Lemon and lime are both citrus fruits which are rich in vitamin C. Lemons are yellow in color and have about 53mg of vitamin C per 100g. Limes are usually green in color, smaller and contains only 29mg of vitamin C. Lemons are grown in small evergreen trees and are oval in shape and the peak season is from May to August. Lemons have many medicinal values and have many benefits. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and naturally aids digestion by acting with other acids and enzymes in the stomach.
A warm glass of lemon water taken first thing in the morning is found to be very beneficial. It was used in Ayurveda for ages as a digestive agent and clearing the stomach of toxic elements that build up in the stomach. It has been found to help in the digestion process during the whole day. Lemons have strong antibacterial, antiviral and immunity boosting powers and also aids in weight loss. Lemons are a rich source of citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids,pectin, and limonene that helps fight infection. Lemon has a large number of benefits and we shall take a look at them
Lemons were originally developed as a cross between the lime and the citron. They are thought to have originated in China or India, and have been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. It was introduced in Europe by Arabs who brought them to Spain in the 11th century. They were also introduced in Northern Africa around the same time. The Crusaders, who found the fruit growing in Palestine, are credited with bringing the lemon to other countries across Europe. Like many other fruits and vegetables, lemons were brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to the New World in 1493, and have been grown in Florida since the 16th century.
Lemons and other Vitamin-C rich citrus fruits, were in high demand by the miners and developers during the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, since they were used to protect against scurvy. It was very expensive in those days and people were willing to pay up to $1 per lemon in 1849 a price which is expensive even by present day standards. Lemon is now widely grown in the United States, Italy, Spain, Greece, Israel and Turkey.
Health benefits Of Using Lemon Water
Lemon For Digestion
Lemon is a good appetizer. The scent of lime itself is said to start the primary process of digestion. The saliva floods the mouth before we start eating. The acidity of lime breaks down the food particles, the flavonoids found in lemon stimulates the digestive system and increases the secretion of digestive juices, biles and acids that help digestion. It also helps peristaltic motion. Lemon juice also helps to flush out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It is rich in minerals and vitamins. It also helps relieve symptoms of indigestion like heartburn, blenching and bloating. The American Cancer Society recommends warm lemon water to cancer patients to stimulate bowel movement. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
Constipation and piles
Lemon juice, because of its acidic nature is considered very good for constipation. It is natural and acts easily. Lemon juice is very good for cleansing the tracks, and when more quantity of lemon juice is mixed with salt and taken, it acts as a purgative without side effects. The roughage of lemon is also said to help relieve symptoms of constipation.
Piles or hemorrhoids occur in the anal region and causes discomfort and bleeding during excretion and other activities. Since lemon can clear the intestinal and excretory tracks and prevent constipation, it automatically prevents the cause of piles.
Urinary disorders and kidney stones
Lemon has multiple benefits in the urinary track. The high potassium levels in lemon removes toxins and precipitants which are deposited in the kidney or urinary bladder. It also helps cure urinary track infections. It stops prostate growth and clears urine blockage that may result from calcium deposits in the urinary track. The citric acid in lemon prevents the formation of kidney stone which is nothing but crystallized calcium.
Heart diseases and diabetes
Lemon and other citrus fruits contain soluble fibers which are considered very good in aiding the slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream which makes it a excellent food for diabetes. These fibers along with hesperidin found in flavonoids can also help lower blood pressure and control the LDL or bad cholesterol, triglyceride and reduce inflammation of the blood vessels thus helping to prevent heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Lemon is also considered to have a low glycemic index which means that it will prevent sudden increases in the level of blood sugar (commonly known as spikes in glucose level).
Lemon to heal peptic ulcers and respiratory problems
Lemons are a rich source of Vitamin C. They also contain a compound called flavonoid. Since the flavonoids are antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antibiotic and other detoxifying properties, they help heal peptic ulcers and oral ulcers. The flavonoid rich oils extracted from lemons contain Kaempferol that are also used in anti-congestant medicines, balms inhalers etc. Traditional remedies suggest scratching the peel of lemon and inhaling it to prevent nausea and nasal congestion.
Lemon for Eye care
The same Vitamin C and flavonoids in lemon protect eyes from age related illnesses like macular degeneration (blindness) and infections.
Lemon for prevention of Arthritis and cold and fever
Lemons have anti-inflammatory properties and are helpful to clear the excess uric acid that builds up in the body. This excess built-up of uric acid is said to be the cause of pain and inflammation during arthritis. Citric acids help dissolve excess uric acids and eliminate them through urine.
The ascorbic acid in Vitamin C of lemon helps reduce cold and fever and is an ideal diet to be given to patients during fever. The ascorbic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and aids healing. It is an essential to maintain healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage. It is useful to treat asthma and other respiratory symptoms and also increases the absorption of iron. Iron is very important for immune functions. The saponins in lemon have antimicrobial properties to prevent cold and fever. It also reduces phlegm produced by the body.
Lemon to treat gum problems
Vitamin C deficiency results in many of the gum problems including Scurvy (characterized by spongy gums and bleeding) and microbial growth. Physical trauma also causes ulcers. The flavonoids and Vitamin C of lemon help heal most of the gum problems.
Lemon and Gout
Gout is caused by the accumulation of free radicals or the accumulation of toxins, especially uric acid in the body. Lemon can help eliminate both these causes of gout through its antioxidant and detoxifying properties.
Cholera is still prevalent in some parts of the globe. Lime and other citrus fruits can help prevent cholera. This is usually done by mixing lime juice in infected water. Lemon has been found to act as a disinfectant. Several studies done to this effect have proved the effectiveness of lemon in purifying water during outbreaks of cholera.
Uses of lemon in skin care and weight loss
Lemon juice helps weight loss in two ways. As seen earlier in this article, the soluble fiber in lemon helps prevents the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. This pectin fiber also helps reduce hunger cravings. So weight gain is reduced to a large extend. Lime juice also helps cleanse the body by detoxifying it and also increases metabolism which all help in weight loss. The zero calories in the lime juice helps too.
Lemon juice is also very good for the skin when taken as a juice or when applied externally. It reduces wrinkles and blemishes Since lemon has antioxidant, antibiotic and disinfectant properties, it keeps the skin healthy and glowing and protects it from infections. When the lemon skin is rubbed on the skin, it cures dandruff, rashes and bruises and removes the dead cells from the skin. The skin of lemon can also prevent skin pigmentation caused by age or UV rays of the sun. The vitamin C and flavonoids reduce body odor and is very refreshing when mixed with the bathing water. It is said to have some effect on bacteria which are responsible for acne. Since lemon juice purges toxins from the body, it also helps clear blemishes.
Lemon juice on women’s health
Lemon juice has two important nutrients needed for women, especially post-menopausal and those of child bearing age. These are calcium and folate. One lemon has 22 milligrams of calcium and 5 micrograms of folate which is considered very good.
Other Benefits of lemon juice
Lemon has an unending list of benefits. It is said to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The limonoid compounds in lemon prevent cancers of colon, stomach and blood although how it works is not completely known. It is believed that the antioxidant limonoids cause the death of cancer cells. These limonoids work on the free radicals in the body better than chocolates and green tea.
Lemon juice is said to be good for the liver and prevents excess flow of bile juice. According to A.F. Beddoe, author of Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition, the liver produces more enzymes from lemon/lime than any other food.
Potassium is present in lemons. Potassium and sodium are necessary for electrical transmission in the brain and nervous system. Low levels of potassium causes depression, anxiety, forgetfulness etc. Potassium is needed to send steady signals to the heart. So both the heart and nervous system benefit from the potassium in the lemon juice.
Lemon juice maintains the pH level of the body. Although citric acid is acidic in nature, once it enters the body, it becomes alkaline. So a higher pH can be maintained by the body. This higher pH helps prevent the body against various diseases.
Lemon juice energizes both the body and mind. Lemon has a large number of negatively charged ions, which produces more energy when it enters the digestive track which is also negatively charged. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. It helps clear the mind and brightens the mood and lowers anxiety and depression. It is also a good food to hydrate the lymph system. Warm lemon juice acts as a hydrating agent for the body when there is loss of fluid and helps relieve the various side effects of dehydration.
Lemon juice freshens breath and is helpful to relieve tooth pain and gingivitis, but lemon juice is also known to erode tooth enamel. So we have to be careful when we drink lemon juice in excess. It is advisable to rinse the mouth with pure water after drinking lemon juice or use a straw to drink lemon juice.
Drink lemon juice daily!
Warm fluoride free water is the best to make lemon juice. Half to one lemon can be squeezed without sugar. It is best taken in the morning on an empty stomach. To get the maximum benefits, breakfast should be taken only after half an hour or one hour. This is a very easy and inexpensive therapy to follow and gives innumerable health benefits. There are also absolutely no side effects, and when taken without sugar, no calories either. So warm lemon juice integrated in our daily routine is one of the most highly recommended regimes which we can easily follow.