Lemons, one of nature’s most versatile fruits, have long-held a reputation for beneficial health-promoting properties. It may surprise you to learn that this tart and tangy citrus belongs to a family of fruits which includes oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, and limes. Health professionals have long touted the benefits of lemons as a method to promote good physical health, citing evidence of detoxifying, acid-balancing, and anti-inflammatory properties. From cooking to skincare to natural remedies, here are six delicious benefits of lemons and how they can help you get on a path to better health.
1. Lemons are Loaded with Vitamin C
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of several molecules essential for the maintenance of a healthy immune system. One lemon provides 44.5 milligrams, or 73 percent of your daily needs. This vital compound helps to keep your energy levels high and your body functioning optimally through its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron more efficiently, working with B-complex vitamins to form red blood cells.
2. Lemons May Help Detoxification
The juice of a lemon contains potent phytonutrients, such as catechins and polyphenols, which help your body flush toxins and promote detoxification. This citric acid also helps move your bowels, aiding in regular digestion. Drinking the juice of one lemon in a glass of warm water during the morning may help settle your stomach and hydrate you in one delicious swallow.
3. Lemons are Easy on Your Wallet
Lemons are one of the more cost-effective fruits available. A bag of lemons typically runs around $2-$3, while a single lemon is usually priced around fifty cents. This makes lemons a great choice for budget-conscious individuals who want to get their daily dose of necessary vitamins and minerals without breaking the bank.
4. Lemons May Help Lower Blood Pressure
The juice of a lemon contains a potent compound called hesperidin, which can help reduce hypertension. Research suggests that hesperidin may work to increase the release of nitric oxide, a molecule responsible for relaxing and widening your blood vessels,thus lowering blood pressure. By adding just a splash of lemon juice to cooked or raw vegetables, you can help your body maintain a healthy blood pressure.
5. Lemons Help Fight Inflammation
Lemons are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and ascorbic acid, all of which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. The juice of a lemon offers anti-inflammatory properties, especially when paired with other foods like olive oil and garlic. A medley of raw vegetables like cucumber and tomatoes, along with lemon juice, also makes for an ideal anti-inflammatory salad.
6. Lemons are Great for Skin Care
Lemons provide an abundance of antioxidants, some of which have been found to help protect skin from environmental damage. Applying a few drops of lemon juice to the skin before bed can help clear up blemishes and restore a healthy balance of bacteria in your pores. The acidic nature of lemons can also help to reduce oiliness and brighten the skin’s appearance.
Lemons possess a wealth of incredible health benefits that range from promoting better digestion and detoxification to providing important skin-care properties. Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, this zesty fruit can help to keep you energized and your immune system in tip-top shape. So the next time you find yourself reaching for an expensive vitamin supplement, grab a lemon and drink up! Your body will thank you for the tasty, nutrient-rich alternative.