COVID-19 has certainly made us all feel paranoid and uncertain about our future. Still, by taking certain precautions like staying indoors, wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, we could increase our fighting chances against this deadly virus. Do you know what would help us even more?
Health Benefits of Lemon
Eating healthy by incorporating lots of fresh fruits and veggies. One such fruit we are going to discuss in detail today is lemon (Haha.. Yes, it is a citrus fruit like our beloved orange), a natural energizer. We usually add them as a garnish, but they could also be added to drinks, salads, meats, curries, desserts, to everything in between for that punch of fresh, zesty flavor. Even though lemon looks so tiny, it has a plethora of health benefits when consumed regularly.
What Does Lemon Contain?
Lemon is densely packed with amazing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Let’s break down some of its compounds to see how its regular consumption will help the body.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is vital to improve the health of our immune system and skin. It reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease by lowering blood cholesterol. It also helps with fighting against viral infections, cough, sore throats and also relieves stress.
- Citric Acid could help prevent kidney stones by acting as a diuretic.
- Potassium is a mineral that helps lower blood pressure. Not only that, it helps with the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and heart.
- Vitamin B6 helps oxygenate the body. It helps in converting food into energy, which is quintessential for regular bodily function.
- Pectin, a fiber present in the lemon pulp, helps with improving gut health and reduces blood sugar levels.
Other health benefits of consuming lemon daily are weight loss, clearing out toxins, improved digestion, lowers the risk of cancer, anti-inflammatory, prevents anemia, free radical damage, sun exposure, and anti-aging.
Different Ways To Consume Lemon
1. One of the easiest ways to consume lemon daily is by squeezing it in your water. It adds a refreshing flavor to your otherwise boring water. Doing this has a myriad of health benefits like aiding in weight loss, improving skin quality, and helping other vitamins and minerals get easily absorbed by the body. It helps with the flourishing of your gut flora. This would also greatly help from preventing kidney stones and protect heart health.
2. You could also add a few drops of lemon juice to your green tea or any other dairy-free tea. This combination doesn’t work with black coffee, so I would have to advise against trying that. I’m speaking from experience here, haha.
3. On a hot summer day, you could consume lemons in the form of cold and delicious lemonades, aka nimbu paani, use raw honey instead of refined sugar, and add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to help replenish your body’s salts whilst playing outside under the hot sun. A great way to stay hydrated while reaping amazing health benefits.
4. Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with raw honey, have it directly or dilute it in warm water, and consume it to help relieve sore throat, cough, and flu-like symptoms.
5. My most favorite way to use lemons is to use them as salad dressings in the form of lemon vinaigrette. I take equal parts of fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and whisk it vigorously to emulsify them while adding a touch of freshly ground black pepper and pink salt. I sometimes add a dash of dijon mustard and agave / honey / maple syrup for that extra kick.
6. Lemon juice works amazingly well in tenderizing meats and fish for barbecuing, grilling, roasting, searing. I love marinating chicken and fish in lemon juice. If I’m going to roast or broil them in the oven, I go a little extra and grate a tiny bit of its zest and add that in too. Combining meat and lemon juice is a great way to maximize iron absorption in the body, thus helping those with anemia.
7. If you’re a health nut like me, try squeezing in a few drops of lemon juice at the end of your sauteed vegetables. This enhances the flavor of your vegetables and helps with the assimilation of other vitamins and minerals present in the vegetables.
8. Indians love using lemons as more than just a garnish by making lemon rice with it, adding it in curries, pulaos, biryanis, pasta. You could also try making lemon and cilantro soup or the Greek lemon & chicken soup.
9. From pies, cakes, tarts to an array of other baked goods is another area where the lemon shines. Its juice or the zest both works beautifully and adds a citrusy kick.
10. Last but not least, you can add the lemon juice or its zest or even add a nice lemon wedge in your cocktail for that refreshing tanginess. Not to mention lemon drop is one of my favorite drinks.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Too much of even good things could have adverse effects on the body. The same is applicable for lemons. Even though lemon has innumerable health benefits, consuming it in excess could cause the tooth enamel to erode, causing teeth sensitivity because of its acidity. It could cause mouth ulcers, heartburns. If you’re prone to kidney stones, then consuming its peel could cause severe side effects.
The Bottom Line: In conclusion, lemon is one mighty fruit even though it doesn’t look like one. It provides countless health benefits, and stocking them up in the kitchen could only aid you in living a healthy and blissful life. Look for lemons that have a bright yellow color with little to no green rind. Don’t forget to keep in mind that moderation is key to any healthy food. Lemons could easily go from amping up plain water to transforming itself into a nice dessert or curry. So the next time life gives you lemons, you know 10+ ways to use that lemon. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by sipping on your lemon water. I hope you enjoyed reading the post. Until next time, stay healthy!