7 Ways Lemons Can Improve Your Health
Updated: May 6
Oh the humble lemon, which up to a few years ago I mostly used to make lemon drizzle cakes or a good accompaniment for fish, is actually worth its weight in gold. Lemons, and their constituents are incredibly beneficial for multiple different parts of your health, and I am here to tell you why!
The best morning tonic; the juice of 1/2 lemon in warm water with a thumb sized piece of chopped ginger, beautiful!
Drinking lemon water first thing has become part of our daily routine, and can be such as easy thing to implement into your diet that will make a powerful difference. Research has actually found that having lemon warm water first thing in the morning has favourable effects on intestinal movements including relieving any gastrointestinal spasms you might be feeling as well as aiding peristalsis. Ginger has also been a known as a ‘home remedy’ for symptoms such as diarrhoea, gastritis, and abdominal discomfort for many, many years. Why not give it a go and see what you think!
7 Ways Lemons Can Improve Your Health
So here it is folks, all the reasons why lemons can aid your health.
Lemons are very rich in Vitamin C, which is a powerful and potent antioxidant. This protect's your body against free radical damage (caused by numerous toxins, stress and diet), as well as being used as an antidote for many illnesses and disorders. Vitamin C protects your immune system, reducing allergic reactions and sensitivities and helps to fight off illnesses. Vitamin C has also been linked to bone formation, the development and creation of connective tissue, and has been linked to lowering cholesterol by converting it into bile acids (lowering your cholesterol). Vitamin C is a power house nutrient, and is abundant in lemons.
Lemons are rich in citric acid which has been proven to reduce inflammation in the brain, damage to the liver, and saw a marked increase in our bodies most powerful antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase. Research has also shown that drinking lemon water can alleviate fatigue.
Lemon polyphenols (plant compounds found in lemons) have been found to reduce diet-induced obesity and fat production, as well as balancing blood sugars, reducing insulin resistance, therefore reducing risk of development type 2 diabetes.
Eriocitrin (the main ingredient in lemons) increased mitochondrial size (your bodies energy creating powerhouses), which resulted in increased energy production. Eriocitrin also improved dyslipidemia (the increase of cholesterol or fats that lead to the formation of atherosclerosis - the main cause of cardiovascular disease) and decreased fat content in the liver.
Lemon benefit the gut microbiome. It is thought that lemon increase the amount of beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. Studies showed that the ingredients in lemons resulted in remarkable changes in key microbiota that are associated with human health. (Shimizu et al. 2019)
Studies have found that long term intake of lemons can have an anti-aging affect. As eriocitrin is broken down by the gut microbiome, researchers concluded that the anti-aging effects of lemons were developed through and in the microbiome. Increased strains of Lactobacillus in the microbiome have been associated with ageing. It has been suggested that lemons reduce Lactobacillus levels and therefore could have anti-aging properties.
Lemon juice may help to reduce blood pressure. The citric acid content in lemons was found to aid blood pressure reduction. There are a couple of ways this could be achieved; Citric Acid is thought to lower blood pressure, and pulse pressure but increase red blood cell count. Citric acid is also thought to aid the absorption of calcium and magnesium through food, these are two nutrients that help to lower blood pressure.
And the list could go on and on! Amazing right?!
So, how can you include lemons more in your diet?
Well, here' my 5 favourite ways to do it!
Lemon water every morning, you can find the recipe above! Or even slicing lemons into your water bottle to sip on throughout the day. This doesn't only keep your water intake up, but also makes drinking water more exciting!
Salad dressing - olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, a herb of your choice and salt and pepper = beautiful!
Use it in meals. Sliced lemons can take your roast chicken, fish or vegetables to another level, pair with your herbs/spices of choice.
Lemon juice, along with herbs/spices and a good twist of salt or pepper makes a great addition to rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice.
In desserts and baking; lemon is beautiful in raw cheesecakes, a yummy lemon cake, tart or bars.
And there you are folks, that is how easy it is! Using these simple, accessible foods, such as the lemon can really start to benefit your health!
Until next time,