Food is key to our survival and vital to our well-being. If we did not eat, then we would not be able to carry on living after all! Of course, to stay healthy what we put into our bodies is essential and our ability to take onboard the various vitamins we require crucial. There are many foods which deliver this and are key to following a healthy diet. One of the best are lemons.
These humble yellow citrus fruits are not only tasty and useful to pep up various meals but also come with some real benefits. This is mainly down to their high Vitamin C content. As Vitamin C is superb for keeping us healthy, it makes lemons a great food to include in your diet.
But what are the ten most surprising benefits of lemons?
10 – Can Help Manage Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can be a serious health issue. It is actually fairly common and sees millions of people taking regular medication for it globally. While you should not just stop taking any medication without speaking to your doctor first, it is thought that lemons can help manage this condition. A study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that long term consumption of lemons helped lower high blood pressure, if combined with walking regularly.
09 – Boost for Weight Loss
As well as Vitamin C, the polyphenols present in lemons are thought to help with weight loss. Some Ayurvedic studies have shown that taking lemon juice with honey as part of a short-term fast can reduce weight and fat mass. Even drinking warm water with honey as part of a normal diet each morning is reported to aid weight loss goals. It seems that the polyphenols in lemon interact with your body to help achieve reductions in weight.
08 – Good For Preventing Kidney Stones
Compared to both orange and grapefruits, lemons have more Vitamin C content on average. This is thought to be very useful for preventing kidney stones. The high citric acid levels in lemons increases urinary citrate levels, without changing urinary frequency. As low citrate consumption can be the cause of kidney stones, the increase in citrate levels lemons deliver is a real plus. Urinary citrate can be formed through drinking lemonade or lemon juice and this in turn stops the formation of crystals in the human body which can lead to stones.
07 – Great For Your Teeth
Although lemons are very acidic, they can actually be beneficial to dental health. This is because they have a high Vitamin C content which can keep gums healthy. Low Vitamin C levels can lead to gum infections which means consuming lemons is a great way to avoid this. It is also possible to find some toothpaste which include lemon in as well. These can prove beneficial as the acidic nature of the fruit is good for removing stains while the Vitamin C inside is good for killing infections. It is best to consult a Dentist before using lemons for dental care though, as their acidic nature does mean you have to tread carefully.
06 – Lemons Can Thicken Hair
Many people around the world struggle with thin hair and spend a lot of money on products to thicken it. But did you know that lemons could be a natural hair thickener? When mixed with chamomile paste and apple cider vinegar, it can work wonders in changing the texture of hair. If mixed with olive oil, lemon juice is also effective at treating common issue like dandruff. Many cultures around the world also apply lemon juice direct to the hair for the extra shine it gives – plus the gorgeous smell!
05 – Lemons Can Help with Skin Care
Lemon juice is naturally antiseptic which makes it great for using in medicine. Skin problems are certainly something it can help with because of these properties. Common skin problems like acne or eczema can react positively to the antiseptic and cleansing nature of lemons. The high Vitamin C content of lemons also means it is good for treating things like stings or sunburn. Many also believe that lemon juice can help reduce wrinkles and therefore be an anti-aging remedy.
04 – May Help Prevent Blood Clots
Although there have only been a few small-scale studies done as yet, initial findings suggest that lemons could help prevent blood clots. A 2014 study for example found that lemons contained an anti-thrombin component which helped stop blood clots when given to rabbits. This could mean that the same anti-thrombin properties are also present when humans consume lemons. The anti-thrombin properties of lemon could also help regulate clotting after injury and thus prevent excess blood loss in humans.
03 – Asthma Sufferers May Benefit
Lemons are not just tasty foods which make any meal taste nicer. It is also though that they can help relieve respiratory problems such as asthma too. With asthma being such a widespread issue worldwide, any help lemons can give to sufferers is very useful. As with other health benefits of lemons, it is thought that high Vitamin C levels within lemons help the body to function in a more normal, healthier way. This in turn can help manage respiratory problems and allow our lungs to function unimpeded.
02 – Can Reduce Corns
Corns and callouses can be an issue for many people around the world. As we age, these hard lumps of skin can form on our hands or feet. They not only look a little ugly but also can be painful in certain cases. While you can visit a professional to have them dealt with, you might not know that lemons could help instead. It is thought that putting a little lemon juice on a corn or callous can help painlessly dissolve it. This is down the acidic nature of lemons and the high levels of citric acid in them breaking down the hard skins structure.
01 – Perfect for Poorly Throats
Although you probably know lemons can keep you alert, energized and look after your immune system, did you know that they can help battle throat infections also? This is down to its anti-bacterial properties which fight the bacteria causing the infection. While you could drink lemon juice straight, many will add it to hot water for maximum effects.
While we know about the main benefits of lemons and how key they are to a healthy diet, you may not have come across the many surprising benefits of them as above before. As our list shows, they really are a super-food and one fruit that you should certainly have enough of.