Lemons are bright citrus fruits containing antioxidants known as flavonoids that play an integral role in fighting heart disease, inflammation and cancer according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In this article, we will be discussing the health benefits of lemons.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties that play a key role in preventing several brain diseases. Lemon also has a lovely citrus smell that can cure nausea and headache.
Lemons can be simply incorporated into your diet by adding it in vegetable juices, salads dressings, squeezed over sautéed veggies, used to make lemon water, etc.
Nutritional Value Of Lemons
100 grams of lemons contain 29 calories and zero cholesterol. They also contain
- 1.1 grams protein
- 9 grams total carbohydrates
- 0.3 grams total fat
- 2.8 grams dietary fibre
- 26 milligrams calcium
- 53 milligrams vitamin C
- 0.6 milligrams iron
- 80 milligrams vitamin B6
- 8 milligrams magnesium
- 30 milligrams manganese
- 2 milligrams sodium
- 138 milligrams potassium
- 60 milligrams zinc
- 16 milligrams phosphorus
What Is The pH Level Of Lemons?
Lemons are extremely acidic in nature. Lemon juice has a pH level of 2.0 but, when it's metabolised it becomes alkaline with a pH level of above 7.
Health Benefits Of Lemons
1. Aids in weight loss
Polyphenols, the antioxidants found in both lemons and limes have been shown to significantly reduce weight gain and improve insulin resistance, according to a study  . Scientists believe that polyphenol antioxidants change the course your body burns fat and improves its resistance to insulin. Drinking a glass of lemon water per day is enough to burn fat.
2. Promotes heart health
Lemons can keep your heart healthy thanks to its flavonoids as they keep the fats and sugars in the bloodstream at stable levels. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C which helps in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke says study  . It also helps in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
3. Helps in detoxification
Lemons contain an antioxidant called D-limonene which is highly concentrated in the peels of lemons. This antioxidant D-limonene activates enzymes in the liver that are a part of phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification processes. During this process, toxic compounds are taken from the liver and are eliminated from the body through urine or bile. Removing toxins from the kidneys requires drinking plenty of lemon water too. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it in the morning.
4. Prevents kidney stones
The acidic content in lemons helps to prevent the build-up of calcium oxalate kidney stones. The stones form in the kidneys when excess minerals in your body attach to each other. Citrates present in lemons and other citrus fruits can help prevent the build-up of minerals and prevent kidney stone formation, according to a study ,  . Drink half a cup of lemon juice diluted with water or the juice of two lemons. Have the lemon water daily.
5. Prevents cold
A weakened immune system makes your body prone to colds and therefore it is important to keep your immune system healthy. Vitamin C in lemons can boost up your immune system. Lemon has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can cure a sore throat. Drink a glass of hot lemonade daily till your cold gets cured.
6. Keeps your teeth and gums healthy
Bleeding gums and loose teeth are signs of scurvy which is caused due to the deficiency of vitamin C. Vitamin C or citric acid, if consumed in normal amounts can prevent teeth problems. Lemon juice is mixed with salt and the solution is used to scrub the teeth with a brush. However, using too much is harmful as it destroys your tooth enamel because of the high pH level of lemons.
7. Boosts brain health
According to some studies, lemons can ward off severe mental declines like Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Good amounts of vitamin C in the body has been shown to protect against age-related cognitive decline  .
8. Improves skin quality
Vitamin C is linked to lowering skin-related problems. A study  published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that people who had vitamin C have less wrinkled or dry skin as vitamin C is known to reduce the wrinkling of the skin. It hydrates your skin and gets rid of the toxins, thereby making your skin look younger.
Sipping on a glass of lemon water a few times a day will work.
9. Lowers the risk of cancer
Plant compounds found in lemons such as naringenin and limonene are known to have anti-cancer effects, according to the study . Naringenin, a phytochemical present in lemons and other citrus fruits has positive health effects in preventing cancer. Another study  found that D-limonene, a compound found in lemons also has some anticancer properties. These compounds prevent tongue, lung and colon cancers.
10. Freshens your breath
The acid content in lemons freshens your mouth by neutralizing odours, which further helps in combating bad breath. Drinking lemon water is recommended as lemon stimulates the saliva and the water prevents dry mouth, which often leads to bad breath caused by the excessive growth of bacteria. You can also make a lemon rinse by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of water and use it to rinse your mouth.
11. Improves digestion
People drink lemon water in the morning to prevent constipation because it acts as a laxative. Lemons are made up of soluble fibre called pectin that enables the healthy gut bacteria to thrive and enhances regular bowel movements. As the soluble fibre helps to improve digestive health, you need to consume the lemon pulp instead of the juice as most of the fibre is in the pulp. You can also drink lemon juice with warm water in the morning to improve your digestion.
12. Prevents anaemia
Lemons contain significant amounts ascorbic acid which helps to prevent anaemia by aiding in better absorption of iron from plant-based foods, according to a study . The absorption of iron is faster from non-vegetarian foods, but there is a slow absorption of iron from plant-based foods. This can be improved by consuming vitamin C which will help in faster absorption of iron from plant foods.
13. Provides energy
If your body is running low in energy, then lemons are perfect to rev up your energy. Thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6 present in lemons turn your food into energy that is required by the body. In addition, lemons contain electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium and manganese that will improve your energy levels. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix it with warm water and have it first thing in the morning.
14. Fights inflammation
Lemon has antioxidant compounds like vitamin C, flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins and essential oils, all of which have been proven to reduce inflammation  . It fights against inflammation that leads to weight gain, fatigue, cancer, arthritis, etc.
15. Lowers blood pressure
A rise in blood pressure can cause kidney failure, heart attack or stroke. Lemons lower blood pressure by making the blood vessels soft and flexible, thereby causing a reduction in the blood pressure level. A study showed that people who ate half a lemon coupled with walking had a significant improvement in blood pressure levels. Drink lemon juice with warm water every day.
16. Reduces nausea and vomiting in pregnant women
During pregnancy, nausea and vomiting are common and they have an effect both on the physical and mental conditions of the pregnant women. The usage of lemon on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy was reviewed in a study  .
17. Stimulate hair growth
Lemons stimulate hair growth and strengthen the hair follicles and this prevents hair fall thanks to the vitamin C content. Lemon also has antifungal properties which help in maintaining scalp health and prevent dandruff. Therefore lemon can be used topically to address all the hair problems.
From being effective in weight loss to improving digestion, lemons have essential vitamins and minerals that benefit your health in a large way. Lemons have distinctive favourable taste and smell that would make a great addition in salads and drinks. But, make sure you don't overdo it.
-  Fukuchi, Y., Hiramitsu, M., Okada, M., Hayashi, S., Nabeno, Y., Osawa, T., & Naito, M. (2008). Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 43(3), 201–209.
-  Chanet, A., Milenkovic, D., Manach, C., Mazur, A., & Morand, C. (2012). Citrus Flavanones: What Is Their Role in Cardiovascular Protection? Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(36), 8809–8822.
-  Prezioso, D., Strazzullo, P., Lotti, T., Bianchi, G., Borghi, L., Caione, P., … Zattoni, F. (2015). Dietary treatment of urinary risk factors for renal stone formation. A review of CLU Working Group. Archivio Italiano Di Urologia e Andrologia, 87(2), 105.
-  Penniston, K. L., Nakada, S. Y., Holmes, R. P., & Assimos, D. G. (2008). Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products. Journal of Endourology, 22(3), 567–570.
-  Harrison, F. E. (2012). A Critical Review of Vitamin C for the Prevention of Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 29(4), 711–726.
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-  Mir, I. A., & Tiku, A. B. (2014). Chemopreventive and Therapeutic Potential of “Naringenin,” a Flavanone Present in Citrus Fruits. Nutrition and Cancer, 67(1), 27–42.
-  Crowell, P. L. (1999). Prevention and Therapy of Cancer by Dietary Monoterpenes. The Journal of Nutrition, 129(3), 775S–778S.
-  Ballot, D., Baynes, R. D., Bothwell, T. H., Gillooly, M., Macfarlane, J., Macphail, A. P., … Bothwell, J. E. (1987). The effects of fruit juices and fruits on the absorption of iron from a rice meal. British Journal of Nutrition, 57(03), 331.
-  Chambial, S., Dwivedi, S., Shukla, K. K., John, P. J., & Sharma, P. (2013). Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 28(4), 314–328.
-  Kato, Y., Domoto, T., Hiramitsu, M., Katagiri, T., Sato, K., Miyake, Y., … Harada, T. (2014). Effect on Blood Pressure of Daily Lemon Ingestion and Walking. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2014, 1–6.
-  Yavari kia, P., Safajou, F., Shahnazi, M., & Nazemiyeh, H. (2014). The Effect of Lemon Inhalation Aromatherapy on Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(3).
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