Lemons (Citrus limon) are among the world’s most popular citrus fruits. They grow on lemon trees & are a hybrid of the original citron & lime. A great source of vitamin C and fiber, lemons contain many plant compounds, minerals, & essential oils. These yellow fruits also have many potential health benefits. Eating...
HEALTHY & FUN FRUITY FACTS
Health benefits of lemons: Citrus fruits, including lemons, are associated with numerous health benefits. Their vitamins and fiber, as well as their powerful plant compounds, are likely responsible.
Heart health: Heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes, is the world’s most common cause of death. Intake of fruits high in vitamin C is linked to reduced heart disease risk. Low levels of vitamin C in the blood are also associated with an increased risk of stroke, especially among those who are overweight or have high blood pressure. Intake of isolated fibers from citrus fruits has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemons can protect LDL (bad) cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized.
Recent studies in rats show that the plant compounds hesperidin and diosmin may have beneficial effects on some key risk factors for heart disease.
Prevention of kidney stones: The citric acid in lemons may reduce your risk of kidney stones. Some studies have shown that lemon juice and lemonade can be effective at preventing kidney stones, but other studies have found no effect.
Anemia prevention: Anemia is often caused by iron deficiency and is most common in pre-menopausal women. Lemons contain small amounts of iron, but they are a great source of vitamin C and citric acid, which can increase the absorption of iron from other foods. Because lemons can enhance the absorption of iron from foods, they may help prevent anemia.
Cancer: Lemons may help reduce the risk of many types of cancers, including breast cancer. This is thought to be due to plant compounds like hesperidin and d-limonene
Lemons (Citrus limon) are among the world’s most popular citrus fruits. They grow on lemon trees and are a hybrid of the original citron and lime. A great source of vitamin C and fiber, lemons contain many plant compounds, minerals, and essential oils. These yellow fruits also have many potential health benefits. Eating lemons may lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and kidney stones.
Nutrition facts: Lemons contain very little fat and protein. They consist mainly of carbs (10%) and water (88–89%). A medium lemon provides only about 20 calories. The nutrients in 1/2 cup (100 grams) of raw, peeled lemon are:
Protein: 1.1 grams
Carbs: 9.3 grams
Sugar: 2.5 grams
Fiber: 2.8 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Carbs: The carbohydrates in lemons are primarily composed of fibers and simple sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Fiber: The main fiber in lemons is pectin. Soluble fibers like pectin can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Dietary fibers are an important part of a healthy diet and linked to numerous health benefits.
Vitamins and minerals: Lemons provide several vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C. An essential vitamin and antioxidant, vitamin C is important for immune function and skin health.
Potassium. A diet high in potassium can lower blood pressure levels and have positive effects on heart health.
Vitamin B6. A group of related vitamins, B6 is involved in converting food into energy.
Other plant compounds: Plant compounds are natural bioactive substances found in plants, some of which have powerful health benefits. The plant compounds in lemons and other citrus fruit may have beneficial effects on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation. These are the main plant compounds in lemons:
Citric acid. The most abundant organic acid in lemons, citric acid may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Hesperidin. This antioxidant may strengthen your blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) inside your arteries.
Diosmin. An antioxidant used in some drugs that affect the circulatory system, diosmin improves muscle tone and reduces chronic inflammation in your blood vessels.
Eriocitrin. This antioxidant is found in lemon peel and juice.
D-limonene. Found primarily in the peel, d-limonene is the main component of lemon essential oils and responsible for lemons’ distinct aroma. In isolation, it can relieve heartburn and stomach reflux.
Many of the plant compounds in lemons are not found in high amounts in lemon juice, so it is recommended to eat the whole fruit — excluding the peel — for maximum benefit.