Health & Environment

When Life Gives You Lemons

Your favorite sour citrus can do your body some serious good.
By Dominic Hernandez, Texas A&M Health Science Center August 18, 2016


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The main ingredient in the sweet and sour drink isn’t just for flavor; it contains some very real health benefits. Here’s what the little yellow citrus can provide for you.

lemon water

Vitamin C Kick

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, which has a wide array of benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and has been known to help your skin, immune system, reduce the risk of complications from a cold or flu, and reduce inflammation in the body.

Switching out your morning OJ with a glass of lemon water will ensure you get the same vitamin boost with far less sugar or calories.

lemons - beauty

Pamper your skin and hair

Many homemade remedies for oily skin, blackheads, dandruff and hair lightening include the use of lemons. Along with high amounts of vitamin C, the zesty fruit also contains folic acid, vitamin B and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, that have cleansing properties on your skin and hair.

If you want to start adding these DIY remedies to your beauty routine, it’s smart to ask your health care provider about best practices to make and properly use homemade lemon products.

lemon - water - food - restaurant

Improve cholesterol and protect against cancer

Looking for ways to improve your cholesterol? According to the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, compounds in citrus fruits called citrus limonoids have protective properties against cancer. One type of limonoid, called limonin, may also help reduce cholesterol.

According to research by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, limonin may remain in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours for some people. This means you won’t have to continuously consume lemons in order to reap the health benefits.

lemon water

Lift your spirits

Lemons are a natural energy booster, and adding lemon juice to water packs a quick electrolyte punch. An Ohio State University study also showed lemon may enhance mood with aromatherapy. The next time you feel tired after lunch, ignore the soda or afternoon coffee and grab a water and a lemon wedge.

tea - lemon - water

Improve digestion

Lemon water is a great drink for those who are battling a stomachache. The high acidity in lemons stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid, which improves digestion. Lemons slow the absorption of food and help your body to break down the nutrients it needs. An added bonus: The water gives you a hydration kick which helps keep your body running smoothly.

This article by Dominic Hernandez originally appeared in Vital Record.

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