The tartness of fresh lemons lends flavor to a glass of iced tea or a tray of lemon bars, but the fruit has numerous health benefits that make it a nutritious addition to your diet. One medium-sized, whole lemon contains just 24 calories and no fat. In addition to healthy doses of iron and potassium, lemons also supply significant amounts of fiber and vitamin C.
Though you need between 20 and 38 grams of fiber per day, the average person's diet falls short of that goal. Getting enough fiber is a healthy way to boost your digestive health so that you're less likely to become constipated or develop hemorrhoids. When you include enough fiber in your diet, you're also less likely to develop heart disease and diabetes. A medium-sized, whole, fresh lemon contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber.
With 45 milligrams of vitamin C, a whole, fresh lemon supplies more than half of the 75 milligrams of this nutrient that women need each day and half of the 90 milligrams men need. Vitamin C plays a major role in the health of your immune system and helps prevent infections as well. You also need vitamin C to support healthy skin, teeth, gums and blood vessels.
The compounds in lemons can help protect your health. A 2014 study published in BioMed Research International found that essential oils in citrus fruit, such as lemons, can help protect against certain types of cancer. Limonoids are organic substances in citrus fruits that help determine their bitterness or sweetness. The compounds work by protecting your cells from damage that can lead to the formation of cancer. A 2013 article published in the academic journal Food & Function notes that limonoids have anti-proliferative and anti-aromatase properties in human breast cancer cells.
Squeeze a wedge of lemon into a glass of iced tea or water to add a small amount of vitamin C and a burst of flavor. Replace traditional salad dressing on a tossed salad with fresh lemon juice as a nutritious way to reduce your intake of saturated fat, calories and sodium. Add chopped lemon segments to a fruit salad or use the juice of a whole lemon in a marinade recipe.
The origins of the lemon are unclear, but it is commonly thought that they originated in India, China and Burma and then entered Europe via Italy in the 1st Century AD.
But the one thing that we can all agree on, is the natural health benefits of this little yellow superstar.
Raw lemon juice is well known for its antioxidants and anti-cancer properties and has been used for centuries in order to cure many ailments and cleanse the body.
Being rich in Vitamin C, it is also essential for maintaining a fully functional immune system, aiding digestion, fighting cancer, helping wounds to heal faster and can even help to prevent heart failure.
In the 18th Century, The Royal Navy used lemons to fight scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency) and the roman Emperor Nero was reputed to have consumed copious amounts in order to prevent being poisoned by one of his many enemies.
But lemons are not only used for their medicinal qualities and health benefits. Lemon juice is also used in the home in order to disinfect surfaces, remove stains, clean cookers and remove old wax. It can also be used as an insecticide to deter mosquitoes, flies and other insects.
It’s hard to imagine any natural product that contains so many beneficial usages than the humble little lemon. You could say that it’s the Swiss Army Knife of the fruit world!
Let’s take a look at a few more of the incredible benefits of fresh lemon juice.
pH Alkaline State – It is vital to maintain a slightly positive alkaline state in order to fight off cancer and other illnesses. Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and help push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4. See this page for a large list of alkaline forming foods. Please also see the following page for another very good list of alkaline foods. http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm
Blood Purifier – Lemons are a blood purifier and help the body to remove toxins.
Blood Sugar Balance – The acidity of raw lemon juice lowers the impact of any meal on your blood sugar.
Detoxification – Raw lemon juice cleanses the kidneys and the digestive system. It helps the body in the removal of toxins and provides you with a great overall detox.
Weight Loss – The pectin in lemon peel is a great source of fiber that is thought to help overweight people lose weight. Lemons can also be used to bring salads and other dishes to life without adding unnecessary calories.
Osteoporosis – Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C and helps the body to absorb calcium and fight osteoporosis. Two tablespoons of raw lemon juice diluted in a glass of warm water is good for pregnant women, as it helps build the bones in the unborn child.
Insomnia – in case of insomnia, raw lemon juice helps improve sleep.
Brain and Nerve Food – The potassium found in raw lemon juice helps the brain and nerve cells, improves concentration, memory and calms the mind.
Immune System – Raw lemon juice strengthens the immune system which in turn helps fight many illnesses including cancers.
Infection – When sickness has developed raw lemon juice is an excellent fighter of infection, as it is rich in citric acid.
Cough and Cold – Lemon added to a little hot water with some honey is one of the most effective remedies known for a cough and cold.
Asthma – Having half-teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice, washing it down with luke-warm water before each meal provides quick relief to Asthma. Repeating it as the last dose of the day and starting the day with it also gives very positive results.
Corns – Apply lemon juice a few times a day and see the miraculous results. Bind the corn and leave it overnight and get rid of the trouble soon.
Nausea, Vomiting and Travel Sickness – Take a glass of lemon juice diluted with some water to help with travel sickness and nausea.
Rheumatism, Arthritis and Bone-Related Diseases – As lemons are a rich source of antioxidants, they are an excellent anti-inflammatory. A few glasses of diluted lemon juice is the surest remedy for rheumatic fever, painful joints, lumbago and sciatica.
Acne, Spots and Pimples – Applying raw lemon juice to the face is a popular remedy for acne and pimples.
Hair – The external use of raw lemon juice makes hair shinier and stronger.
Low Vitality – People suffering from low vitality should have lemon and honey mixed water for an immediate cure.
Radiation – As lemon juice is excellent at cleansing the blood and removing toxins, it is a great way of removing radiation from the body. If you have had Chemotherapy, regular lemon juice drinks can help rid the body of any remaining radiation.
Day 1 the juice of 1 lemon
Day 2 the juice of 1.5 lemons
Day 3 the juice of 2 lemons
Day 4 the juice of 2.5 lemons
Keep increasing by ½ every day until you reach 5 lemons (this will really help push the body to a pH Alkaline state, which is very important in overcoming an illness)
Then start to go down by the juice of ½ lemon until you reach zero.
5 lemons would be a reasonable goal for smaller people, children, etc. You can go as high as 10 or even 30 lemons for adults.
You can add Stevia and of course water; adjust to your own taste. No maple syrup or any other sweetener if you have cancer. Cancer patients should not take more than 2 teaspoons of honey per day, so easy on that as well.
You do not have to drink the lemon juice all at once. You can make it and keep some in the refrigerator and drink it throughout the day. It is excellent to combat nausea. Add a little warm orÂ room temperature water to the juice as one should never drink cold drinks.
After consuming the lemon juice, take some pure water, rinse the mouth and swallow so that you do not have lemon juice on your teeth, which in high amounts could be hard onÂ the enamel over a period of time.
Once you reach the 5 or 10 to 15 or 30 lemons in one day start to go back down slowly decreasing one lemon daily, or one-half lemon daily.
You can also use the lemon rind when baking as it contains Limonene, which is also very beneficial. Make sure that you are using organic lemons as the peel of non-organic lemon will possibly contain harmful pesticides.
If you enjoyed this post, you will also enjoy another of our most popular posts Fight Disease and Fatigue with Lemon Juice and Baking Soda.
At the Budwig Cancer Center, we use lemons as a part of our very successful natural cancer fighting Budwig Diet. For further information on the health benefits of lemon juice and information on the Budwig Diet, please click on the button below to download a free copy of our guide.
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The acids in fresh lemons can be damaging to your teeth because they cause the enamel on the surface to wear away, leaving you more susceptible to cavities and decay. Sucking on fresh lemons or drinking undiluted lemon juice is the most damaging because the acids stick to your teeth. If you add lemon juice to water or tea, drink the beverage through a straw to keep as much of the acid off your teeth as possible. Limit your intake of whole lemon segments as well.
Lloyd Jenkins is a certified Naturopath and owner of the Budwig Cancer Clinic in Malaga, Southern Spain. He received authorization from Dr. Johanna Budwig in August 2000 to use her protocol for treating people with all types of cancer. He has written seven books and literally hundreds of articles on how to treat cancer and all common diseases using natural therapies. He has also been on radio talk shows and has spoken at Health Care seminars and events. Lloyd is a native-born Canadian and is fluent in English, Spanish and French.
The health benefits of honey and lemon are no secret. Raw honey has amazing soothing powers that make it a natural medicine for sore throats, coughs and colds. It has antibacterial properties that help the body fight infection, and it’s a great natural energy-booster! Lemons contain a whole list of nourishing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that fight infection. Lemon juice has been used to treat throat infections, indigestion, constipation, respiratory disorders and more! It naturally strengthens the immune system and even helps to purify the blood!
Putting these two powerfoods together can only result in more health benefits. You’ll want to try this honey lemon water to keep your immune system in tip-top shape and keep infections at bay.
Drinking the mix on an empty stomach stimulates the digestive system, hydrates the colon and protects against constipation. The honey lemon water acts as a natural diuretic to cleanse the urinary tract and keep infections from forming.
The lemon juice in this mix help the liver produce bile to break down food more effectively. They honey acts as an antibacterial to protect the body from illnesses and infections, while helping to flush out toxins.
Lemon juice works wonders for the skin, whether consumed in water or applied topically. Drinking lemon water helps to purify the blood and aid in the production of new blood cells that act as cleansing agents for the skin. This drink acts as an antibacterial and collagen-booster for the skin.
Lemon purifies the blood and helps to cleanse the stomach, which can help aid in weight loss. The honey lemon mixture can keep you feeling full longer and help you to avoid unhealthy cravings, thanks to pectin, a type of fiber in lemons.
It can destroy bad breath! The lemon juice cleanses the mouth, activates the salivary glands and kills off offensive bacteria. This drink first thing in the morning will help wash down bacteria that’s usually present in the mouth upon waking.
If you’re not exactly a morning person, this mix is sure to wake you up. Honey is an instant energy-booster! The water and lemon activate the digestive system and help the body get rid of old toxins that are often the reason for fatigue. The scent of lemon is also known to be a natural relaxant and may boost your mood. Starting the day with this natural remedy will allow you to skip the coffee and energy drinks and feel prepared for your day ahead.
May 22, 2012
I always squeeze a little fresh lemon in a glass of water, especially since doing the research for this article! I’ve included some of my favorite ways to use lemons at the bottom…let me know how you like yours!
Top 10 Reasons to include lemons in your day:
1. Boost your immune system: Their high antioxidant content in the form of Vitamin C can boost your immune system and regular consumption can help prevent, or speed up your recovery from a cold. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, those inflammatory substances in the body that can damage cells.
2. Antibacterial and antiviral properties: citric acid’s low pH breaks down the cell membrane of many harmful bacterial strains.
3. Fight fatigue: lemon oil can stimulate brain activity. Add some fresh lemon to your water and sip throughout the day.
4. Nobody likes bad breath! Lemon juice is a great oral cleanser and will leave you with a fresh taste and smell.
5. Palate cleanser: having a bit of water with lemon between courses or flavors will cleanse your palate more than just sipping plain water.
6. Balances pH: lemons will help alkalize your body. Though you may think of lemons/citrus as an acidic food, the citric acid in lemons doesn’t create acidity once it is metabolized by your body.(read more about alkaline acid balance here)
7. Naturally detoxifying: lemons dissolve uric acid and other toxins in the liver. Their high potassium content combats symptoms like constipation, headaches and appetite loss.
8. Improves circulation: Vitamin P (bioflavenoids that help Vitamin C perform its function) found in lemons is known to strengthen the blood vessels.
9: Keeps you regular: lemon juice stimulates the liver to produce bile, which is an essential fat emulsifier (break down) stored in the gallbladder, and released into the small intestine in response to stimulation by fatty food. This essential function keeps everything moving on schedule.
10. B Complex Vitamins: lemons are a good source of pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates – essential B vitamins that the body doesn’t produce on its own.
I eat lemons….
-I like to start every day with a cup of hot water with a quarter of a fresh squeezed lemon and some ginger. I got into the habit back in January when I did a cleanse. It made me feel so much more hydrated in the morning than drinking coffee first thing – which I now enjoy that a little later in the morning when I have more time to savor it. The lemon/ginger water really stimulated my digestion and made me feel awesome right away.
-I always buy organic lemons when they’re available to avoid the sprays and chemicals used on commercial farms. More costly buying organic? Maybe immediately, but I feel like I’m saving my body the extra work of processing out the bad stuff that down the road could add up to costly health problems.
-I add fresh squeezed lemons to my pesto, and I love using the zest to really bring out the lemon flavor. Be sure to wash the outside skin of your lemon before zesting.
-I squeeze fresh lemon over my mixed green salads with some olive oil and a little crushed pepper for a light, tasty dressing.
-Fresh lemon in my fruit and green shakes brings out the freshness of the fruit and veggies.