Lemon nutrient value and health benefits are unbelievable. Moreover, lemons add flavour to baked foods, salad, desserts, sauces, marinades and drinks.
Lemon: Nutrient Value and Health Benefits
Popular fruit lemons provide us with various health benefits. At first, they are good for our health. We generally use lemons in small quantities with our food. They add flavour to our food. However, we consume them alone very rarely, because of their sourness.
Most importantly, lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C. We get about 30 milligrams of vitamin C from 60 gram of lemon. They are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids.
As per the USDA National Nutrient Database, lemons contain a lot of nutrients. These are vitamin A, E and B6. Moreover, they have niacin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid and thiamin. Further, they contain many minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
We get more potassium than apples or grapes in lemons.
In the first place, we will show our gratitude to nature for such a wonderful gift.
Lemons are nutrients powerhouse. From a 100 gram (3.5 oz) of lemon we get the followings:
- Energy: 29 kcal (121kJ).
- Water: 88.98 g.
- Total lipid (fat): 0.30 g.
- Total dietary Fiber: 2.8 g.
- Protein: 1.10 g.
- Carbohydrate: 9.32 g.
- Total sugar: 2.50 g.
- Saturated fatty acids: 0.039 g
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: 0.011 g.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.089 g.
- Calcium: 26 mg.
- Potassium: 138mg.
- Iron: 0.60 mg.
- Phosphorus: 16 mg.
- Magnesium: 8 mg.
- Sodium: 2 mg.
- Zinc: 0.06 mg.
- Manganese: 0.03 mg.
- Selenium: 0.345 micrograms (mcg).
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): 53 mg.
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.020 mg.
- Vitamin B-6: 0.080 mg.
- Thiamine (B1): 0.040 mg.
- Choline: 5.17mg
- Vitamin A (IU): 22 IU.
- Niacin (B3): 0.100 mg.
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): 0.15 mg.
- Folate (B9): 11 mcg.
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.19mg
Generally, people all over the world use it for culinary as well as non-culinary purposes. The lemon juice contains around 5-6% citric acid. Besides, its pH is around 2.2. Due to these, its taste is sour.
Apart from the kitchen purposes, we use lemons in many ways.
Health Benefits of Lemons:
Due to vitamins, minerals, fibre and etc. present in lemon, it provides us with several health benefits.
1.Support Heart Health:
To begin with, lemons are rich in vitamin C. In all honesty, from a lemon we get about 31mg of Vitamin C. In fact, it is 51% of the recommended daily intake(RDI).
As per the recommended dietary guideline, we need the following amount of vitamin C daily:
Women over 19 years require 75 mg.
Adult men need 90 mg
Smokers need 35 mg more in comparison to nonsmokers.
Several research works show that vitamin C in fruits and vegetables are helpful for our heart health. It is able to reduce the risk of heart diseases as well as stroke. Along with vitamin C, there is fibre and several plant amalgams which can improve our heart health. Therefore, they minimize heart problems.
Added to this is potassium. It also aids to control blood pressure.
(Also read: Mangoes).
2.Lower Cholesterol Levels:
From a study, we came to know this. At first, we will daily intake 24 grams of citrus fibre for one month. Consequently, it will reduce the level of cholesterol from our blood. Moreover, diosmin and hesperidin in lemon may be able to lower cholesterol.
(Also read: Apple).
3.Lower Risk of Stroke:
A study in 2012 revealed the flavonoids, which is an antioxidant, in citrus foods may lower ischemic stroke in women.
Nearly 70000 women were studied for over 14 years. The study showed that women who take regular citrus fruits are 19% less prone to ischemic stroke. It is the most common nature of the stroke. If a clotted blood blocks the blood to flow to the brain, then it occurs.
Further, a 2019 population study said that flavonoids in foods may protect cancer.
However, the study showed that people who smoked or drunk a lot of alcohol will not get the same benefit.
4.Good for Heartburn:
Because lemon juice converts alkaline afterwards, therefore it can lessen acidity indigestion. As a result, it is good for heartburn.
5.Boost Immune System:
To tell the truth, foods containing a high level of vitamin C and antioxidants may improve the immunity against common cold and flu.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C. It is helpful to fight colds. Vitamin C can improve the production of white blood cells. They, in turn, can defend our body from harmful effects of bacteria and viruses.
(Also read: Banana).
6.Good for Our Brain:
Actually, lemons are a good source of potassium. It may rouse the functions of both our brain and nerve. Indeed, one lemon provides 80 milligrams of potassium. It is vital for elementary functions of cell and muscle as well as balancing the body’s fluid.
(Also read: Walnut.)
7.Control Body Weight:
In the first place, according to a common theory soluble pectin fibre in lemon expands in the stomach. As a result, it will keep us full for a long time. But lemon juice contains no pectin. So it will not work.
However, more research works are necessary to confirm the weight loss ability of lemon.
One research works revealed that polyphenols in lemon juice can destroy body fat buildup. It also showed that the same compounds in lemons considerably work for them who were overeating. Therefore, it helps to lose weight naturally.
Anaemia, due to iron deficiency is very common. However, iron in lemons helps to absorb iron from other plant foods.
The human gut also absorbs iron (heme iron) from fish and meat very easily. But, it cannot absorb that (non-heme iron) easily from plant sources. However, citric acid and vitamin C in lemons increase iron absorption. Consequently, it helps to control anaemia.
However, high consumption of vitamin C may aggravate gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, it will be better if we have it from dietary sources like:
- Lentils (It is a very common item of Bengali food).
- Dried beans.
- Beef liver.
- Animal meats.
9.Prevent Kidney Stone:
Actually, kidney stones are several small lumps. It is formed as waste particles crystallize and build up in kidneys. The citric acid in lemons helps to stop stone creation. It increases not only urine volume but also pH balance.
In fact, daily ½ cup (4 ounces or 125ml) of lemon juice can offer sufficient citric acid. It can even eliminate stones, that is already existing.
Lemonade is also helpful in this regard.
As a matter of fact, scary is vitamin C deficiency in the human body. If a person does not contain a sufficient amount of vitamin C, then it may lead to scurvy.
The symptoms are:
- Malaise (feeling unwell).
- Inflammation or bleeding of gums.
- Joint pain.
- Depression or stress. (Also read: stress management techniques).
- Slow healing of wounds.
- Loosening of teeth early.
- Red patches on the skin due to the breaking of blood vessels.
11.Better Skin Quality:
In fact, vitamin C is good for our skin. At first, it reduces skin wrinkles. Moreover, it decreases the ageing of dry skin and damage due to sun rays. As our skin loose moisture, so it tends to be dry. Indeed, dry skin is wrinkle-prone.
A laboratory study in 2016 revelled that a citrus-based drink aided to defend growing of wrinkles amongst hairless mice.
Moreover, vitamin C is good for forming collagen. To tell the truth, our skin quality depends heavily upon it. In fact, pollution, age factor, sun exposure along with some other reasons damage our skin.
As lemons can fight free radicals, so it helps in toning our skin.
(may read skin related articles:
12.Better Digestive Health:
Lemons provide 10% carbs which are soluble fibre and simple sugars. Pectin in lemon is the principal fibre which also has many health benefits.
At first, soluble fibre aids to develop gut health. At the same time, it also minimizes the digestion rate of sugars and starches. As a result, the blood sugar level may lower or remain in control.
However, to have this benefits of fibre, we need to intake the pulp of lemon.
Those who drink lemon juice will not get the pulp. Therefore, they will not have this benefit.
13.Better Liver Health:
In the first place, lemons contain several antioxidant properties. These are helpful to improve liver health. One study revealed that it can prevent alcohol-induced liver injury.
Sometimes our mouth breath bad smell due to many reasons. At first, we shall drink a glass of lemon water, after eating or in the morning. It, in turn, will stimulate saliva and help to avoid dry mouth. Therefore, the bad breath problem will go away.
Vitamin C also helps in preventing asthma. However, more research is required in this regard.
16.Rich Source of Vitamin C:
In the first place, lemons belong to the group of citrus fruits. Indeed, it is rich in vitamin C. In fact, it is a primary antioxidant that protects our cells from free radicals. It is also helpful in limiting the duration of common cold or flu. Although the results of various studies are conflicting. Therefore, it requires more studies.
As per the recommendation of the United States Department of Agriculture, a lemon contains around 18.6 milligrams of vitamin C. Whereas, total daily recommended requirements of vitamin C for an adult varies from 65-90 milligrams.
17.Good for our Hair:
Lemons are a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium along with vitamin C. These are not the only beneficiary for the skin but also good for our hair and nails.
(Also read: Hair loss.)
Actually, lemon tea is black tea or green tea. We add lemon juice to it for a unique flavour. Anyone may add sugar according to taste.
A lot of people also intake masala lemon tea. It contains both lemon juice and sugar. Along with this it has roasted cumin seed powder and black salt. It tastes tangy as well as spicy.
It offers a lot of benefits similar to the benefits of lemons like:
- At first, it is a good cleanser and detoxifier. It removes toxins from our body. Therefore, it prevents many diseases and infections.
- Secondly, it provides us with various cardiovascular benefits. Flavonoids in it reduce lipids, blood clot in arteries along with inflammation.
- Thirdly, it helps to better iron absorption.
- Fourthly, it may give temporary relief against cold and flu. It may also relieve us from sore throat.
- Next, it works as a natural antiseptic. It possesses antibacterial and antiviral elements.
- Further, it is good for our skin. Its astringent properties can lower acne and other skin disorders.
- Moreover, it is good for our digestive health.
- Both lemon and tea have anti-cancer properties. So it helps to prevent cancers.
- Furthermore, it is also helpful to lose weight.
Therefore, who eats lemon tea, enjoys almost all the benefits of lemon.
What is Lemon Water?
In the first place, it is a mixture of warm water and fresh lemon juice. Many people add honey or ginger with it for more benefits.
How Much Lemon Water should we drink a Day?
Generally, one glass of lemon water in the morning, in an empty stomach is sufficient for our good health.
How to Make Lemon Water?
If we want to have health benefits from drinking lemon water, then we need to drink it consistently. Further, we will always use fresh lemon. Besides, we may use organic lemons and filtered water for better result.
Generally, we will squeeze at least, half of a lemon with 8 ounces of warm water.
In order to make it healthier as well as tastier, we may add the followings with it:
- A slice of fresh ginger.
- One tablespoon of raw honey or maple syrup.
- A little bit of cinnamon or turmeric.
- Few springs of mint.
- Fresh slices of citrus fruits like oranges or limes or cucumber.
Benefits of Lemon Water in the Morning:
We get a lot of benefits if we drink one glass warm lemon water in empty stomach in the morning. These benefits are as follows:
Firstly, it helps digestion. Therefore, it aids the natural bowel movement.
Secondly, it defends immunity deficiencies because of the presence of vitamin C.
Thirdly, it helps to detoxify.
Fourthly, it helps to maintain pH balance.
Fifthly, it can fight cold and flu.
Moreover, antibacterial properties in it help to fight infections.
Further, it aids in weight loss.
Besides, it can lower several skin problems like acne, wrinkles, dark spots, rashes and etc.
Furthermore, it helps to prevent sore throat, respiratory tract infections and tonsils inflammation.
Next, it is good for dental health as well as toothache gingivitis.
Besides it is good for both muscle and joint pain.
Added to this, it keeps our body hydrated.
Additionally, it flushes out toxins and betters the condition of the liver.
Side Effects of Lemon Water:
Generally, it is a good and beneficial drink. But there may be some side effects of drinking lemon water.
At first, lemon is high in citric acid. So, it may destroy tooth enamel in the long run. To solve the problem, we may either use a straw or rinse mouth thereafter with plain water.
Secondly, citric acid in lemon can be a reason for heartburn among some people.
Thirdly, it is diuretic. Therefore, it increases the urine amount. As a result, some people have to go to the bathroom in very quick succession. It may be troublesome at daytime, as we remain busy in our jobs. At night, it may disturb our sleep.
(Also read: Sound and sufficient sleep
Moreover, it may lead to stinging mouth sensation.
In fact, lemons, like other fruits, do not ripe. Its quality remains unchanged after picking. We can store them in room temperature. Besides, we should not keep it in direct sunlight.
Further, we can squeeze fresh lemon juice onto meat, fish, egg, shrimp, lentils, scallops and etc.
We may use fresh lemon juice along with a little bit of olive oil or flax oil, crushed pepper and garlic and herbs. It will make a refreshing salad.
In summer, we may mix lemon juice with cold water along with some salt and sugar. In turn, it will give us refreshing energy. It acts as a positive attitude.
Additionally, we get motivation for our works.
In the various recipe, we add lemon juice. It, at first, helps to marinate. As a result, not only the cooking time comes down but also it gets a unique aroma.
( May Read tasty Indian Prawn Masala.
Bengali people use it when they start eating Bengali foods. But, before using a lemon, we need to wash the skin of it well. We will do this because there may be dirt or bacteria on the skin of it. This is to ensure, that any dirt or bacteria do not enter our diet or harm us.
Anyhow, we get a number of health benefits from lemons.
However, it is not possible to gain all the health benefits from it for its soreness. Besides, it contains a high amount of acid.
If we consume lemon as part of a diet with other fresh fruits and vegetables, then it will be more nutritious. Actually, we use lemon to bring flavour to our diet. Otherwise, we take it as lemon tea or with warm water.
The benefits of lemons will increase our happiness in many ways. Finally, we can use lemon externally in many ways. It gives us numerous benefits. All of these are cost-effective. Therefore, the wonderful uses of lemons save our money and time.
(Also read some of my savings related items:
In my next article, I will write about various uses of lemons. Maintain good health and be happy.