Belonging to the same family as the orange, grapefruit and tangerine, lemon is valued not only for its juice but the rind and zest as well. While the origins of the lemon lie in the foothills of Himalayas, it is now cultivated around the globe. Its tart juice not only flavors numerous dishes, but provides many important nutrients as well. Various parts of the fruit are also employed in homes to disinfect, remove stains and to dissuade flies, mosquitoes and other pests.
Lemons contain powerful antioxidants known as bioflavonoids. It is believed that these compounds are responsible for the health properties lemons have to offer.
Sweet & Sour Lemon Smoothie
- 1 peeled & seeded lemon
- 1 small apple
- 1 small banana
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 6 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients except the ice cubes until smooth. Add the ice and blend for another 10 seconds, pour into a glass and enjoy.
Other than the lack of fat, low sodium, plenty of fiber and nominal calories in a lemon, it also is highly admired for its nutrients and antioxidant properties. Additionally it is now being recognized that other biologically active compounds present in lemon help to cut down on cancer risks, as well as a number of other chronic modern ailments.
Lemon is a good source of crucial vitamins which the body must acquire from external sources like pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and folates. In addition to being a plentiful supplier of minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium, it is also an exceptional source of vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemons have been used for generations for a large number of disorders including throat infections, fever, respiratory problems, internal bleeding, burns and cholera. According to an American Urological Association study, lemon juice prevents formation of kidney stones by producing urinary citrate which does not allow the crystals (stones) to form. The soluble fiber pectin, found in lemons is associated with keeping blood sugar levels stable and fiber in general gives the feeling of being full longer, thus aiding in weight loss.
A “Journal of Food Composition and Analysis” review published in 2006 states that lemons contain large amount of flavanones, phytochemicals that are believed to help prevent stroke, asthma, cancer, heart disease as well as neurological issues by blocking DNA and cell destroying ability of free radicals. The flavanone, hesperidin helps to maintain strong bones and reduce blood lipid levels and the flavanone, eriocitrin shields the liver against oxidative destruction.