Lemons make more than a great glass of lemonade. They make you less prone to develop heart disease, cancer, scurvy, or blemished skin.
The secret ingredient in lemons that give them so much punch is vitamin C; they contain much more than you might find in an orange, and the resulting benefits to your health will be very evident.
Inside the Lemon
Lemons contain lots of vitamin C (almost ¾ of the recommended daily amount and 10% more than oranges), calcium, and potassium. They also contain a good amount of phosphorus, magnesium, folate, protein and dietary fiber. Lemons contain trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, iron and zinc.
What’s So Great About Lemons?
Prevents Heart Disease – The load of vitamin C in lemons works wonders for the heart. It keeps blood pressure at a minimum or normal level, clears blood vessels so that blood can flow more freely, and eliminates bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol. As a result, the heart pumps better, blockages are eliminated, and a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke is greatly reduced.
Prevents Scurvy – A deficiency in vitamin C causes a condition called scurvy, characterized by symptoms like extreme fatigue, depression, splotchy skin, spongy and inflamed gums, jaundice, fever, bleeding from eyes, nose and mouth, etc. Lemons contain tons of the vitamin, so incorporating them more into your meals can remedy this issue easily.
Fights Cancer – A chemical in lemons called d-limonene, which is also responsible for that fresh smell that lemons and other citrus fruits have, works to protect the skin from cancer and reduce the amount of carcinogens in meat during grilling. D-limonene is mostly found in the skin or zest of lemons, so the outer coat of lemons and other citrus fruits can be shaved or grated and then sprinkled on food or used for baking to get more of it.
Alternatively, lemon juice can be squeezed onto foods, added to water and beverages, or full lemon slices can be added to drinks. When grilling, sprinkling lemon juice on meats kills cancer-causing substances, or carcinogens, that pop up unbeknownst to many people during the grilling process.
Activates Antioxidant Power in Tea – Tea is already good for you and has some powerful antioxidants that fight disease in the body, but it’s not until you add lemon to your tea that these antioxidants are broken down and activated even more so that they are more quickly and easily absorbed during digestion.
Revitalizes Skin – Lemon not only protects skin from skin cancer, but it also keeps skin looking youthful and radiant, reportedly even better than vitamin E. The antioxidants in lemons, while fighting harmful free radicals, also slow down the process of aging. To get this effect, you can use lemon zest or lemon juice in cooking or make a paste from lemon juice and, say, honey and yogurt to apply directly to your skin.
Other Qualities – Lemon is used in aromatherapy as an energy booster; as a preservative for certain foods, especially fruits, that quickly turn brown when sliced and exposed to the air; and in general is used to deodorize the air and clean surfaces, due to its fresh smell, astringency and antibacterial qualities.