Lemon is a very nutritious fruit that is packed with fiber and vitamin C. Here are six ways lemons can improve your health: Lemons are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and various beneficial plant substances.
These nutrients are responsible for several health benefits.
Lemons can help with digestion, weight management, and heart health.
Here are 6 evidence-based health benefits of lemons.
1. Lemons support heart health
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C.
One lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, which is 51% of the recommended daily intake.
Research has shown that eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
But it’s not just vitamin C that’s supposed to be good for the heart. The fiber and plant compounds in lemons may also significantly reduce some risk factors for heart disease.
For example, one study found that consuming 24 grams of citrus fiber extract daily for a month lowered total blood cholesterol levels.
Plant compounds in lemons, namely hesperidin and diosmin, have also been found to lower cholesterol levels.
Summary:Lemons are abundant in heart-protective vitamin C and a number of advantageous plant chemicals that can decrease cholesterol.
2. Lemons help control weight
There are a few hypotheses as to why lemons are frequently touted as a food for weight loss.
A common theory is that the soluble pectin fibers it contains expand in your stomach and help you feel fuller for longer.
That said, not many people eat lemons whole. And because lemon juice does not contain pectin, lemon juice drinks do not promote satiety in the same way.
Another theory is that drinking hot water with lemon helps you lose weight.
The number of calories you burn, however, is known to rise momentarily after drinking water. So it may be the water itself that helps you lose weight – not the lemon.
Other theories suggest that the plant compounds in lemons may aid weight loss.
Research shows that botanicals in lemon extracts may help prevent or reduce weight gain in several ways.
In one study, mice on a fattening diet were given lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel. Compared to other mice, they grew less weight and body fat.
However, there are no studies confirming the weight loss effects of lemon compounds in humans.
Summary:Animal studies show that lemon extract and botanicals can promote weight loss, but the effects on humans are unknown.
3. Lemons prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones are small lumps that form when waste products crystallize and build up in the kidneys.
They are fairly common and people who get them often get them repeatedly.
Citric acid may help prevent kidney stones by increasing urine volume and urine pH, creating a less favorable environment for kidney stone formation.
Just half a cup (4 ounces or 125 ml) of lemon juice per day can provide enough citric acid to prevent stone formation in people who have already had them.
Some studies also found that soda is effective in preventing kidney stones, but results are mixed. Other studies have shown no effect.
Consequently, more thorough research is required to determine whether lemon juice has an impact on kidney stone development.
Summary:Lemon juice can prevent kidney stones. However, more quality research is needed.
4. Lemons protect against anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is common. It occurs when you don’t get enough iron from your diet.
Lemons contain some iron, but primarily prevent anemia by improving the absorption of iron from plant foods.
However, supplementing with vitamin C and citric acid can enhance this absorption. Lemons can prevent anemia by ensuring you acquire as much iron as possible from your diet because they include both vitamin C and citric acid.
Summary:Lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid, which help you absorb non-heme iron from plants. This can prevent anemia.
5. Lemons reduce the risk of cancer
A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent some types of cancer.
Some observational studies have found that people who eat the most citrus fruits have a lower risk of cancer, while other studies have found no effects.
In test tube studies, many compounds found in lemons have killed cancer cells. However, they may not have the same effect on the human body.
Some scientists think that plant substances contained in lemons, such as limonene and naringenin, may have anti-cancer benefits, although further research is required to support this claim.
Animal studies indicate that D-limonene, a compound found in lemon oil, has anti-cancer properties.
Another study used mandarin orange pulp, which contained the plant compounds beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are also found in lemons.
The study found that these compounds prevented the development of malignant tumors in the tongue, lungs, and colon of rodents.
However, it should be noted that the research team used a very high dose of the chemicals—far more than you would get from eating lemons or oranges.
While some botanicals from lemons and other citrus fruits may have anti-cancer potential, no quality evidence suggests that lemons can fight cancer in humans.
Summary:In experiments on animals, several plant compounds present in lemons were revealed to be cancer-preventive. However, human studies are needed.
6. Lemons improve digestive health
Lemons consist of around 10% carbohydrates, mostly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars.
The main fiber in lemons is pectin, a form of soluble fiber that is linked to several health benefits.
Slowing the digestion of sugars and carbohydrates is a benefit of soluble fiber. These effects can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
However, to reap the benefits of fiber from lemons, you must eat the pulp. People who drink lemon juice without the fiber found in the pulp will miss out on the benefits of fiber.
People who drink lemon juice without the fiber found in the pulp will miss out on the benefits of fiber.
Summary: The soluble fiber in lemons may help improve digestive health. However, you must eat the pulp of the lemon, not just the juice.
Lemons contain high amounts of vitamin C, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals that provide them with several health benefits.
Lemons can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive problems and cancer.
In addition to being a very healthy fruit, lemons have a distinct, pleasant taste and smell that makes them a great addition to food and drinks.