You often see them used as garnishes on drinks and food, but did you know that lemons are actually super healthy on their own? With a low-calorie count, hydrating properties, and a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals, everyone should add the lemon to their diets. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits, nutritional information, and various uses of lemons.
Health Benefits of the Lemon
Even though they are made up of mostly water, these funky yellow citrus fruits are packed with lots of health benefits.
The main benefit is the immune-boosting vitamin C. Regularly consuming a lemon can help make up for immune deficiencies, so they are great for flu season.
Lemons are also rich in potassium, which is proven to help lower blood pressure levels. This, in turn, promotes a healthy heart. The citric acid found in the lemon and other citrus fruits can help prevent kidney stones by increasing urine volume in the body. They have even been shown to reduce the risk for certain types of cancers. That is due to the plant compounds hesperidin and d-limonene.
The lemon is a surprisingly good source of iron. It also helps the body absorb iron from other foods you eat. In fact, studies show it can even prevent anemia. That is why pre-menopausal and pregnant women and other people with iron deficiencies should eat it on a regular basis.
Many people use these fruits to detoxify their bodies. The high amounts of water and fiber lemons help flush waste and toxins from the body. Therefore, drinking their juice by itself or mixed with warm water in the morning upon waking up can do wonders! This concoction also keeps your organs in working order. Do this often and you will feel energized and healthy.
Finally, these fruits can even eliminate arthritis and other joint pain. Their juice has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling and therefore taking strain off of achy joints.
Lemon Nutritional Value
These fruits are composed almost entirely of water and carbohydrates like simple sugars and fibers. Because it consists of about 89 percent water, the lemon is incredibly low in calories. In fact, a medium sized fruit has only about 20 calories on average. That translates to less than one gram of fat per fruit. Also, it roughly has 10 grams of carbohydrates. That is around 4 percent of your daily recommended value.
In just one small fruit, you can get a large array of the vitamins and minerals you need each day. For example, they contain vitamins A and B6, as well as potassium, iron, copper, and even calcium! Like most other citrus fruits, these yellow beauties are amazing sources of vitamin C. This is an antioxidant that promotes immune health and gives your skin a gorgeous glow.
The fibers found in these fruits slow digestion, making you feel fuller for longer. That is what makes them great for weight loss. The lemon also steadies your blood sugar after a carbohydrate-heavy meal. Moreover, it can reduce cholesterol levels. Also, it encourages better digestive health by feeding the good bacteria in your stomach.
Because they contain almost no fat or protein, lemons are pure energy bombs. Also, their carbohydrate content will give you a quick boost of energy. Moreover, they can curb sugar cravings without a lot of calories.
Though they are known for their tart flavor, these fruits have many delicious uses.
- The most common of these is lemon water. Just drop slices of the fruit or freshly squeezed juice into your water for a flavorful drink with tons of benefits. You will feel hydrated and refreshed. Also, you will enjoy lots of essential nutrients in the process.
- If you can bear the sour taste, eating whole, fresh pieces of the fruit the way you would an orange is super healthy for you. Moreover, because you will be consuming both the flesh and the juice, you get the maximum amount of nutrients, especially fiber. Apart from that, you will get lots of essential vitamins for almost no calories. Therefore, you can wash it down with a more palatable food if that helps.
- Another option for adding this fruit to your diet is infusing olive oil with the juice. Olive oil is a heart-healthy fat option for cooking. Therefore, the tart flavor deliciously cuts the fatty taste of the oil. Use the infused oil to cook your favorite vegetables or lean protein (think chicken breast or fish) to get some essential nutrients without even trying.
- Lemon pepper is a common seasoning used for meats, veggies, and even soups and sauces. To make it at home, just combine equal parts black pepper, sea salt, and zest. As a consequence, your food will taste amazing. Moreover, you will get the health benefits of the fruit including some vitamin C and antioxidants.
Whether you want to boost your immune system, give your skin a healthy glow, flush out toxins, or promote healthy digestion, lemons are an essential part of any diet. With a low-calorie count and high fiber content, they are a dream food! Therefore, drink them with water or mix them with other ingredients to make a healthy, delicious seasoning for your favorite foods. Let us know your personal stories, thoughts, and questions about these citrus fruits in the comments!