Lemon Nutritional And Health BenefitsJuicy, acidic and flavorful lemon is the most widely used citrus fruit worldwide. It is the smallest among citrus fruits yet contains more health benefiting nutrients than oranges, pomelo etc. Botanically, this citrus fruit belongs to the family of Rutaceae of the genus, Citrus (which also includes orange, pomelo, tangerine (mandarin orange), and grapefruit). Scientific name: Citrus limon.
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. They are also a very good source of potassium, calcium, fiber, and vitamin B6. Also present in lemons are iron, magnesium, riboflavin and thiamin. Lemons are low in saturated fat and very low in sodium and cholesterol.
Fruits belonging to the citrus group are described as “hesperidium," (A hesperidium is a scientific term to describe the fruit structure belonging to the citrus group. In fact, the fruit is a modified berry with tough, leathery rind. Lemon's peel contains many volatile oil glands in pits. Interior flesh is composed of segments, called carpels, made up of numerous juice-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells). Mature fruits measure about 5-8 cm in diameter and weigh about 50- 80 g in weight.
Benefits Of Lemon
• Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is low in calories, 29 calories per 100 g, one of the lowest among the citrus groups.
• It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber (7.36% of RDA). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
• Its acidic taste is due to citric acid. Citric acid is present up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids digestion. Studies found that citric acid helps dissolve kidney stones.
• Lemons, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of ascorbic acid (provides about 88% of DRI). Ascorbic acid or vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
• Lemons, like oranges, contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in the cells in-vitro studies.
• They also contain a small level of vitamin A, and other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as A, and B-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
• Total ORAC value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents).
• The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
• Further, they contain a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.
Various Health Benefits of Lemon Can Be Described As Under:
1. Indigestion and Constipation: Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and consitpation. Add a few drops of lemon on your dish (take care lemon does not go well with milk), and it will aid in difestion. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent. A good drink post lunch or dinner is fresh lemon soda (also called fresh lime soda in many places). The recipe is add lemon juice, some cold water, soda, salts (common salt or rock salt) and sugar/honey (if you want it sweet), and mix it in a glass. You can also add some mint leaves or crushed fennel seeds for added taste. Drink this whenever you have a heavy lunch/dinner.
2. Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
3. Dental Care: Lemon juice is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums.
In addition, lemon can also be used in regular cleansing of your teeth. You can look for a toothpaste containing lemon as one of the ingredients, or add a drop of lemon juice on your toothpaste. Some people also rub their teeth with the outer shell (the inner side touching your teeth) of a lemon after removing the juice. Take care - if you mouth starts burning, quickly put some water in your mouth.
4. Hair Care: Lemon juice has proved itself in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. Lemon juice if applied on the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair fall and other problems related to hair and scalp. Lemon juice if applied on the hair, gives a natural shine to hair.
5. Skin Care: Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon juice can be applied to stop sun burn also. It helps to get relieved from bee sting as well. Lemon juice can also be applied on the skin for acne and eczema problems. It acts as an anti ageing remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking of lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings glow to the skin. If you search thoroughly in the market, you will find some soaps containing lemon juice also.
6. Burns: Lemon juice if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
7. Internal Bleeding: As lemon has antiseptic and styptics properties, it can stop internal bleeding. You can apply lemon juice on small cotton and place inside to nose to stop nose bleeding.
8. Rheumatism: Lemon is also a diuretic and can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
9.Weight Loss: If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well. Read more
10. Respiratory Disorders: Lemon juice assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma. Lemon, being a rich rich source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with respiratory disorders.
11. Cholera: The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon juice, as it acts as a blood purifier.
12. Foot Relaxation: Lemon is an aromatic and antiseptic agent and is useful in foot relaxation. Add some lemon juice in warm water and dip the foot in the water to get foot relaxation.
13. Corn: Lemon juice can dissolve lumps on the skin. It can be applied at the places where the skin has been hardened up. Drinking of lemon juice with water can facilitate the patient to get rid of stones.
14. Throat Infections: Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections as it has an antibacterial property.
15. High Blood Pressure: Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering with heart problems as it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as provides relaxation to mind and body. It reduces mental stress and depression.
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