Lemon food properties


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

lemonIllustration of lemon

Nor should we forget the importance of antioxidants for eye health by preventing degenerative diseases as important as loss of vision or cataracts.

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.

In addition, antioxidants increase the life of good cholesterol by preventing its oxidation, making lemon an effective remedy against poor circulation, bad cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.

(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.

* Related information: Lemon for gout and uric acid / Lemon for the liver

Depurative and slimming lemon diet

Lemon diet

Squeezing a lemon to prepare a lemon cure 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. (* More information on lemon cure)

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.

healing properties of lemon.Main healing properties of lemon.

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.

  • Lemon skin contains most aromatic compounds.

Lemons can also be used as a complement in many cocktails to which they contribute their aroma and digestive properties

Properties of lemonade

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.

How to make lemonade at home– Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons

  • 1 cup of whole sugar (Can be substituted for honey)

  • 1 liter and a half of water

– preparation:

  • Cut the lemons in half.

  • Squeeze and pour the juice into a jar.

  • Strain the juice and add sugar and water.

  • Stir well and cool.

Nutrients in lemon

Nutritional composition of lemon per 100G.
NutrientsWith peelPeeled
Water87.35 gr.88.90 gr.
Calories20 kcal29 kcal
Fats0.31 gr.0.3 gr.
Carbohydrates10.7 gr.9.32 gr.
Fiber4.7 gr.2.8 gr.
Potassium144 mg.137 mg.
Calcium62 mg26 mg
Phosphorus15 mg16 mg
Magnessium12 mg.8 mg.
Vitamin C77 mg.53 mg.
Pantothenic acid0.234 mg.0.192 mg.
Vitamin B-60.109 mg.0. 80 mg.
Folic acid11mcg.11 mcg.

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.

*More information:

Lemon juice properties

Is lemon alkaline or acidic?

Lemon for weight loss

Lemon on an empty stomach

Infusion of lemon and honey

Lemon essential oil

punto rojoMore information on lemon

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

28 January, 2022

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