Lemon: Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, and Other Uses
- Lemon contains vitamin C that helps build your immunity
- Drinking lemon water in the morning improves immunity and digestion
- For maximum lemon benefits, consume the skin, flesh and juice
Lemon is a citrus fruit found widely in India. While it is usually used to add a tang to dishes, did you know that lemon benefits your body in several ways? The pulp of a lemon, its juice and peel are all helpful to the human body. Mostly made up of water, lemon’s health benefits come from its rich content of vitamin C, vitamin B6, pectin and potassium.
Lemon Nutritional Facts
Lemons are a rich source of:
- Vitamin C and copper
- Vitamin B6
- Lemons are low in calories and fats
- The lemon's vitamin C content aids in the process of absorbing iron
Lemon Health Benefits
One of the most popular ways of consuming lemons is by drinking lemon water. However, does drinking warm water with lemon truly benefit your immunity? Read on to find out.
Lemon water and immunity
Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and negatively impact your immune system. One of the benefits of drinking lemon water is that the vitamin C in it neutralises free radicals and boosts immunity. It also gives you immunity support by encouraging white blood cell activity. In a nutshell, there’s no reason to be wary of this concoction. Drinking water infused with lemon juice benefits your body’s illness-fighting mechanism!Additional Read: Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C
Dos and don’ts of consuming lemon water
To ensure that lemon benefits your health, it’s not enough to simply drink hot lemon water. Take a look at the basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
Drink lemon water in the morning
The benefits of lemon water in the morning are many. Not only does the drink boost your immunity, it also jump starts your digestive system and prevents constipation. It freshens your breath naturally too. It is believed that drinking hot lemon water on an empty stomach allows your body to absorb the nutrients present in lemons better.
Drink lemon water all through the day
While drinking lemon water in the morning gives you a boost, don’t think that you can’t sip on this beverage all day. It’s an easy way to stay hydrated while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
Don’t consume lemon water in excess
Since the benefits of hot lemon water are plenty, you may be tempted to replace water with lemon water. However, the citric acid present in lemons can erode tooth enamel. So, ensure that your total consumption of lemon juice is no more than 4 tablespoons a day.
Don’t consume lemon water if you have sores
If you have sores, ulcers or boils in your mouth, refrain from drinking lemon water until they are completely healed. This is because the lemon juice can cause irritation.
Other Uses Of Lemon
Lemon is known for boosting immunity because it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. In addition, it helps to strengthen the immune system's defensive capabilities against the flu and common cold viruses. Colds and coughs can be treated with a spoonful of honey and a glass of hot water with lemon juice.
Assist with weight control
A glass of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of honey and a squeezed lemon can work to lose weight. Pectin is a substance found in lemons. It is a natural fibre that expands after consumption, causing you to feel fuller, faster and longer. In addition, it will stop you from snacking on bad foods that make you gain weight. Lemons should get consumed whole because the pulp contains pectin. Lemon's antioxidant content also aids in weight management.
We are all aware of how crucial vitamin C is for teeth and gum strength. Lemon is helpful for the mouth because it is a rich source of vitamin C. Scurvy is an oral disease that can be effectively treated with lemon. Scurvy is a condition that is caused by a lack of vitamin C and causes symptoms like swollen gums and bleeding gums. Lemon juice may ease the pain when applied locally to toothache-affected areas. It also helps in reducing swelling.
Effective against throat infections
Lemon cough drops get advised for patients who have throat infections. It is because lemons naturally possess antibacterial properties, which will lessen the effects of bacteria and provide relief.
Lemons are Good for Hair
Lemons contain a lot of vitamin C, which increases collagen and promotes hair growth by igniting hair follicles. You can apply a mixture of two tablespoons of lemon juice and aloe vera gel to your scalp 30 minutes before taking a bath and then wash it off with a mild hair cleanser.
Drinking lemon water is definitely a great way to enhance your body’s immunity, but do you know of the other ways in which lemon juice benefits your health? Keep reading to find out.
Prevents kidney stones
Studies suggest that the citric acid present in lemons may prevent the formation of kidney stones. The reason for this is that citric acid increases the volume of urine, as well as the urine’s pH. Both these changes create an unfavourable environment for stone formation.
Lemons are rich in pectin, a soluble fibre that improves gut health and aids in digestion. Moreover, it slows down the rate at which sugars and starches are digested by your body, which results in lower blood sugar levels too. However, to get the benefits of pectin, consume lemon flesh and not just the juice, as it is the flesh that contains the fibre.
Lowers risk of stroke
Studies indicate that the flavonoids in citrus fruits such as lemons bring down the risk of ischemic strokes in women. This is one of the most common types of stroke and occurs when a blood clot disrupts blood supply to the brain.
Reduces risk of cancer
Two plant compounds present in lemons, hesperidin and d-limonene, are valuable for your body. Studies have shown that they reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer. Moreover, other studies have found that those who eat citrus fruits such as lemons regularly, are at lower risk of contracting cancer. However, more human studies need to be conducted to determine lemon’s efficacy in preventing cancer.
Improves skin quality
Collagen is responsible for keep your skin plump and maintaining its elasticity. When collagen is lacking, your skin sags and you will notice fine lines too. Your body needs adequate amounts of vitamin C to maintain collagen levels, which lemons provide in good quantities.
Potential Risks Of Lemon Juice
Allergies to Citrus
You may be allergic to lemons if you are allergic to grass pollen or citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, or limes. Swelling, itching, or burning in the mouth and throat are common reactions. Some people may experience gastrointestinal uneasiness or headaches.
Lemon Juice Has the Potential to Damage Dental Enamel
There have been reports of dental erosion in people who consume large amounts of lemon juice. If you drink too much lemon juice, the natural acids in the lemon can erode dental enamel.
Migraines and Lemon Juice
Tyramine levels are high in lemon juice. Drinking lemon juice can cause migraine headaches if you are sensitive to tyramine
How To Prepare Lemon Water?
Lemon Mint Water
- 230 ml water
- 4-5 slices of lemon
- 2-3 sprigs of mint
Take a large glass of water, and combine fresh lemon slices and mint leaves. Before drinking, thoroughly mix all of the ingredients.
Cucumber Lemon Water
- 230 ml water
- 4-5 slices of lemon
- 4-slices of cucumber with skin
Pour water, lemon pieces, and fresh cucumber slices into a large glass. Stir the mixture thoroughly before drinking.
Lemon Ginger Water
- 230 ml water
- 4-slices of lemon
- 3-slices of fresh ginger
Stir lemon and ginger slices into a glass of water before drinking.
Lemon Blueberry Water
- 230 ml water
- 4-5 fresh lemon slices
- 8-10 blueberries
Add lemon slices, fresh blueberries, and water to a large glass. Drink after thoroughly stirring.
Ways To Add Lemon To Your Diet
Take a look at how you can add this ingredient to your diet to get maximum lemon benefits:
- You can drink warm water with lemon in it
- Lemon tea boosts weight loss, so have 2-3 cups daily by adding a few drops to your tea
- You can add a few drops of lemon to your roasted vegetables or chicken
- You can add a couple of drops of lime juice to your rice as it cooks to stop the grains from sticking together
- You can use lemon juice to simmer your meat
Take a look at 3 ways in which you can add this ingredient to your diet to get maximum lemon benefits.
- Should you find plain lemon water unpalatable, drink lemonade sweetened with honey or jaggery instead.
- Add lemon juice to salad dressings to make them refreshing and even more nutritious.
- Consider eating lemons to get the most from the skin, flesh and juice. Add sliced lemons to sauces and bakes or eat a spoonful of lemon pickle.
While lemons boost your immunity and help you recover from the flu, consuming too much can worsen certain conditions such as heartburn. So, consult with a doctor to understand how you should eat lemons for their health benefits and in what quantity.
Get all your answers from the best doctors on Bajaj Finserv Health. Here you can book an online appointment or in-person appointment with experienced doctors, and get access to special perks such as discounts and offers. So, should you have any queries about how to make the most of this citrus fruit, consult a doctor from the comfort of your home!
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.