Whether they’re flavoring your fish or adding tartness to iced tea, lemons are a favorite food around the world, and with good reason. Not only do they give foods and beverages a refreshing shot of citrus, but there are also numerous lemon health benefits.
With studies linking the lemon to everything from fever reduction to constipation alleviation, it can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction. We’ve reviewed the research to determine just what health ailments could be healed by adding lemon to your diet.
The Lemon Nutrition Profile
Clearly, lemons are a crucial component in a healthy diet. According to an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, vitamin C-rich fruits like lemons are key to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Additionally, vitamin C is known to help prevent eye diseases, support a healthy immune system, and even prevent skin from wrinkling.
While you probably know this bright yellow fruit is full of vitamin C, you might not realize that lemon is also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. Lemons also contain flavonoids, which are known for their cancer-fighting abilities. So clearly, they’re a lot more than a garnish on the side of your plate.
Lemon is a flavorful and fat-free way to season foods and beverages. However, the part of the lemon you consume—and the way you eat it—could impact your health in different ways. Discover the benefits of lemon water, lemon juice, and lemon peel below.
Most of us realize we should be drinking more water. However, the bland flavor of this beverage can have us reaching for sugar-packed juices or sodas instead. If you want to up your hydration level, consider starting your day with some hot lemon water. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, the polyphenol antioxidants in lemon water correlated with significant weight loss in mice. As a bonus, the mice experienced a boost in insulin resistance. At this time, it’s unclear whether the weight loss stemmed from nutrients in the lemons or an increase in water intake (and the resultant feeling of fullness). But if the end result is healthy weight loss, it’s certainly a positive one.
Suffering from stomach troubles? Pure lemon juice might be the solution you’re seeking. Squeeze a few drops onto your favorite food or into your beverage of choice for improved digestion throughout the day. You can also mix up a stomach-soother like our Hangover Cure Smoothie. Packed with lemon juice and mint, this frosty drink is sure to ease your nausea.
True lemon lovers know that the best flavor comes from the peel. And while you might not want to consume this stuff by itself, lemon peel or zest can add flavor to an array of dishes. Consider making lemon candy or adding some zest to the marinade of your favorite meat.
Rich in calcium and vitamin C, lemon peel is known to improve bone health while preventing diseases like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, studies show that lemon peel has antibacterial effects and may aid in wound healing.
What’s your favorite way to eat a lemon?