EDIBLE PROPERTIES OF LEMON
Historical use of lemon as medicinal fruit
Lemon is a fruit very rich in vitamin C. This richness is given by its content in ascorbic acid, which represents almost 5% of its content. Many pharmaceuticals with ascorbic acid have their origin in the fruit of lemon tree, one of the main sources of this vitamin, along with the lime. In fact, all citrus fruits (orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.) contain high amounts of this principle.
Traditionally, lemon was used to prevent scurvy, a disease that occurs when the person has a vitamin C deficiency.
Scurvy was very common among sailors, who fed primarily on dry or salty foods. The lack of intake of fresh food caused numerous casualties among them.
Cool lemons can last for a long time, so that many captains provided the crew so they did not fall sick.
Captain Cook's custom of providing fermented cabbage, rich in vitamin C, and lemons to his men during his long voyages across the Pacific is well known.
The British navy forced their vessels to carry a supply of lemons which had to be ingested at a rate of 30 gr per day once they had been at sea for more than ten days.
A "giant pill" of antioxidants
The advantage of lemon is that, in addition to vitamin C, it contains numerous flavonoids which, protect this vitamin and prevent it from degrading. The lemons that the navigators carried in their cellars constituted authentic natural pills of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Currently, scurvy only rarely appears in very poor populations, although the food properties of lemon should not be neglected, whose values go far beyond the prevention of this old disease.
Among the main virtues of this food, its powerful antioxidant properties, capable of preventing the negative activity of free radicals. Lemon contains almost 30 antioxidant components in addition to vitamin C, such as the flavonoids rutin, hesperidin, naringenin and lutein; Beta-carotene; And caffeic, ferulic or gamma terpinene acids.
Lemon, anti-aging fruit
Therefore, eating this fruit in abundance will be very interesting if we want to stay young and prevent the onset of numerous diseases. It is especially suitable for people who have increased vitamin C requirements, such as people who smoke, or with diabetes, allergy, asthma, pregnant or lactating women or people with stress.
Eating lemon will also help us to have a healthier external appearance, since this vitamin helps to improve the health of the skin, hair and nails. Many anomalies of this part of the body that can be avoided or improved are: dry skin, wrinkles, hair with little vitality, fragile nails, etc.
Lemon for the eyes
In today's world, in which many of the jobs force vision, eating lemon will help maintain visual health.
Lemon for the cardiovascular system
Equally important is vitamin C, along with routine and hesperidin, in maintaining the arteries by improving their elasticity and avoiding spills that occur in the veins and capillaries. Eating lemon or drinking lemon juice helps prevent and treat hypertension, controls the onset of hemorrhoids or varicose veins, and prevents the usual formation of bruising or bleeding into the gums or nose.
(Drink lemon juice a few times a day. It can be mixed with other fruit juices.) It is advisable to introduce a piece of lemon in a glass of water to give it a refreshing value and to enjoy its medicinal properties.
Lemon awakens appetite and improves digestion
The rich aromas of this fruit stimulates the production of saliva and ascorbic acid contributes to increase stomach acids and the production of the hormone pepsin. Thus, on the one hand, it awakens the appetite in case of inappetence and, on the other hand, helps to improve digestion. The greater increase of hydrochloric acid helps to disaggregate the food better and pepsin possesses proteolytic properties, which helps to digest the proteins better.
All this favors digestion and avoids other secondary problems like the appearance of gases.
Lemon in slimming diets
The ability of lemon to "dissolve fats" is well known, something that has been used as a good resource in diets for weight loss. We must not forget that this fruit is very rich in components with slimming properties.
Among these we highlight the richness in caffeine, a metabolic stimulant; high fiber, especially pectin, that helps to decrease the absorption of fats and collaborates in satiety. Limonene and vitamin C are also noteworthy in this regard.
In addition to these components, their richness in potassium and calcium should be mentioned. Both minerals with diuretic properties since they control the exchange of fluids in the cell and neutralize sodium. Both components, along with caffeic acid and ascorbic acid, favor the elimination of body fluids so they are helpful in weight loss plans.
Lemon to eliminate toxins
The diuretic benefits for the elimination of liquids are also of great help in the treatment of other metabolic diseases in which a purification of the organism is necessary: obesity, arthritis, gout, uric acid, etc.
Lemon juice is one of the best purifying remedies of the blood because it eliminates the toxins, reason why it helps to fight the diseases of the gouty and rheumatic people, relieving the pain and diminishing inflammation. It has even been used for the detoxification process of people who habitually consume narcotics.
Depurative and slimming lemon diet
The famous lemon cure is usually used to purify the body and reduce excess weight. To perform this cure we must start the first day with the juice of a squeezed lemon and continue to increase the dose at the rate of one more lemon each day until reaching 8 or 9 lemons a day.
Then, decrease by reason of a daily lemon until completing the 10 - 11 days.
Hindus use it every day when they make a mixture with two tablespoons of lemon, two of water and two of honey. It is considered that this mixture, in addition to having depurative properties, has tonic properties that help to deal with daily work more easily.
An adequate food to prevent cancer
Many experts believe that consumption of lemons and other citrus fruits could be adequate to prevent the onset of numerous cancers. Scientific studies have shown that people who usually eat citrus fruits have more than a 50% chance of not getting stomach cancer.
It is believed that vitamin C inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It has been proven that, despite its acidic taste, the consumption of this fruit actually helps to prevent gastritis, which in some cases could also be responsible for the development of tumor cells in the gastric mucosa.
It has also been proven that the consumption of this fruit could prevent the formation of tumors in the colon.
Lemon is suitable to prevent anemia and bone decalcification.
Vitamin C promotes absorption of calcium and iron. Therefore, it is very appropriate to eat lemons or drink lemon juice so that the body is able to absorb more iron, which contributes to the prevention of anemia.
Vitamin C is also part of collagen and plays a part in the formation of bone tissue, which promotes better bone health and prevents osteoporosis by allowing the body to absorb more calcium.
Vegetarian people should be especially careful to provide this food regularly or include other citrus fruits in their usual diet so as not to present problems of deficiency of these minerals.
How to eat lemons?
Lemons should be consumed fresh. The picking season runs from autumn to spring. Lemons should be eaten raw in small portions to make the most of their properties. This is quite difficult because of its acidic taste.
Obviously for people who are not accustomed, it is not very pleasant, although, if we make the effort, starting with small snacks can get accustomed little by little.
Another common way to eat lemon is to use it to decorate and flavor the dishes. So it can be used with fish and salads, adding a small piece in the dish to be squeezed at the time of eating. In this case the whole lemon, including the bark, is used, where most of the aromatic elements are found: citral, citronelal, geraniol, limoneno etc.
Lemons can also be used as a complement in many cocktails to which they contribute their aroma and digestive properties
Lemons, above all, are used as the first component in the manufacture of lemonade, highly recommended drink, provided it is natural and preferably homemade. A good lemonade is one of the best resources in summer to quench thirst and take advantage of all the medicinal, moisturizing and nutritional properties of this fruit.
ELABORATION OF HOMEMADE LEMONADE
Lemon Hazards. Lemon toxicity
All citrus species contain irritating phototoxic essential oils, producing reactions that are exposed to heavy doses of ultraviolet (those that are going to perform activities in high mountains). Among these reactions, we find pustules on the lips or dermatitis in those external parts of the body that have come into contact with the juice, produced by the phototoxic components.
It is therefore convenient not to drink lemon juice if we are going to be exposed to very strong radiations (beach, sun, high mountain,...) or in people allergic to its components.
Essential oil is also contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation.
Lemon juice is dangerous for the teeth because it attacks the dental plaque and may yellow it. A good solution to avoid it is to drink it by helping us with a straw.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.