Electrolytes in Lemons

Bunches of ripe lemons growing in Italy.
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Electrolytes are minerals that use electric charges in the body to produce reactions such as muscle contraction, nerve movement and a regular heartbeat. Some electrolytes, such as calcium, also have other functions, including a role in bone strength. Lemons don't provide a significant source of any electrolytes, but they can contribute modestly to your daily electrolyte intake.



One cup of lemon sections contains 55 milligrams of calcium, which is 6 percent of the recommended daily intake. Calcium helps maintain strong teeth and bones, and that is where 99 percent of the calcium in your body is stored, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. The other 1 percent circulates in your blood and that level must be well maintained to keep the body functioning properly. The calcium in the blood, or serum calcium, sends electrical charges to muscles, including the heart, and nerves. According to the LPI, the need for proper serum calcium balance is so important that if the level in the blood is not adequate, the body takes calcium from the bones to make up the difference. Eating a lemon or drinking lemon juice will help add to your calcium intake and maintenance of serum calcium.


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Potassium plays an important role in the contraction of the heart muscle. Maintaining the proper potassium level is vital to life. If you get too much or too little, it can interfere with the heart's ability to beat properly. Potassium also plays a role in bone health and the prevention of high blood pressure and stroke. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that most people get enough potassium through their diet. The need for potassium increases with age. While you can take potassium supplements, they do not have the same positive effect on health as food sources of potassium. One cup of lemon sections contains 293 milligrams of potassium, or 6 percent of the RDI.



As an electrolyte mineral, magnesium also sends electrical charges throughout the body and helps regulate heartbeat, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of the body's magnesium is stored in bone, 49 percent in cells and tissues and 1 percent in the bloodstream. Without enough magnesium in your diet you are not only at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes, but you may also experience other symptoms such as weakness, nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting. Though one cup of lemon sections only contains 17 milligrams -- 4 percent of the daily needs for men and 5 percent for women -- it can contribute to reaching your daily intake of magnesium.



A serving of lemon contains only a trace amount of sodium or 3 milligrams, or less than 1 percent of your daily limit . This low amount of sodium actually makes lemons a wise choice when trying to regulate your electrolyte balance. Potassium helps regulate sodium levels in the body to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. Lemons deliver far more potassium than sodium, which keeps potassium levels up and sodium levels down. While you do need sodium in the body, too much of it leads to stiffening of the arteries, high blood pressure and heart disease.




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