In real life, be it lemons or lemonade, this refreshing citrus fruit is chock-full of vitamin C, fiber, and other beneficial compounds that all contribute to overall health. Here are some sweet benefits to be had from consuming lemons.
1. Supports heart health
Lemons can be surprisingly good for the heart, thanks to their high vitamin C levels. Studies show that eating foods rich in vitamin C like lemons can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering high blood pressure. Further, the lemon’s fiber and plant compounds can also ease some of the risk factors of heart disease. Hesperetin is a compound also found in lemons, which also lower cholesterol levels.
2. Improves digestion
Lemons harbor plenty of soluble fiber and simple sugars. Its primary type of fiber, pectin, is a form of soluble fiber that is linked to a variety of health benefits. Soluble, dietary fiber is known to improve digestion, support gut health, and regulate bowel movements. It also slows down the absorption of sugars and starches, which can reduce your blood pressure. However, to enjoy the fiber found in lemons, you need to eat the fruit’s pulp.
2. Aids weight loss
Multiple theories suggest that lemon could be considered a weight-loss food. One of the more common approaches is that the soluble pectin fiber found in lemons expands in your stomach, satisfying your hunger and making you feel full for much more extended periods. However, not many people eat fruits whole, opting to drink lemon juice, which contains no pectin fiber.
Plant compounds might also be responsible for the lemon’s weight loss effect. In one study, mice on a fattening diet were supplemented with lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel. The researchers observed that the supplemented rats gained much less weight and body fat compared to the other rats.
4. Reduces cancer risk
Experts say that a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can give you enough vitamins and minerals to prevent certain cancers. Studies show that people who eat plenty of citrus fruits like lemons have a lower risk of developing cancer, specifically pancreatic cancer. Studies also show that it can prevent malignant tumors from developing in the tongues, colons, and lungs of rodents.
5. Prevents kidney stones
Kidney stones are small lumps created when waste products build up and crystallize in the kidneys. Thankfully, lemons have a lot of citric acids, which can help prevent kidney stones by increasing your urine volume and acidity. This creates a much less favorable environment for kidney stone formation. Studies have shown that half a cup of lemon juice a day can provide enough citric acid to prevent the formation of kidney stones, even in people who already had them before treatment.
A refreshing take on lemons
One of the more popular ways to enjoy the health benefits of lemon is by taking a refreshing glass of lemon water. This beverage is natural to make using either lemon slices or lemon juice, making it a healthy way to stay hydrated. Here’s how to make your own:
- Wash the lemon then cut it into two halves.
- Squeeze out the juices from these lemon halves into a glass before adding water. Let the mixture settle for about two hours.
- Once the concoction has settled, strain the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer into a serving glass. Feel free to add some mint leaves to enjoy a much fresher take on the beverage.
- The high vitamin C content, soluble fiber, and various plant compounds give lemons plenty of health benefits you can enjoy.