The lemon is the fruit of a lemon tree growing in a warm climate. This fruit contains large amounts of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are extremely important for human health, but we need to go in depth to see all the benefits of lemons.
Calorie and nutritional value
Lemon is used in the food and cosmetic industry due to its high content of vitamins, micro- and macronutrients, valuable essential oils and fruit acids. Citrus fruits have an extremely low calorie content, in one average lemon (weighing 100 g) only 15.8 kcal.
100 g of lemons contain nutrients (in g):
- proteins: 0.9;
- fat: 0.1;
- carbohydrate: 3.0;
- mono – and disaccharides: 3,0;
- organic acids: 5.7;
- dietary fiber: 2.0;
- ash: 0.5;
- water: 87.8.
Vitamins, micro and macronutrients 100 g of lemon contains:
- A – 0.010;
- C – 40.0;
- E – 0.5;
- B1 – 0.04;
- B2 – 0.02;
- B3 – 0.2;
- B6 – 0.06;
- B9 – 9.0;
- PP – 0.1.
Micro and macro elements (µg):
- boron – 175.0;
- iron – 0.6;
- calcium – 40.0;
- potassium – 163.0;
- magnesium – 12.0;
- manganese – 40.0;
- copper – 240.0;
- molybdenum – 1.0;
- sodium 11.0;
- sulfur – 10.0;
- fluorine – 10.0;
- phosphorus – 22.0;
- chlorine – 5.0; zinc – 125.0.
The benefits of lemons
With a large amount of vitamin C, the fruit of the lemon tree enhances immunity. That is why it should be included in the diet in the autumn-winter period, when the risk of bacterial and viral infections increases.
Lemon is also rich in polyphenols (resveratrol, hesperidin, rutin, quercetin), which counteract the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis or hypertension, prevent damage to blood vessels, bleeding gums.
Bioflavonoids are mainly antioxidants. They remove free radicals, the excess of which damages cells and tissues, accelerates the aging process and can cause the development of malignant diseases.
From the lemon peel are aromatic oils that have antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
For men, lemons are very important and useful, with their help, vitamin reserves in the body are replenished, and prostate adenoma is treated.
How to make a healing potion:
Juice is extracted from three large ripe lemons and poured into a liter glass jar. To it is added the yolk of three domestic chicken eggs, 200 g of melted honey and 200 ml of brandy (you can take red wine). Everything is thoroughly mixed.
The mixture is taken up to three times a day for 1 tbsp. l., half an hour before meals. The course of treatment is divided into two parts: during the first part, the mixture is taken within 30 days, then a two-week break is taken and again the medicine is taken within a month.
In lemon juice there are substances that prevent the appearance of tumors, including breast cancer in women. Also, lemon juice is used by women: to give hair a light shade and to remove pigment spots on the face or hands, lighten the overall skin tone and whiten yellowing nail plates.
The cosmetics industry produces lemon juice based cream for various skin types.
Many inexperienced parents wonder whether it is safe to give children citrus fruits. Anxiety of adults is quite justified, because babies usually react very badly to the strong acid taste of lemons, and there is also a risk of developing an allergic reaction to citrus fruits in a baby.
That is why until the twelfth month of life it is better not to feed the child directly with citrus fruits; it will be correct to simply add a few drops of juice to some drinking water.
Begin adding juice should be after the child reaches the age of seven months. Low concentration of the product will prevent potential allergic reactions in the child.
Lemon juice maintains the right balance of water with vitamins and minerals in the body. Lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C.
Drinking water with a small amount of juice can also help with digestive disorders: relieve constipation, loosen bloating or expel parasites.
It is worth noting that diarrhea is one of the most common complaints about newborn health. When your child has diarrhea, it depletes the body’s water resources and can lead to dehydration. Pediatricians are convinced that water with lemon juice is ideal for replenishing the water supply of the baby’s body.
Can I eat lemons?
Lemon is a very healthy fruit, but in some cases it is necessary to temporarily limit its consumption. Citrus fruits may not always be beneficial to nursing mothers or pregnant women.
Pregnant women should not consume citrus fruits without restriction. All fruits of this group are very allergenic. Some pediatricians, fearing that an allergy may begin in newborns, do not recommend future mothers to use citrus fruits already from the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Other pediatricians consider the ban unreasonable and recommend the usual moderation in the consumption of lemons.
Drinking lemon juice has a negative effect on tooth enamel, which is especially sensitive during pregnancy. It is more reasonable, after eating citrus, to rinse the mouth with clean water.
Lemon juice can cause heartburn or other stomach and intestinal problems.
Pediatricians recommend nursing mothers to refrain from consuming citrus fruits, including lemons. Substances from products that a nursing mother eats, partially or completely pass into breast milk. The presence of citrus in breast milk threatens the baby with diathesis (on the cheeks, in the folds on the arms and legs, on the buttocks).
When losing weight
Lemon is usually used in the fight against colds, but its properties can be used in the fight against obesity. In citrus there are terpenes – these are substances that cause abundant salivation. That, in turn, contributes to enhanced secretion of enzymes necessary for digestion. And the general result of such an organism activity is the elimination of toxins (detoxification).
To enhance weight loss, drink a cup of water with lemon juice. You need to drink immediately after waking up, before breakfast.
Citrus juice helps:
- accelerate the metabolism;
- cleans the intestines from toxins;
- prevents constipation;
- reduces appetite;
- reduces the absorption of sugar (which is good for losing weight).
Citrus has a lot of vitamin C, which affects the absorption of calcium by the body, is involved in reducing the fat layer.
Usually we throw away the lemon peel. This is a big mistake because it contains up to ten times more nutrients than pure lemon juice.
In the lemon peel there are:
- vitamins A and C;
- beta carotene;
According to one study, the use of lemon peel prevents the development of cancer. As a result of studies conducted among people who eat lemons with their skins, a noticeable decrease in squamous carcinoma was observed compared with patients who drank only lemon juice. Scientists believe that this result has a direct relationship with the concentration of D-limonene oil in the skin – a well-known inhibitor of cancer of the breast, lung and colon.
How to choose when buying
Choose heavy fruit with a bright and beautiful color. If the fruit is ripe, the peel has a light lemon scent. The folds and nodules on the surface of the skins indicate that the fruit has a thick peel. Not very juicy and with thick skin are usually lemons with a navel.
Green lemons, limes: there is less vitamin C in them – only 29 mg / 100 g, their juice is added to improve the taste in various drinks and dishes.
How to store at home
It’s not always easy to keep lemons. Here are some tips for those who want to preserve lemons or other citrus fruits:
- To keep the lemon fresh up to a month, wash it in cold water, put it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly and place it in the refrigerator.
- If the lemon is cut in half or sliced, it must be used within 4-5 days. If it is clear that you do not have time to do this, freeze the fruit. But not all, but you need to squeeze the juice and freeze it already. Remember, we do not freeze the whole lemon.
- Lemon juice can be poured into plastic containers, divided into cubes and frozen in this form.
- In frozen form, lemon juice can be stored for up to four months.
- You can also freeze the lemon peel. Before freezing, the peel must be wrapped in plastic wrap.
How to use them while cooking
- Lemon is used mainly for meat pickles, because it perfectly softens meat of any hardness. You must be careful that the amount of lemon juice in the marinade is not excessive, as this can have the opposite effect, and the meat will be dry and very tough.
- Lemon juice is added to all kinds of fish and seafood dishes. Fish sprinkled with a few drops of lemon juice lose their characteristic fishy smell.
- Acids contained in lemon juice will help to preserve the bright color of vegetables and fruits if it is supposed to mix them with coloring products (beets, spinach) in the further preparation of the dish.
- Lemon perfectly harmonizes with the taste of poultry dishes (chicken, turkey, duck).
- Before baking poultry, you can rub the skin with salt and lemon. This will give her a golden appetizing color and the crust on the bird will be more crisp.
- Lemon juice is the main ingredient of lemonade. It is also used for many drinks and cocktails. Lemon tea loses its astringent taste and, moreover, does not stain teeth.
- Citrus is also used as an ingredient in sauces for various salads. The combination of olive oil, lemon juice, spices and herbs creates an excellent and low-calorie sauce for most salads.
- Lemon peel (zest) is used as a supplement to many desserts, ice cream, cakes and sweet creams.
- The popular Italian liqueur called “Limoncello” is also made from grated lemon zest.