4 Health Benefits Of Lemons

4 Health Benefits Of Lemons

Are you friends with a neighbor just because they have a gorgeous lemon tree that produces so many lemons? We wouldn’t blame you if that’s your situation. Lemons, or citrus fruits in general, hold that much power. They contain a lot of vitamin C and other antioxidants that support various aspects of health. Take the trend of drinking lemon water, for example, which may help support digestion, detoxification, and reduce the risk of kidney stones. 

Lemons are known for their wonderfully acidic juice, but they actually help to alkalize the body, despite that tart flavor. In its natural state, lemon juice is acidic with a pH of about 2. Once it is metabolized in the body, however, it becomes alkaline with a pH level well over 7. And the great thing about lemons is that you can have them year-round in many parts of the world. This depends on the trees’s geographical location and how long the harvesting season is (about a few months). 

Nearly all lemons sold in North America are Lisbon or Eureka. These are classic, small- to medium-sized, bright yellow lemons that have a slightly tangy flavor. Meyer lemons, which are sometimes available in specialty markets in the winter, have a darker peel and sweeter, floral juice and flesh. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of lemons.

They Support Heart Health

Due to their vitamin C and antioxidant profile, lemons help protect your cells from damaging free radicals. These unstable particles can damage your cells if you don’t neutralize them. By fighting free radical damage, you ultimately work to prevent atherosclerosis, a condition that’s characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

The phenolic compounds in lemons work to regulate blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and support endothelial function. For reference, endothelial function is how easily blood flows throughout the body. Reduced endothelial function can increase your risk of heart disease. A 2017 study found that higher fruit and vegetable intake reduced the risk of cancer, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular disease. So eat your lemons!

They Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard deposits composed of minerals that build up in the urinary tract and form in the kidneys. Passing a kidney stone can be a very painful experience, affecting about 10% of people. If you increase levels of urine citrate, a weak acid, and make urine more alkaline, you may help prevent kidney stones

Lemons contain a form of citric acid that works to increase urine citrate levels. The citric acid binds with urinary calcium in order to prevent oversaturated urine. It also binds to clumps of calcium oxalate crystals to help prevent them from growing and turning into kidney stones. The National Kidney Foundation estimates that consuming four ounces of lemon juice mixed with water per day may help reduce the risk of kidney stones. 

They Prevent Cell Damage

As mentioned earlier in this article, lemons are naturally rich in antioxidants, which work to fight free radical damage. The research states that citrus fruits contain a wide array of antioxidants, but newer research indicates that the peels of citrus fruits contain higher amounts of antioxidants. When you fight free radical damage with these unique antioxidants, you help prevent cell damage, which ultimately reduces your risk of chronic kidney disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is technically a group of chronic, progressive lung diseases that limit airflow to the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe. 

They Enhance Iron Absorption

Iron is a mineral that you need for optimal growth and development. The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body. Lemons contain a minuscule amount of iron, but they can enhance iron absorption because they are rich in vitamin C. One lemon contains over 30% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body better absorb nonheme iron, which is found in plant-based and iron-fortified foods. Pairing your iron foods with vitamin C helps you absorb iron even more efficiently. 



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