Lemons have been used in homes all over the world for centuries as a household cleanser. Able to clean surfaces and kill bacteria, lemons aren’t just great for cleaning up a dirty house! They are also good for many different areas of your health. Here are just 6 of the most amazing health benefits of lemons.
Lemons aren’t just good for cleaning up kitchen counters and bathroom floors. They also make great cleansers for your body! Adding lemonade to your daily drink menu may also help to reduce the growth of unfriendly bacteria living in your gut. Because lemons contain a fiber called pectin, juice with pulp may help to further promote the removal of waste products and toxins from your body due to the additional content of prebiotic fiber (pectin).(1)
One study showed that lemonade therapy was an effective way to help reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, by reducing urine potency and increasing flow due to its content of citric acid.(2)
Lemons are a natural source of specific nutrients known to offer more energy. Similar to sports drinks, lemonade or lemon water supplies the body lost electrolytes (minerals) that are removed during intense exercise.
Able to restore potassium, calcium and magnesium, lemons are a great way to rehydrate, and flush out toxins at the same time! (3)
Lemons are naturally acidic, which means that they are not an alkaline food. What is pH? Basically, it is a value assigned to rate how acidic or alkaline a solution is based on a scale of 0-14.
Because lemons contain a large amount of citric acid, they generally have a pH value of approximately 2.5, making them 10,000-100,000 times more acidic that water.(4,5)
However, when lemon juice is metabolized in the body it produces alkaline byproducts, and therefore is considered an alkaline food.
Because alkaline foods help maintain balanced pH levels in the body, they may also reduce the risk of headaches, sleeplessness, digestive upset, a loss of immunity, and even more serious chronic health issues.(6,7)
Water is an essential nutrient, needed inside every cell of your body. Without it cellular metabolism cannot occur, and thus you may gain unwanted weight if you do not get the daily recommended amount of water in your diet. Also, a natural detoxifier, water helps to remove waste products from the body. Studies have confirmed that drinking water a half hour before meals was able to improve weight loss – up to 44%!(8,9)
When you infuse water with lemon, hot or cold, it helps to boost your metabolism. The touch of lemon adds flavor without calories, to further help you reach your weight loss goals.
As with other citrus fruit, lemons are a good source of vitamin C – a nutrient well-known to improve the healthy functions of the immune system.(10)
Additionally, studies have shown that adding lemon juice to green tea was able to increase the potency of the antioxidants found in the tea (catechins) known for their ability to boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of common infections like the cold and flu.(11)
Clear & Healthy Skin:
Your skin is the largest detoxification organ of your body. As part of the waste removal system, your digestive system plays an important role in skin health. If there is any lingering waste inside your gastrointestinal tract it may come out (brace yourself) of your pores, causing acne lesions including pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.
Recent research has confirmed the connection between poor digestive health and acne. As a traditional cleanser, lemon may help to support waste removal thus promoting healthy and clear skin.(12)
Lemons also provide anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce associated redness, puffiness and other common irritations of the skin caused or worsened by inflammation.(13)
If you love the sweet invigorating fragrance of lemon, add it to your daily beauty regimen. The essential oil of lemon has been clinically shown to reduce stress levels and put you in a good mood!(14)
How Can I Get More Lemons into My Diet?
Lemons are a wonderful way to flavor just about anything! Here are just a few ideas:
· Lemon water
· Lemon tea
· Flavoring for beef and chicken
· Add to glazed vegetables
· Use in vinaigrettes and other dressings
· Top cheese or crackers
· Add to rice or quinoa
NOTE: Most of the health promoting properties of lemons come from the essential oils they contain. Aim to only purchase Certified Organic varieties, as most pesticide residue remains in the peel.
1 Joanne Slavin. Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits. Nutrients. 2013 Apr; 5(4): 1417–1435. 2013 Apr 22.
2 Penniston KL, Steele TH. Lemonade therapy increases urinary citrate and urine volumes in patients with recurrent calcium oxalate stone formation. Urology. 2007 Nov;70(5):856-60. Epub 2007 Oct 24.
3 Lemon/Limes. Whfoodscom. 2017. Accessed January 18, 2017.
4 KRISTINA L. PENNISTON, M.D.,1 STEPHEN Y. NAKADA, M.D. Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products. J Endourol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 Feb 9.
5 BBB – pH Values of Various Foods. Fdagov. 2015. Accessed January 18, 2017.
6 HealthConnexin | Optimal Health and Performance Programs, Nutrition, Vitamin and Mineral Supplements – ConnexinCuisine. Healthconnexincom. 2017. Accessed January 18, 2017.
7 Remer T, Manz F. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. J Am Diet Assoc. 1995 Jul;95(7):791-
8 Dennis EA, Dengo AL. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.
9. Alam MA, Subhan N. Effect of citrus flavonoids, naringin and naringenin, on metabolic syndrome and their mechanisms of action. Adv Nutr. 2014 Jul 14;5(4):404-17.
10 Wintergerst ES, Maggini S. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Ann Nutr Metab. 2006;50(2):85-94. Epub 2005 Dec 21.
11 Rodney J. Green, Angus S. Common Tea Formulations Modulate In Vitro Digestive Recovery of Green Tea Catechins.
12 Whitney P, Alan C Logan. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future? Gut Pathog. 2011; 3: 1.
13 Pattison DJ, Silman AJ. Vitamin C and the risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis: prospective nested case-control study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Jul;63(7):843-7. 2004.
14 Syuichi Fukumoto, Aya Morishita. Effect of flavour components in lemon essential oil on physical or psychological stress. Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 3–12, February 2008.