Lemon

Do you know what happens to the body every time you drink tea with lemon? Perhaps everyone understands that lemons are good for health. But, believe me, you don’t know as much about these amazing fruits as you think.

General characteristics

Lemon is a hybrid plant of the genus citrus. It is believed that the progenitors of all citrus fruits known today are citron, pomelo and mandarin. All the rest are hybrids resulting from mixing between these species and their "descendants". Lemon, scientists believe, is the “child” of citron and mandarin. It is believed that his homeland is the Deccan Plateau in central India. But when the very first lemon appeared on the planet, scientists cannot yet answer.

The first images of citrus fruits appeared on Roman mosaics, and the first surviving written descriptions of lemons date back to the beginning of the 10th century (found in Arabic treatises). In the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean countries, lemons were no longer something exotic. The fossilized remains of these fruits have been found in the ruins of Pompeii. And at one time in Britain, the Royal Navy was saved from scurvy with this citrus.

Tropical and subtropical lands of Southeast Asia are considered to be native to plants of the rue family, to which the lemon actually belongs. Lemon trees can grow up to 10 m, but in general most plants are much smaller. Their open crown is easily recognizable by their thorny branches and white-purple fragrant flowers. Their leaves are shiny, rich green, elliptical in shape. The fruits are sour, juicy, oval in shape with fragrant skin, usually yellow in color. The pulp is divided into segments.

Today these fruits are grown commercially in Italy, Spain, Greece, Argentina, USA.

Nutritional information

One medium lemon without peel (about 58 g) contains about 17 calories, about half a gram of protein, 0.2 g of fat and 5.4 g of carbohydrates. In addition, the fruit will provide the body with a small portion of thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Nutritional value per 100 g
Calories 29 kcal
Water 89 g
Proteins 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 5.4 g
Fats 0.2 g
Vitamin A 1 mcg
Vitamin C 54 mg
Vitamin E 0.16 mg
Thiamine (B1) 0.05 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.03 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.2 mg
(8 2) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.2 mg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.09 mg
Folic acid (B9) 11 mcg
Choline 5.1 mg
Calcium 25 mg
Iron 0.7 mg
Magnesium 7 mg
Phosphorus 15 mg
Potassium 139 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Zinc 0.07 mg
Copper 0.05 mg
Manganese 0.04 mg
Selenium 0.3 mcg

Health Benefits

Lemons contain a wide variety of chemicals that scientists believe have health benefits.

By the way, the characteristic smell of lemons is the “work” of the terpene D-limonene (a class of carbons). And for the sour taste is responsible citric acid contained in the fruit in large quantities.

These yellow citrus fruits are also known for the highest concentration of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the lack of which causes serious diseases. Interestingly, 100 ml of lemon juice contains almost 50 mg of vitamin C, which is more than half of the recommended daily allowance. Due to the high content of ascorbic acid, lemon has gained fame as a tonic that is useful for the digestive and immune systems, as well as for skin health. But not everything is so rosy. Ascorbic acid in lemon juice breaks down very quickly: after 8 hours at room temperature, lemon juice loses about 20 percent of vitamin C, in the refrigerator the same amount of vitamin evaporates after 24 hours of storage.

But the flavonoids found in lemons are believed to have anti-cancer properties. They inhibit the growth of malignant cells, remove carcinogens from the body. In Ayurvedic practice, a glass of warm water with lemon juice is a means to tone the liver and remove toxins from it.

In addition, lemons are useful for preventing diabetes, constipation, hypertension, indigestion, as well as maintaining healthy hair, teeth, skin, nails. And urologists believe that lemon juice eliminates the risk of kidney stones, because it promotes the production of urinary citrate, and it prevents the formation of crystals.

The benefits of lemons are due to their rich chemical composition. This fruit provides the body with elements such as:

  • vitamin C;
  • B vitamins ;
  • vitamin A;
  • vitamin E;
  • copper;
  • iron;
  • calcium;
  • magnesium;
  • zinc;
  • potassium;
  • phosphorus;
  • flavonoids.

Lemon juice is good for:

  • throat infections;
  • kidney stones;
  • increased risk of stroke;
  • low body temperature;
  • diseases of the stomach;
  • constipation;
  • dental problems;
  • fever;
  • rheumatism;
  • arthritis and polyarthritis;
  • burns;
  • obesity;
  • respiratory problems;
  • cholera;
  • immunocompromised.

Health Benefits

Consumption of fruits and vegetables has always been associated with a reduced risk of various diseases. Here are just some of the health benefits of consuming lemons.

Reducing the risk of heart disease

According to American researchers, regular consumption of lemons helps reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, and in women the percentage of prevention of the disease is much higher than in men (about 19%). In addition, consumption of fiber ​​from citrus fruits has been found to be effective in lowering blood levels of cholesterol. A similar function in the human body is played by essential oils contained in lemon.

Fight Cancer

As a very rich source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice help fight free radicals that cause cancer.

Boosting immunity

Foods high in ascorbic acid and other antioxidants help the immune system fight germs that cause colds or flu. For this reason, it is important to include lemons and other citrus fruits in your menu during the cold season, for example, oranges, tangerines, pomelo.

Protection against anemia

Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia.

Foods rich in vitamin C, such as lemons, can help increase your body's absorption of this mineral. Studies have shown that the combination of ascorbic acid and ferrum contributes to a better absorption of these beneficial substances. For this reason, spinach leaf salad dressed with lemon juice is an extremely effective remedy for anemia.

Prevention of asthma

Scientists have made an interesting discovery. It turns out that people who lack ascorbic acid are more likely to develop asthma. If you want to protect yourself from this disease - drink tea with lemon.

Maintaining a healthy complexion

Lemon, as a source of vitamin C, is essential for maintaining healthy and youthful skin. The thing is that this sour fruit is important for the production of collagen, which, in fact, is responsible for maintaining skin health. In addition, antioxidants protect the epidermis from solar radiation and the environment.

The benefits of lemon water

The benefits of this drink are talked about all over the world. It is customary to drink it warm on an empty stomach. It is said that daily consumption of lemon water not only strengthens the immune system, but also prevents the development of incurable diseases. You can prepare this drink in just a couple of minutes in the morning. It is enough to squeeze half or a whole lemon into a glass of warm water.

By itself, warm water, drunk on an empty stomach, is an excellent start to a new day, as it contributes to the correct “start-up” of all organs, especially the digestive system. Lemon juice flushes out toxins and toxins from the body, activates the liver and intestines, and has a slight diuretic effect.

Like whole fruits, lemon water boosts the immune system, improves skin health, and provides extra energy to the body. But perhaps the most paradoxical property of this sour citrus drink is that it reduces the overall acidity of the body. This acidic product, when ingested, becomes alkaline and thus neutralizes excess acid in the body (for example, uric acid in the joints, which causes inflammation and pain).

Another benefit of drinking lemon water daily is improved mood.

Scientists have proven that the aroma of citrus fruits affects brain cells, improving overall well-being and mood, relieving depression and anxiety.

Also, lemon water contains almost no calories, but is still a good source of energy.

Possible hazards from consumption

Consumption of highly acidic foods is undesirable for people suffering from hyperacid gastritis or reflux disease. Also, lemons with excessive enthusiasm can provoke signs of allergies.

Culinary Uses

Lemon juice is primarily used for culinary purposes. Although the zest has also found its use, mainly for baking. This fruit serves as the basis for lemonades and other drinks, including alcoholic ones. In Italy, limoncello is made from yellow citrus fruits. And marmalade is made from boiled lemons.

Cooks also like to add this fruit to salads, as a dressing for side dishes and boiled meat. Fresh lemon juice is squeezed into fish dishes, meat marinade (in this case, hard fibers are softened).

Some people like to eat fresh lemons with sugar. But after such a sweet and sour meal, it is important to thoroughly rinse the mouth, as the acid destroys the teeth and can cause some dental diseases.

Another way to use lemon juice is as a short-term preservative. If you sprinkle chopped apples with sour juice, they will not darken longer.

A little trick: to increase the amount of juice, it is enough to put the fruit in the microwave for a few seconds before drinking or leave it in the sun for a while. But storing fruits at room temperature makes them more vulnerable to mold.

The dried, crushed leaves of this plant have a lemon flavor but no acid.

Interestingly, lemon grass, lemon balm, verbena, lemon thyme, allspice geranium, and some varieties of mint also have a lemon smell and flavor. So if necessary, they can replace lemons.

Lemons in cosmetology

This sunny fruit in any form is good for skin, hair, nails. Here are some secrets on how to improve your appearance with the help of lemons.

Wrinkle Remedy

Lemon juice has the ability to rejuvenate, brighten and tighten the skin. It is enough to apply its juice on the face in the morning and before going to bed for 10-30 minutes, and then rinse.

Hair Lightener

Lemon juice applied to hair will help lighten hair by a tone or two. Of course, the effect will not be noticeable immediately, and, of course, you won’t become a platinum blonde in this way, but still the result will be noticeable. In addition, lemon fresh will enrich your hair with many vitamins and other useful substances, make curls shiny, strong and healthy.

Beautiful lips

If you put a small amount of lemon juice on your lips before going to bed, you can more easily remove dead skin cells.

Natural deodorant

If lemon juice is applied to the armpits, you can not be afraid of the unpleasant smell of sweat. Citrus juice kills bacteria, which, in fact, are the cause of the smell of sweat.

Acne cure

Sour lemon juice with low pH has antibacterial properties, which can cure acne, Staphylococcus epidermidis, acne. In addition, lemon cleanses the skin of oil and dirt, removes dead cells, prevents clogged pores, relieves cystic acne, and prevents acne.

Strengthens nails

A mixture of olive oil and lemon juice, applied to the nails, strengthens them, relieves brittleness, dryness and yellow color. Lemon juice also helps fight fungal infections.

Other areas of lemon use

And although cooking is the most famous area for using lemons (juices, seasonings are made from it, added to salads, meat, fish), but she's far from the only one. This citrus is considered useful in perfumery, cosmetology, for polishing furniture, and is also grown as an ornamental tree. By the way, the juice of this fruit contains about 5% acid, which makes lemon an accessible raw material for this substance. Lemon juice is also an effective remedy for getting rid of ink stains. And in Japan, lemon essential oils are used in aromatherapy as a stress reliever.

This sunny exotic fruit is delicious. And although outwardly it is not the brightest representative of the genus, but the list of useful properties makes it the king among citrus fruits.