Lemon is a citrus fruit used in the preparation of sauces and dressings in gastronomy due to its characteristic aroma and acid taste. Thanks to its high content of vitamin C and plant compounds with numerous therapeutic properties, consuming lemons can often protect you against various diseases. Learn the 5 best properties of lemon based on scientific studies.
Lemon is a citrus fruit with a strong acidic flavor that makes it impossible to consume as a normal fruit. Generally, lemon is used in gastronomy to make sauces, as a dressing and ingredient in desserts and drinks such as lemonade. By calories, lemon is composed of 78% carbohydrates, 13% protein and 9% fat. However, by weight, a lemon is made up of 89% water, which makes the amount of carbohydrates minimal.
As for nutrients, a medium sized lemon contains:
- Vitamin C: 74% CDR (recommended daily amount).
- Small amounts of vitamins: vitamins E, B1, B2, B6.
- Small amounts of minerals: iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium , copper.
- Fiber:4 g
- Protein:9 g.
Likewise, lemons have several plant compounds, mostly antioxidants, which give it an innumerable list of healthy benefits: citric acid, hesperidin, diosmin, eriocytrin and d-limonene.
5 Properties of the Lemon:
1. Reduces the Risk of Cancer:
The consumption of lemons can significantly reduce the risk of cancer thanks to the action of certain substances whose anticancer properties have been demonstrated:
- Vitamin C
As I have been saying in previous articles, vitamin C is a nutrient that acts as an antioxidant and has very positive effects on the development of some types of cancer. Vitamin C is able to prevent and reduce the damage caused by free radicals in molecules such as DNA, proteins, cells, etc., which is a risk factor for cancer.
“Likewise, this vitamin also helps prevent and reduce levels of chronic inflammation, another cause not only of cancer, but of diseases such as diabetes”.
But that is not all… It has also been found that vitamin C contributes to a lower risk of cancer by preventing the formation of carcinogenic substances, while promoting and restoring communication between cells, which is interrupted when there are signs of tumor. In fact, the intake of foods rich in vitamin C is related to a lower risk of several types of cancer: pharynx, stomach, uterus, lung… On the other hand, hesperidin also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect against cancer.
2. Prevents Kidney Stones:
Lemon is a citrus fruit and, as such, has a high amount of citric acid, which can help prevent the appearance of kidney stones, also called kidney stones or lithiasis. Citric acid prevents the formation of oxalate stones and calcium phosphate by binding to the calcium present in the urine and reducing its concentration, thus decreasing the saturation of the urine. Eating foods rich in citric acid, such as lemon, protects against kidney stones, facilitating the breakdown of calcium that becomes crystals, which later give rise to stones
3. Protect your Heart:
Low levels of vitamin C are inversely related to a consistent heart attack frequency. In other words: the less vitamin C your body has, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. In one study, it was found that people who had the lowest levels of vitamin C had 2.4 times more risk of heart attack than those with high levels of vitamin C, mainly in hypertensive and obese people. Other research has also confirmed that high intake of foods with vitamin C decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and chronic diseases. Also, the plant compounds present in lemon, such as hesperidin or diosmin, contribute to a lower risk of heart disease by reducing oxidative stress and even lowering cholesterol. Among the cardioprotective effects of hesperidin are the improvement of the function of the endothelium, the reduction of markers of inflammation and the favorable modification of the lipid profile.
4. Improves the Symptoms of Diabetes:
Some of the flavonoids found in lemon can help improve some aspects of diabetes. On the one hand, hesperidin has antihyperglycemic effects, since it has been shown that it can reduce blood glucose in patients of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with results similar to those that offer medications such as fenformin or metformin. On the other hand, diosmin also contributes to lowering and maintaining blood glucose levels by influencing various enzymes involved in the glycemic process.
5. Prevents Anemia:
Iron deficiency is a very common problem, mainly among women, which is called anemia. This disorder of iron levels in the body becomes a very annoying health problem that manifests itself with symptoms such as tiredness, weakness, lack of strength… The best way to cover this deficit is to increase iron consumption, but there are also other methods that greatly favor the level of iron in the body. In the case of lemon, it helps prevent anemia through its content of vitamin C and citric acid, which facilitate and increase the absorption of iron in the body. If you have anemia, consuming citrus fruits such as lemon or orange, along with iron-rich foods, will help you overcome this disease.
Do lemons have any negative effects on health?
Generally, the consumption of lemons is safe and tends to be well tolerated by most people who consume it. However, for those with heartburn or heartburn problems, the intake of lemons, like oranges, can make symptoms worse due to their high acid content. Likewise, citrus fruits can also cause allergic reactions in a minority of people and cause skin irritation on contact.
Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C and, as such, offers you multiple benefits for your health. Increase the consumption of lemons if you want to prevent anemia, heart disease or even cancer.