The lemon, scientifically known as citrus lemon, is the most commonly used citrus fruit in the world.
This fruit appears to be small in size but has more comprehensive health benefits than all other citrus fruits.
Lemon trees are originally native to the regions of Himalayan foothills in India, and they spread all over the world over time.
Today there are large varieties of lemon commercially grown in different parts of the world. The two most common verities of lemon are Lisbon and Eureka, and the other popular sweeter lemon variety is the Meyer Lemons.
Lemon juice mixed with water/ soda with a little added sugar or salt is the most common way to enjoy a lemon.
Pure lemon juice extract is used to add a sour flavor to foods, or small lemon slices are used as an ingredient in various food preparations like salads and verities of dishes.
Lemon Nutrition Facts
Lemon is high nutrition fruit and a rich source of Vitamin C and soluble fiber. This fruit also has a few essential minerals, plant compounds, and essential oils.
Lemons are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
It is low in calories, only 29 calories per 100 grams.
Fat and protein content in lemon is very little. About 10% of its weight is carbohydrates, and nearly 88% of the total weight of this fruit is water.
The lemon also contains beneficial plant compounds like citric acid, Hesperidin, Diosmin, Eriocitrin, and D-Limonene, which have great importance in maintaining good health.
The table below contains information on all the nutrients in lemons.
Lemon Is Rich In Vitamin C
One of the best and most convenient sources of Vitamin C is the humble lemon.
A small lemon contains about 30-40 mg of vitamin C.
The other best source of Vitamin C is orange which contains about 80-90 mg of this vitamin per orange.
I am sure you are well aware of the several health benefits associated with Vitamin C, and the lack of this essential vitamin can cause cardiovascular diseases, poor eyesight, unhealthy skin, and a weak immune system.
Vitamin C is also a good antioxidant that fights against the free radicals that can damage the body cells.
Major Health Benefits Of Lemon Fruit And Juice
Before we go into the detailed reviews on the health benefits of the lemon water diet, we shall just briefly discuss some of the important general health benefits of lemon.
This tiny yellow fruit provides an enormous benefit to health by lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, and kidney stones.
Lack of Vitamin C increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, especially in obese persons.
The fibrous content and antioxidant capabilities of Vitamin C in this fruit help decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.
The citric acid in lemon increases the urine volume, and this helps in decreasing the chances of kidney stone formation.
The iron mineral present in the lemon is good for preventing the occurrence of anemia, a disease caused by iron deficiency. Vitamin C and citric acid from the lemon also improve the ability of the body to absorb iron from the food we eat.
Lemon water drinks are very commonly used as a refreshment drink by most of us.
It will be surprising for some of you to know the great health benefits of lemon juice that are not known to many.
This humble drink consists of freshly squeezed juice from ½ or 1 full lemon that is stirred into a cup of water or soda with little added sugar or salt for better taste.
Do not mistake the lemon water/juice with Lemonade, which is another form of lemon-flavored drink mixed with different kinds of sweeteners.
Lemon water contains all the vitamins and plant compounds found in the whole lemon; however, most of the fiber, oil, and carbs content will disappear with the flesh and skin of the lemon.
Here let me bring home to you 11 major health benefits of lemon water in the ongoing discussion below.
1. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Lemon water, which contains ‘citrus flavonoids’, improves the food digestion process in the body by removing the toxins in the digestive tract.
This juice also can relieve the symptoms of indigestion such as bloating, burping, and heartburn.
With the enhancement of healthy digestion better assimilation of nutrients and vitamins takes place and a decrease in insulin resistance and improved metabolism of fats also comes into effect.
The citrus flavonoids in lemon water also help and support the hydrochloric acid in the stomach in a faster and more efficient breaking down of food.
2. Helps In Detoxifying The Body
The plant compounds and Vitamin C present in the lemon water are good for enhancing the enzyme and stimulating the liver that results in flushing the toxins out of the body.
The citrate compound in lemon also increases the volume of urine which allows the flushing out more toxic waste present in the body.
3. Reduces Inflammation Of The Joints
Regular intake of lemon water is beneficial for decreasing the acidity in your body.
It is also good for removing uric acid in the joints of the body, and this prevents the inflammation that commonly affects the joints.
4. Good For Boosting The Immune System
The lemon water that contains a lot of Vitamin C is good for boosting the immune system in the body.
The weak immune system makes a person gets affected by common diseases very easily and in such cases, the physicians usually recommend the increased intake of Vitamin C-rich foods and pills for the better health of such people.
Also, the potassium present in the lemon stimulates brain and nerve function and helps to control blood pressure.
5. Lemon Is Good For The Skin
The vitamins and plant compounds found in the lemon are very good for the growth and protection of skin tissues.
The powerful antioxidants present in the lemon helps in reducing the blemishes and wrinkles on the skin and make it appear healthy and glowing.
Both drinking lemon water and the application of lemon juice on the skin are good for rejuvenating the skin.
The antioxidants present in the lemon slow down the aging process of the skin.
The antioxidants derived from plant sources like lemon can reverse the breakdown of collagen fibers in the skin.
Lemon helps in improved collagen formation in the skin which would give the skin a healthy structure, strength and protect it from adverse effects of toxins within and outside.
6. Lemon Juice/Water Is Good For Weight Loss
Lemon juice is found to moderate benefit in helping a person to lose weight fast, especially for losing belly fat.
There are NO established scientific researches or studies available to prove or refute the claims on the weight loss benefits of lemon.
The plant compounds such as pectin and polyphenols found in the lemon have the ability to suppress the appetite and increase fat metabolism leading to a gradual reduction in body weight.
These two substances are also helpful in reducing LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the blood.
The pectin fiber contained in lemon improves healthy digestion and reduces hunger cravings.
The citrus flavonoids present in lemon also possess the ability to suppress the appetite.
It is highly advisable to have a glass of lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach as it is found to be more effective in the detoxifying digestive tract and helps in healthy bowel movements.
Many people also have reported that a glass of lemon water in the morning has helped them to get rid of belly fat.
7. Lemon Is Good For Refreshing Mouth And Breath
Citric acid has the ability to destroy the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and produces a foul smell.
It is good to rinse the mouth with lemon water to refresh the mouth.
However, the citric acids can loosen and erode the tooth enamel, so it is important not to brush the teeth immediately after rinsing the mouth with lemon water. Also, make sure to wash the mouth with clean water a few minutes after rinsing to remove totally the citric acid from the teeth.
8. Helps In Boosting Energy
The intake of lemon juice helps in boosting energy as it cleanses the digestive tract and quickly improves metabolism.
Most people who use lemon water regularly say that it not only refreshes the body but also reduces anxiety and depression.
Even the scent of the lemon is refreshing and often helps to relieve the feeling of nausea and headache.
9. Lemon Juice Contains Potassium
Potassium is rarely present in most vegetables and fruits. Lemon is a good source of potassium that is essential for the good health of the heart and in the maintenance of healthy blood pressure.
Potassium also improves the healthy functioning of the brain and nerves.
10. Prevents And Heals The Viral Infections
A cup of warm lemon water is an excellent natural remedy for weakening the effects of common viral infections. This also helps in getting relief from sore throats and the common cold.
Having a cup of lemon water daily will help in boosting your immune system, and it will protect your body from common viral infections.
11. Lemon Water Alkalize The Body
A healthy blood pH without cancer has an ‘acid plus alkaline’ balance almost equal.
The pH range is from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Anything below 7.0 is considered acidic and if pH above 7.0 is alkaline.
The ideal range of pH levels should fall between is 4.6-8.0.
Certain acids that at times can become a cause of negative side effects such as acidosis, upset stomach, and acid reflux.
You could use a pH strip to identify the pH level of your body and decide whether your body needs to be alkalized or the other way around.
The lemon water can alkalize the body moderately.
The lemons are low in sugar content and contain a good bit of alkaline minerals.
Regular intake of lemon juice helps in alkalizing the body more than the citric acid it adds to the body.
Lemon water can help in balancing a healthy pH level in the blood that is essential for bone health, decreasing chances of hypertension and stroke, improving memory, and improving cardiovascular health.
How Much Lemon Juice To Drink?
There is NO scientific theory to tell us how much lemon juice to be taken at a time.
However, from the point of view of the pH level balance in the blood, a person who weighs less than 150 pounds should squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of water for drinking; a person above 150 pounds weight could use a whole lemon.
It is healthy to have lemon water drink one or two times a day.
Many lemon juice drinkers from their experience recommend the practice of having a glass of lemon water as a replacement for the morning coffee. This seems to work for better weight loss results and gives a good boost of energy at the beginning of the day.
Lemon is a very commonly used fruit and the majority of people will not experience any side effects with it.
However, in a rare case, it might cause allergic reactions in some individuals especially in people with dermatitis.
The citric acid content in the lemon can lead to the gradual erosion of tooth enamel. It is good to rinse the mouth with water immediately after drinking lemon juice or eating a lemon.
People suffering from high acidity issues or suffering from stomach ulcers could better avoid the lemon as the citric acid in this fruit can aggravate the problem.
The Bottom Line
Lemon and its juices are very refreshing fruit and drink. Many people, especially women, love to eat small slices of lemon. As a beverage, it has a distinctive flavor and mood-elevating effect on the individual.
This fruit is naturally endowed with a good amount of Vitamin C, soluble fiber, and many beneficial plant compounds.
There is no doubt that lemon is healthy food and can add wonderful flavor and aroma to the food.
However, the lemonade that contains lemon juice as the prime ingredient is not so healthy because of the different sweeteners added to it.
A cup of lemon juice in the morning, about 30 minutes before breakfast can give maximum health benefits and may help in reducing belly fat.