Lemons are a citrus fruit characterized by a bright yellow color and sour taste. A lemon is full of nutrients, including vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The peel or rind of a lemon contains essential oils and many of the nutrients present in the flesh. Lemon rind also has higher oxalate levels, which is a compound that can crystallize and create problems in concentrated doses. Remove the rind when making fresh juice if you have kidney or gall bladder problems. Lemonade is a popular summer drink, but is usually loaded with refined sugar. Juicing fresh lemons gives all the benefits without the blood sugar dangers. Lemon juice is quite tart and strong and is best combined with other juices such as apple, pear or carrot.
Free Radical Protection
Free radicals are compounds in your body that move around and interact with healthy cells, causing damage. Free radical damage has been associated with cancer and inflammation in the body. Vitamin C will work to neutralize free radicals it comes into contact with, according to a report from Rice University.
Ease Urinary Tract Infection
Lemons have a diuretic action on the body, and can help ease a urinary tract infection, says A 2 Z of Health, Beauty and Fitness. Urinary tract infections are characterized by a burning sensation when you urinate and pressure in the lower abdomen.
Relieves Skin Problems
Lemon juice is acidic in nature, and as such a good choice to use as an astringent on your skin. The juice has the added benefit of containing many nutrients that a store bought astringent wouldn’t have. Dip a cotton ball into fresh lemon juice and apply it to your skin like any other astringent.
When you juice a lemon along with the rind in a juice extractor, the result is pure pulp-free juice. Your body does not have to process the fiber by way of digestion, and all of the nutrients are concentrated in the juice. Juicing also gives you more control over what exactly is in the juice, says the Raw Food Diet Solution website.
Blood Pressure Control
The high content of vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemon juice could help lower blood pressure, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. High blood pressure can result in heart attack and stroke and is best to have at manageable levels. According to a 2012 report from Johns Hopkins Medical Center, 30 percent of adults in the United States have high blood pressure.
The vitamin C in lemon juice plays a role in making collagen, which is part of the cartilage between your bones. It is the cartilage that is worn down and damaged in cases of osteoarthritis, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- The Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation: Oxalate Content of Food
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Health Guidance: Lemon Juice Health Benefits
- A 2 Z of Health Beauty and Fitness: The Health Benefits of Lemons
- Rice University: Antioxidants and Free Radicals
- Johns Hopkins Medical Center: Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure