Lemon juice is one of my favorite juices to have first thing in the morning. I use it for allergies and when I am feeling congested. After reading an article on the health benefits of lemon juice on colds, I decided to try it. I got up each morning before I put any food in my stomach I would drink a glass of hot lemonade with no sugar. After a couple of weeks, I noticed the improvement the congestion in my chest started clearing up naturally. Now I use hot lemon teas every time I feel a cold coming on or when my allergies start acting up. So, what is so amazing about lemons?
Lemon fruit (Citrus limon) is one of the most widely consumed fruits, either directly or used in soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, and cooking. Lemons are rich in citric acid, vitamin C, and polyphenols.
The true origin of lemons is not entirely known. They are thought to have originated in north-western India. It is known that lemons were introduced to southern Italy around 200 AD and have been cultivated in Egypt and Iran since 700 AD. Arabs spread lemons throughout the Mediterranean area during the early 2nd century.
Lemon contains some very real health benefits such as:
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, which has a wide array of benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and has been known to help your skin, immune system, reduce the risk of complications from a cold or flu, and reduce inflammation in the body.
Drinking lemon water in the morning of a glass of orange juice will give you the same vitamin boost with far less sugar or calories.
Improves your cholesterol
According to the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, compounds in citrus fruits called citrus limonoids have protective properties against cancer. One type of limonoid, called limonin, may also help reduce cholesterol.
According to research by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, limonin may remain in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours for some people. This means you won’t have to continuously consume lemons in order to reap the health benefits.
Lemons are a natural energy booster and adding lemon juice to water packs a quick electrolyte punch. An Ohio State University study also showed lemon may enhance the mood with aromatherapy.
Lemon water is a great drink for the digestive system. The high acidity in lemons stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid, which improves digestion. Lemons slow the absorption of food and help your body to break down the nutrients it needs.
How to choose lemons
Lemons can be found year-round in supermarkets; however, they are most plentiful and flavorful in the winter months. Lemons grow best in warm environments, such as California and Florida.
Choose lemons that are bright yellow with firm, smooth skin and heavy for their size. Avoid a lemon that is soft, spongy, wrinkled, or has bumpy, rough, or hard skin. Coarse, thick-skinned, and light lemons will have less juice.
Store unwashed lemons at room temperature for
up to 2 weeks, or in a resealable plastic bag in the
refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Leftover lemon
juice can be frozen and used later.
Rinse lemons thoroughly before preparing. If juicing a lemon, leave it at room temperature. To
get the most juice out of the lemon, roll between the palm of your hand and the countertop. It
takes about 6 medium lemons to get 1 cup of lemon juice. One medium lemon will give 3
tablespoons of juice and 2 to 3 teaspoons of grated peel.
Lemons are an acidy fruit that is not generally eaten as a whole fruit, but more as a zest, a garnish or to add flavor to a favorite recipe. Lemons can be used with fish and salads.
- During the reign of King Louis XIV of France, Ladies used lemons to redden their lips.
- All British ships were equipped with lemons and limes to prevent the sailors from developing scurvy.
- California, Arizona, and Florida are the leading producers of lemons in the US.
- There are three main types of lemons- acidic, rough, and sweet.
- Lemon trees can grow for 150 years