When life gives you lemons … enjoy them! Lemons are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They are excellent sources of vitamin C and folate.
It goes without saying that lemons are one of the most popular acid citrus fruits out there. For starters, they are available year-round but peak during the summer. They are a remarkably versatile fruit. You can eat them in wedges, put a slice in your drink for healthy lemon water, make some delicious smoothies and lemonade. More interestingly, you can candy their peels, and even use their acidic juices in cooking and more.
Besides being extremely versatile, lemons boast some pretty incredible health benefits. Here some of the potential benefits of eating lemons.
Lemon Nutrition Facts
Lemons contain minimal fat and protein. They consist mostly of carbs (10%) and water (88–89%). A medium lemon has about 20 calories. The nutrients in half a cup (100 grams) of fresh, peeled lemon are:
- Calories: 29
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Sugar: 2.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Carbs: 9.3 grams
Lemon Nutrition – The Benefits and Facts
Lowering Stroke Risk
According to a recent study, the flavonoids (antioxidants) in citrus fruits may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke in women. Ischemic stroke is the most prevalent variety of strokes. It happens when a blood clot blocks the stream of blood to the brain.
Due to lemon’s excellent antioxidant source, the fruit may help prevent terminal diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants help prevent free radicals from causing irreparable cell damage that may lead to cancer. However, research is still inconclusive on the subject.
Keeping a Healthy Complexion
Vitamin C plays an essential role in the generation of collagen, the skin’s support system. You may not realize it, but prolonged sun exposure, air quality, age, and other factors all affect your skin. A recent study in rodents revealed that consuming vitamin C or applying it topically can limit this type of damage.
According to one review, people with asthma who consume higher amounts of vitamin C and other nutrients when they have a cold may experience fewer attacks. The researchers found evidence that vitamin C also helped people with bronchial hypersensitivity when they also caught a common cold.
Increasing Iron Absorption
Iron deficiency is a leading cause of anemia. Joining high vitamin C foods with iron-rich foods boosts the body’s ability to absorb iron. Squeezing a little lemon juice onto a salad containing baby spinach leaves can maximize iron and vitamin C intake.
Boosting the Immune System
Foods rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants may help reinforce the immune system against viruses that cause the common cold and the flu. One review uncovered that while vitamin C supplements do not lessen the occurrence of colds in a community, they may help reduce the amount of time a cold lasts. Juicing a whole lemon into a cup of hot water with a spoonful of honey makes a restoring drink for someone with a bad cough or cold.
In a recent study, rodents who ate lemon peel phenols with a high-fat diet for 12 weeks gained less weight than those who did not eat the lemon. In 2016, a group of premenopausal Korean women with a high body mass index (BMI) followed a lemon detox diet. A different group followed another diet for seven days. Those who followed the lemon detox diet underwent more significant improvements in insulin resistance, body fat, BMI, and body weight than those on the other diet.
Lemons & Vitamin C
If a person does not take enough vitamin C, they will develop a deficiency known as scurvy. Although rare in the United States, it can affect people who do not have a diverse regime. Symptoms may start to develop within a month of not consuming vitamin C. Some of these symptoms include:
- Inflammation of the gums or bleeding gums
- Joint pain
- Slow wound healing
- Malaise (a feeling of being unwell)
- Red patches on the skin due to blood vessels breaking beneath the surface
- Loosening of teeth
Lemons’ Adverse Effects
Lemons are commonly well-tolerated, but citrus fruit, in general, may cause allergic responses in some people. They may also induce contact sensitivity and skin irritation in individuals with dermatitis. Furthermore, lemons are pretty acidic, so overconsumption may be detrimental to your dental health.
The nutrients and plant compounds in lemons offer many health benefits. However, it is hard to capture all the essential nutrients from lemon due to its bitter taste and high acid content. Nevertheless, consuming lemon as part of a varied diet that includes lemon juice, peel snacks, and lemon water can make a person’s diet more nutritious and wholesome.