extract. Apply it on your face to make your skin look soft and glowing.
17. Chapped Lips
Lemon acts as an exfoliant to smoothen chapped lips. All you need to do is rub the lemon rind on your pucker and wash off the next morning. Lemon juice can removes dead skin cells, thus facilitating smooth application of lipstick.
Corns are lumps formed due to hardening of the skin at certain places like the soles of the feet and the palms of your hands. Lemon juice can easily dissolve these lumps on the skin.
19. Acne and Blackheads
The anti-bacterial properties of lemon make it effective for curing acne and blackheads. You can dilute some lemon juice extract in water and apply it on the affected area with a cotton swab. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off with cold water. This will help in healing the acne as well as reducing the frequency and severity of blackheads. Apart from this, having a glass of lemon water with honey will cleanse your system, thus preventing acne and breakouts.
20. Cures Burns
Using lemon juice on the site of old burns can help fade the scars, and since it is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin while you have an irritating burn.
21. Internal Bleeding
It has antiseptic and coagulant properties, so it can stop internal bleeding. You can apply lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nose to stop nosebleeds.
22. Weight Loss
If a person drinks lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can help reduce body weight.
23. Soothes Respiratory Disorders
Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack. Being a rich source of vitamin C, it helps in dealing with more long-term respiratory disorders as well.
24. Treats Cholera
Diseases like cholera and malaria can be treated with lemon juice because it acts as a blood purifier.
25. Relaxes Feet
Lemon is an aromatic and antiseptic agent and is useful for foot relaxation. Add some of its juice to warm water and dip your feet into the mixture for instant relief and muscle relaxation.
26. Treats Rheumatism
It is also a diuretic and can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body.
27. Reduces Corns
Lemon juice can dissolve lumps on the skin, so it can be applied to the areas where the skin has hardened up, like the soles of feet and the palms of your hands. Drinking it with water can help patients reduce gallstones for the same reasons.
28. Throat Infections
Lemon is an excellent fruit that fights problems related to throat infections, due to its well-known antibacterial properties.
29. Controls Blood Pressure
Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering from heart problems because it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea as it provides a calming sensation to both, the mind and body. It is commonly employed to reduce mental stress and depression.
Lemon has proved to be nature’s boon to everyone who uses it. It provides many valuable solutions to health-related problems because it contains its own set of antiseptic and natural medications. It also aids in the treatment of malaria. A good practice is to eat anywhere from a quarter to a half of this little yet powerful citrus fruit per day to get maximum health benefits!
30. Cold and Fever
Lemon helps in curing and preventing cold, flu and fever due to its high content of vitamin C. It aids the production of antibodies and white blood cells which can fight against the microorganisms in the body. Lemon, when taken during fever, increases the rate of diaphoresis, thus helping in bringing down fever. Being a blood purifier, it can help cure diseases like malaria and cholera.
31. Strong Nails
Lemon, when combined with olive oil, can be an effective nail hardener. Applying this solution will not only strengthen weak and brittle nails but also whiten and brighten yellowing nails.
32. Fresh Breath
Nothing ruins the mood like bad breath. But if you’re out of gum or mints, reach for a lemon! Lemons are known to freshen up your home, and the same can be said for your mouth. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes odors, which helps combat nasty breath from things like garlic and onions.
How to Select and Store Lemon
When choosing a lemon, one should hold the fruit and determine if it is heavy. The heavier the fruit and the thinner the skin, the more juice it has. A ripe lemon should be ﬁrm, with a ﬁne-textured peel with a deep yellow color. Acidity varies with the color of the lemon.
A deep yellow lemon is less acidic than a lighter or greenish yellow one. Surface marks usually do not affect the fruit inside, but you should try to avoid buying bruised or dried-out fruit, as well as shriveled or hard-skinned lemons.
Store lemons at room temperature, away from sunlight, and enjoy their cheerful color. They keep without refrigeration for about two weeks. If kept in the refrigerator crisper, it is best to use a plastic bag, where they can remain up to six weeks.
Lemons can also be juiced and stored for later use. First, squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into ice cube trays for freezing. You can then transfer the frozen cubes to a plastic freezer container, where they will keep for up to three months. Lemon zest, which is usually used as a spice, can be dried and stored in a cool place for up to two to three months.
Tips for Preparing Lemon
Lemons in many forms are called for in countless recipes. To produce more lemon juice for a recipe, it is always better for the lemon to be warm (or at least room temperature). If time is a factor, the lemon can be placed in a bowl of warm water or in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, or juiced in a juicer or extractor. Rolling the lemon under the palm of your hand on a ﬂat surface will also ensure the extraction of more juice.
It is also important to note that before cutting a lemon, it is a good idea to wash the skin of the lemon so that any dirt or bacteria on the skin is not transferred to the fruit’s interior. Use caution if you have a citrus allergy.
It is always recommended, if you are using the skin or “zest” of any citrus, to purchase organic fruit. Most conventionally harvested fruits have pesticide residue concentrated on their skin. To obtain the zest of a lemon, ﬁrst wash and dry the lemon, then use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the colored part of the lemon.
The white pith that is under the peel has a very bitter taste and should not be used. The zest can be chopped, diced, candied, or used in whatever fashion called for by the recipe.
Quick Serving Ideas for Lemon
- Place thinly sliced lemons, peel and all, underneath and around ﬁsh before cooking. Baking or grilling will soften the slices so that they can be eaten along with the fish.
- Combine lemon juice with olive or linseed oil, freshly crushed garlic, and pepper to make a light, refreshing salad dressing.
- If you are watching your salt intake (and even if you are not), serve lemon wedges with meals, as the tart lemon juice makes a great salt substitute.
How to pick a good lemon
- Heavier lemons will have the most mineral content and sugar, thus thick-skinned lemons will be lighter than thin-skinned lemons and will have less sweetness and fewer minerals.
- The ones with the most juice will have finely-grained texture peels.
- Lemons should be fully yellow; the ones with green tinges have not fully ripened and will be very acidic.
- Over-ripe lemons will have a wrinkling look, soft or hard patches and will not be a vibrant yellow.
- Lemons stay fresh kept at room temperature (not in sunlight) for about seven to 10 days; or store them in the refrigerator crisper for about four to five weeks.
How to use lemons
“When life gives you a lemon… squeeze it, mix it with six ounces of distilled water and drink twice daily.” –Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden
- A bowl of fresh lemons will add fragrance and color to a room for days.
- Alkalize with lemon water.
- To reducing sodium intake, squeeze fresh lemon on salads, steamed vegetables, soups and stews.
- Roll a lemon on the counter a few times before squeezing to maximize the amount of juice.
- Lemon juice can be stored for later use by putting freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays until frozen, then store them in containers in the freezer.
- Dried lemon zest should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight glass container.
- The zest of fresh lemon is a wonderful addition to cakes, cookies and in vegetables.
- Finally…try a Lemon Facial Cleanser …as recommended by Dr. Oz.
“When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and let the world wonder how you did it.” –Tori Truax
What is lemon water?
Lemon water is simply the juice from lemons mixed with water. The amount of lemon you use depends on your personal preference, and this drink can be enjoyed either cold or hot. mSome people also choose to add lemon rind, mint leaf or other ingredients. Lemon water has become a popular morning beverage, since it’s been claimed to help improve your mood, energy levels, immune system and metabolic health.
For the purpose of this article, the definition of lemon water is one glass of water mixed with the juice from half a lemon. This is the nutrient breakdown for one glass:
- Calories: 9.
- Sugars: Less than 1 gram.
- Vitamin C: 25% of the RDI.
- Folate: 1% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 1% of the RDI.
One glass does not seem to provide a lot of nutrients, but drinking lemon water is a low-calorie and low-sugar beverage that can boost your vitamin C intake. For comparison, if you replaced half a lemon with half an orange, it would double the calories and sugar in your drink. Additionally, remember that the exact nutritional value depends on how much lemon juice you add, as well as any other ingredients.
Benefits Of Lemon
Lemon water packs in a range of benefits.
Lemon water contains other beneficial substances, and is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids. Many have antioxidant properties that appear to help protect your cells from damage. Flavonoids from citrus fruits are often linked with benefits for blood circulation, insulin sensitivity and other aspects of metabolic health. Lemon flavonoids also have the potential to reduce oxidative stress and damage, at least in rats. All that said, there are no human studies to support these findings, so they may not be as useful in real life.
Kidney stones are solid mineral formations that collect in the kidneys. The most common type is made of a substance called calcium oxalate, and is typically treated with a compound called citrate. Increasing the amount of citrate in your urine is thought to prevent calcium from binding with other compounds and forming stones. In short, citrate restores the urine’s ability to prevent kidney stone formation.
Lemon water contains high amounts of citrate, and numerous human studies have found it can successfully help treat kidney stones. It appears to be most effective when used alongside potassium citrate, the supplement form of citrate. However, lemon water may also be a good alternative for those who don’t tolerate potassium citrate as a first-line treatment.
The Benefits Of Water
Lemon water is water with a bit of lemon added, which means it has all the benefits of regular water. Drinking plenty of water is known to have benefits for:
- Weight loss: Increases feelings of fullness and boosts metabolism slightly, which can help with weight loss.
- Mental health: Optimizes mood and memory.
- Digestive health: Helps relieve constipation.
- Exercise performance: Improves athletic performance.
- Bottom Line: Drinking enough water has many health benefits. It can help you lose weight, feel great and improve your athletic performance.
There are many additional health claims surrounding lemon water, but most are not supported by any scientific evidence. In fact, some have even been disproved. Below are 6 of the most common myths.
Myth 1: The fiber in it helps you lose weight
Lemons contain a type of fiber called pectin, which helps reduce your appetite and calorie intake. However, lemon water is basically filtered, heavily diluted lemon juice, which leaves it with only trace amounts of pectin. Even a whole lemon only contains 2 grams of fiber in total. There is no evidence that lemon water has any more benefits for weight loss than plain water.
Myth 2: It alkalizes your body
According to proponents of the alkaline diet, foods leave an “ash” in your system that influences the pH of your body – how acidic or alkaline it becomes. Lemon water is said to be alkalizing. However, neither the pH of your blood nor cells can be altered by what you eat.
Myth 3: It fights cancer
This claim emerged from the alkaline diet myth and is built on the premise that cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. While cancer cells do prefer the cells around them to be acidic, studies show they can grow in alkaline environments as well. Also, cancer cells create their own acidic environment, and eating alkalizing food doesn’t stop it.
Myth 4: It cleanses and detoxes
Water helps eliminate waste from your body through urination and healthy bowel movements. However, nothing in lemon water improves this process. In fact, most claims that foods or beverages cleanse or detoxify your organs are simply untrue.
Myth 5: It raises your IQ
Drinking water – lemon-flavored or otherwise – may help you feel more focused in the morning, but it cannot increase intelligence.
Myth 6: It has natural diuretic effects
This may be true to a small extent, but it’s so misleading that it’s worth mentioning. Any food that contains potassium can potentially increase urine output – that means virtually all fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Additionally, the more water you drink, the more you will urinate.
Risks Of Taking Lemon Water
Lemon water is perfectly safe to drink. However, the acid in lemons can damage your tooth enamel over time, which makes your teeth more prone to cavities. You can manage this easily by drinking lemon water with a straw whenever possible, to avoid contact with your teeth.
Also, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards. However, it is best to wait an hour before brushing your teeth. Brushing while your tooth enamel is an an acid-softened state can lead to damage. If you’re taking the lemon water with breakfast, then it’s a good idea to brush your teeth before breakfast.
Best Time To Take Lemon Water
The best temperature to drink lemon water is a highly debated topic. For example, some claim cold water helps burn extra calories. Others believe warm water helps improve digestive health. There is very little research to support either side, and it’s highly unlikely the temperature makes any meaningful difference. Therefore, it simply comes down to what you feel like at the time.
Lemon enjoys a global eminence, thanks to its incredible health benefits. This inexpensive and easily available sweet-tart fruit is widely used in various food recipes like lemon chicken, lemon cakes and beverages etc. Freshly squeezed lemon juice doesn’t stop at just giving the food items a delicious taste. Several advantages are also associated with the consumption of this tangy juice.
The high amount of Vitamin C in lemon juice helps in boosting the immune system. Thus, you can keep several illnesses at a bay by drinking one glass of lemon water each day. Before going into comprehensive details about the benefits of lemon juice for human health, have a look at its nutritional value.
Hundreds of miraculous health benefits are associated with the consumption of lemon juice. In this article, I have elaborated on the top ten amongst all the lemon juice benefits. Scroll down and enjoy the read.
Health Benefits Of Lemon Juice
1. Prevents Cancer:
Lemon is well-known for its richness in multipurpose flavonoid compounds which defend your body against different types of cancer. Thus, regular consumption of lemon juice ensures the prevention of cancerous cells.
2. Treat the Upset Stomach:
Lemon juice is a marvellous drink for people who are suffering from an upset stomach. Digestive problems like diarrhoea or constipation make you feel uncomfortable in addition to botching up your daily routine. To deal with such problems, intake one glass lemon water at the start of the new day. You can maximize the benefits by adding one teaspoon of honey to this solution.
3. Good for Liver:
One of the main advantages of lemon juice is its assistance in improving the liver function and flushing out the toxins from the body. This zesty fruit increase the production of bile in the body that is required for breaking down the fats and lipids.
4. Assists in dealing with infections:
Lemons contain a high amount of Vitamin C, which is essential for strengthening the immune system. So, consuming it in any form is a natural way to prevent viral infections like cold and flu. Lemon water also aids in treating urinary tract infections.
5. Best for Hypertension Patients:
People, who don’t consume sufficient amount of potassium, are at higher risks of getting affected by cardiological disorders. Lemon juice contains a satisfactory amount of potassium, so it can help in reducing the risks of such problems.
6. Acts as Natural Cleanser for Skin:
The cleansing properties of lemon juice for skin makes it an ideal beauty product. Most women use lemon juice home remedies to get fair and flawless skin. Direct application of lemon juice combined with honey is the best way to get rid of dark spots, skin discoloration and stretch marks.
7. Freshens your Breath:
Lemon juice freshens your breath in addition to providing relief from gingivitis and tooth pain. To attain this benefit, don’t brush your teeth right after drinking lemon water.
8. Makes Nails Strong and Beautiful:
Real lemon juice has amazing benefits for your nails. Massaging the nails with a bit of lemon juice is the best remedy to make them bright and full of life. Lemon water soak also provides the same benefits.
9. Facilitates in Reducing Weight:
Lemon juice is the best facilitator for reducing weight as the high amount of pectin fibre in this juice benefits your body’s fight against hunger cravings. Drinking a solution of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and water is an effectual remedy for losing extra pounds naturally. Lemon juice for weight loss is a tip that has worked for many!
10. Balances pH Levels:
You will be surprised to learn that inside the human body, lemon juice acts as an alkalizing food despite being acidic. It doesn’t produce acidity in the body. Hence, this excellent drink should be consumed to keep the pH levels normal.
Nutritional Value of Lemon Juice:
Lemons, originating from North-East India’s Himalayan foothills, are packed with several healthy nutrients such as vitamins (Vitamin B, C and riboflavin), carbohydrates, proteins and minerals (calcium, phosphorus and magnesium). It is usually consumed in the form of lemon juice. The fruit contains no cholesterol or saturated fats and is low in calories.
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient that your body needs to be fit. You can meet almost 88 % requirement of Vitamin C by consuming lemon. The presence of natural preservative – citric acid, makes lemon the best defennder for your body against various diseases. Thus, lemon or its juice is the most versatile addition to your overall fitness routine. For an in-depth analysis of lemon juice’s nutrition value and recommended daily amount, check out the table given below.
Lemon Juice USDA Nutrition Database:
|PRINCIPLE||NUTRIENT VALUE||PERCENTAGE OF RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.190 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||88%|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||1%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
How to Make Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an excellent item to have for cooking, cleaning, and even drinking when sweetened. Some people even use it for cough and sore throat! No matter what you’re using your lemon juice for, it’s easy to make and you only need 3 ingredients!
Method 1 Squeezing Lemon Juice
This part produces the juice which can then be used for any purpose required.
- Find a suitable squeezing item. You can squeeze juice manually using a citrus squeezer or using a food processor with a juicer component.
- Cut the lemons in half.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl or cup. Make sure that you get all the juice out of each half. Add some sugar and water. Put a lemon on top of your glass and enjoy your drink!
Method 2 Sweetened Lemon Juice
This is suitable for drinking. You can also make lemonade if preferred.
- Pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice into cup or glass.
- Add a half teaspoon of sugar.
- Stir until dissolved. Drink. If wished, add a little water to lessen the lemon’s strength.
Lemon tea is nothing but a form of black tea or green tea liquor to which lemon juice has been added to impart a unique flavour. Lemon tea simply contains hot tea with lemon juice and sugar. Masala lemon tea contains hot tea with roasted cumin seed powder, lemon juice, black salt and sugar, which gives it a tangy, spicy taste. The addition of lemon juice not only makes its colour more pronounced, but also improves its taste. For a perfect taste, the right quantity of lemon juice should be added to it.
The combined benefits of lemon juice and honey make lemon tea a healthy alternative to various carbonated drinks and coffee. The various lemon tea benefits are as follows.
1. A Good Cleanser And Detoxifier:
Most of the health benefits of lemon tea attribute to the fact that it cleanses your body by removing toxins from the system. These toxins invite various kinds of diseases and infections. An excellent detoxifier, lemon tea helps prevent these diseases and infections.
2. Treatment Of Cold And Flu:
Lemon tea is helpful in relieving cold and flu symptoms. In case of cold and flu, you can add ginger to the tea and drink it 3 to 4 times daily. It will not only give relief from a sore throat, but also boost your immune system and keep you warm during winters. The liquid helps thin the mucus in your throat. Warm liquids, such as broth, tea or lemon juice and honey in warm water, can soothe your throat.
3. Psychological Benefits:
Lemon tea removes toxins from the blood, and hence, it energizes your body, refreshes your mind and improves mental clarity. Stress is responsible for generating toxins in the blood that trigger various mental health issues. Lemon tea is a great remedy for headaches, weakness, low vitality, lethargy and fatigue. It keeps you active and healthy by cleansing your blood.
4. Cardiovascular Benefits:
According to the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, tea provides protection against cardiovascular diseases. Lemon tea contains flavonoids that reduce lipids and inflammation and prevent the formation of blood clots in arteries. Thus, drinking lemon tea is a great way of combating heart disease.
5. Natural Antiseptic:
As we all know, lemon is nature’s antiseptic. Lemon tea possesses anti-bacterial and antiviral properties, and so, regular consumption helps in treating and healing infections and diseases.
6. Digestive Health:
Lemon tea facilitates healthy digestion through its calming effect. This is because it eliminates toxins and waste products, and enables your body to absorb more of the beneficial substances present in it. The citric acid in lemons aids in digestion and helps to dissolve kidney stones, while the ascorbic acid is a natural antioxidant that prevents the sailor’s dread – scurvy.
7. Treatment Of Surgical Swelling:
Surgical swelling or edema is a common post-operative condition and is caused by injections, dead cells of fat and pooled fluid blood. The fluids get accumulated in between the body tissues, causing pain and discomfort. Lemon tea is often recommended by doctors for reducing and alleviating the condition of edema. Apart from this, lemon tea also eliminates the toxic effects of anaesthesia and reduces the pain during the menstrual cycle of women.
8. Improves Insulin Activity:
Our body requires insulin for the conversion of glucose or sugar to energy. Tea has been found to increase insulin activity according to a research study conducted by the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”, and the same benefits are provided by lemon tea as well.
9. Facilitates Iron Absorption:
Tea, in general, can interfere with the absorption of non-heme iron by your body. However, in the case of lemon tea, the vitamin C can boost non-heme iron absorption. Thus, adding lemon juice to tea can counteract this adverse effect of tea.
10. Benefits For Skin:
We all are aware of the benefits of vitamin C for the skin. Lemon possesses astringent properties that help reduce acne and other skin disorders internally. Thus, consumption of lemon tea can help combat acne and various skin disorders.
11. Anti-Cancer Properties:
Both tea and lemon contain strong antioxidant properties. This can be attributed to the presence of polyphenols in tea and an abundant amount of antioxidant vitamin C in lemons. The antioxidants not only prevent damage to healthy cells but also promote the death of unhealthy cells and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. The anti-cancer properties of lemon tea help reduce the chances of skin cancer. Besides, lemons contain compounds called limonoids in abundance that help fight mouth, lung, breast, and stomach and colon cancers.
12. Benefits Of Green Tea With Lemon:
Green tea, when taken with lemon juice, can provide a range of health benefits. Lemon juice enhances the effectiveness and absorption of green tea’s antioxidants. When our small and large intestines become alkaline, catechins become degraded in our stomach during nutrient absorption. Lemon juice can greatly increase the amount of catechins extracted by our body from green tea.
13. Other Benefits:
The benefits of lemon are readily available in lemon tea. Being a natural diuretic, intake of lemon juice helps promote urine production. Similarly, it is also a great remedy for gingivitis or inflamed gums. The essential oils present in lemon contain antimicrobial properties.
How To Make Lemon Tea?
Lemon tea preparation is no big deal provided you add the ingredients in the right amount. Given below is the simple method of preparing lemon tea recipe.
- 1 cup water
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- One tsp. tea leaves
- Sugar or honey to taste
- Place a cup of water for heating.
- As the water boils, put off the flame.
- Add a ½ teaspoon or ¾ teaspoons of tea leaves, depending upon whether you want a strong or a lighter version of tea.
- Alternatively, you can use green tea in the same proportion.
- Leave it to brew for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Now add a quarter portion of lemon juice to the tea liquor.
- Add sugar or honey to taste. Your lemon tea is ready.
- You can make this tea more flavorful by adding fresh ginger, or you can add some mint leaves for enhanced health benefits and appearance of your tea. If you want a more exciting taste, you can try adding a pinch of rock salt or ‘kala namak.’ Lemon grass is also a good ingredient for your lemon tea.
So, this was about the amazing benefits of lemon tea and its easy preparation.
Precautions With Lemon Tea:
In spite of the various benefits of lemon tea, it is not suitable for certain people. Certain precautions need to be taken for the consumption of lemon tea.
- Lemon tea is generally not suitable for kids.
- Lemon tea should better be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Those having high blood pressure should refrain from regular consumption of lemon tea.
- Lemon tea should not be consumed in the case of diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. You can consume plain black tea instead.
- It is advisable to take medical advice before consuming lemon tea if you are taking any specific medications for any ailment.
Hence, if you want a combo of health benefits and refreshing taste and aroma, lemon tea is the right option. With the onset of summers, you can comfortably replace those sodas and aerated drinks with refreshing iced lemon tea!
Negative Effects Of Lemon
Let’s face it. Lemons could be replete with all the great stuff you can think of. And they might prevent most ailments one can imagine. But there also are some serious side effects of lemons.
1. Decay Tooth Enamel
This has been going around for quite a while. And there is some truth to it. Research suggests that drinking lemon juice (lemon and water) can cause teeth erosion. Yes, lemon water might have benefits. But when it comes to your pearly whites, too much of it may not really be worth the effort.
According to another study published by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research – too much of lemon juice in the diet can harm your teeth. Lemons are highly acidic. Taking them in excess can corrode your tooth enamel. Another Brazilian study proved the same. In fact, lemon juice displayed corrosive effects on the teeth similar to that of soft drinks. All of them are equally acidic.
But hey, if you have the habit of consuming lemon water every morning, you don’t have to relinquish it. Just ensure you brush and floss more regularly – probably twice a day.
2. Worsen Canker Sores
These are shallow sores inside the mouth (or the base of the gums), and they are painful. Add lemons, and you are headed for disaster. The citric acid in lemons can worsen your sores and even cause more. Hence, ensure you don’t take lemons (or any citrus fruit for that matter) if you have canker sores. Wait for them to heal completely.
3. Aggravate Heartburn And Ulcers
According to research, one way lemons can trigger or even aggravate heartburn is by activating pepsin, an enzyme in the stomach that breaks down proteins. Reflux of the digestive juices in the stomach can activate the inactive pepsin molecules in the esophagus and throat – leading to heartburn. Further research states that lemon can both hurt and help heartburn symptoms. However, the conclusions are mixed. But on a major scale, lemon juice is known to trigger heartburn symptoms. It can decrease the effectiveness of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle and instead allow the stomach acid to splash up the esophagus.
Lemon juice can also worsen peptic ulcers. We know how ulcers are formed – by excessively acidic digestive juices. Taking lemon juice (and other acidic foods) can only make things worse. And though there is less information, certain experts speculate that lemon juice can also trigger GERD symptoms. Hence, stay away from lemons if you have any of these conditions and consult your doctor.
4. Might Cause Nausea And Vomiting
Given that lemon juice is chock-full of vitamin C, it is important to note that too much of the nutrient can cause nausea, and in some cases, even vomiting. Excess of lemon juice (more than 2 lemons or 3 cups of diluted lemon juice) can lead to an overdose of vitamin C. Though this doesn’t pose any serious threat, your body, however, will try to flush out the excess vitamin C – causing vomiting. Even detox diets like the lemon water diet were found to cause nausea and vomiting.
5. Can Lead To Frequent Urination
Lemon juice, especially in a glass of warm water, can act as a diuretic. It can increase urine output, and if this goes overboard, you might even end up feeling dehydrated. This is because the juice from lemon rids your body of the excess water. In the process, it can also flush out excess amounts of electrolytes and sodium through urine – and at times, it can flush out too much of them and cause dehydration.
Excess use of lemon juice has also been linked to potassium deficiency. Acidic fruits like lemons can also irritate the bladder. This increases the urge to urinate more often. Avoid lemon water and other acidic fruits for about a week and see if your symptoms improve. If not, consult your doctor.
6. Can Lead To Excess Iron Content In The Blood
We know that vitamin C encourages iron absorption in the body. And too much of it can lead to an increase in the blood levels of iron. Too much of iron in the body can be dangerous. Excess iron in the blood can also damage the internal organs.
7. Can Trigger Migraine In Patients
Though there is less research, certain experts believe that citrus can trigger migraines. In fact, one particular migraine diet designed by the Delaware Biotechnology Institute recommends avoiding lemon juice.
8. Can Cause Sunburns
Certain studies indicate that heading out into the sun with lemon juice on your skin can cause blisters and dark spots. Also called phytophotodermatitis, it’s a worse form of sunburn. The culprits are the chemicals in lemon juice, called psoralens, which interact with sunlight and cause the burn.
Another report from Brown University states that individuals who consumed lemon juice and other citrus juices in excess might have a slightly higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, or a form of skin cancer.
We saw the side effects. But do lemons (or lemon juice) interact with any medications?
Do Lemons Have Any Interactions With Medications?
Though lemons don’t severely interact with any medications, certain studies throw light on their interactions with calcium antagonists (medications that disrupt the movement of calcium through calcium channels, which are used for treating hypertension).
Another Japanese study recommends that patients avoid the intake of citrus juice while on medications as the juice might interact with them, causing potential hazards. There is insufficient information on the interactions lemons might have with herbs.
What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Lemons/Lemon Juice?
Consuming 120 ml of lemon juice (containing 5.9 grams of citric acid) a day is considered safe. Ensure you dilute the juice before doing so. The dosage is the same for pregnant and lactating women as well. Don’t go beyond the prescribed dosage as the subsequent effects are unknown.
Some people are allergic to citrus peels. When such an allergy is suspected caution must be employed when eating citrus fruit (see “Tips for Preparing”). But whether you are allergic or not, citrus peels should not be eaten in any signiﬁcant quantity. Citrus peels contain some beneﬁcial oils, but these oils can interfere with some body functions. For example, citrus peels contain a compound known as citral that antagonizes some of the effects of vitamin A.
Lemons contain low levels of oxalates; lemon peel, however, contains high levels of oxalates. Individuals with a history of calcium oxalate-containing kidney stones should limit their consumption of this food. Since lemons are among the foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found, we recommend selecting organically grown lemons.