The Health Benefits of Lemons


Since I have dubbed April as the month of lemons around here, of course I am going to provide you with a number of delicious lemony recipes, but as it goes, I am also feeling inclined to share some of the health benefits that go hand in hand with eating lemons and other citrus-y foods.  We’ve all heard that you’ve got to eat plenty of citrus to battle a cold, but what other benefits do they hold?  I don’t know about you, but for me, the taste of lemon just brings me to spring and summer.  It could be the dead of winter, but with a bite of a lemon bar or even an orange, I feel surrounded by summer… until I look outside and see the roads being plummeted with sleet and snow…

Let’s start with the most basic benefit that we all know about:

Calm a Cold

Loading up on citrus and vitamin C won’t prevent colds, but high doses of Vitamin C may shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms.  There is nothing worse than a cold lasting weeks upon weeks, so as soon as you feel the sniffles coming on, start downing as much citrus as you can.  Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in a glass of lukewarm water every 2 hours.  I never thought a cold was possible for me in the summer months, but let me tell you that it so is, and it so sucks!

Protect your Ticker

Oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are rich sources of flavonoids.  The predominant flavonoid in these fruits is called hesperidin and is credited with boosting good HDL cholesterol and lowering bad LDL cholesterol.  As we’re living longer and expecting more from our heart, it’s important that we do all we can to keep it healthy!

Reduce Sodium

This might seem like a weird one to you.  How can adding lemons and other citruses to your diet cut your sodium intake?  Well, it does so in kind of an indirect way.  Both citrus and salt enhance flavors, so why don’t you just skip the salt and add a spritz of citrus juice instead to keep dishes lower in sodium.

Abandon Your Anxiety

I have read that lemon balm actually has a calming effect and can help to reduce fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, nervousness, tension, and anxiety.  It is also believed that inhaling lemon oil helps to improve concentration and alertness.  Sprinkle just a few drops into a handkerchief or cloth and breath it in.  Holy Lemon, I’ve got to get me some of that!

Cankersore No More

Ouch!  Do you get these suckers?  I have gotten them my whole life, and they are not fun.  Well, the antibacterial and antiviral properties of lemons can accelerate the healing process of cankers.  Mix some freshly squeezed lemon juice with a glass of lukewarm water and rinse your mouth with this solution.  Do this three times a day to say good bye to those painful guys.  Now, I know it might burn a little at first, but the more you do it, the more the sore will heal, and it won’t burn as bad.

Keep your Breath Fresh

Lemons can help to freshen breath after you’ve consumed certain spices, alcohol, or cigarettes.  To keep your breath fresh, thoroughly rinse mouth with a glass of water mixed with the juice of a lemon. You can also chew on slices of a lemon after a meal to keep your breath fresh.

Prevent Cancer

Limonoids, a special class of antioxidants in most citrus, may actually help guard against colon, lung, breast, skin, and stomach cancers!

Wow!  Who knew there were so many benefits of consuming citrus-y foods.

With that being said, I think you should go make something that’s just full of lemons!  Let me help you out.

That looks healthy enough, right?? **wink wink**

Hey, on a completely unrelated side-note: Instagram for Android?!  Who else is stoked? I know I am!  Come join in my fun @happyfoodholly

Comments

  1. Sarah Jones says

    Just another health benefit, the lack of citric acid can lead to the formation of some kidney stones. So upping your citrus fruit can prevent those suckers! It won’t take care of all of them, but it is what the urologist recommended for my hubby after his last stone passed, and was analyzed.

    PS. you need to bring this one to work! I need to eat it all up!!

    • Holly says

      Thanks Sarah! That’s definitely good to know. I’ve never had kidney stones, but from what I hear, I never want to experience them. Good to know that citrus can help out with that as well!

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