Properties and Benefits of Lemons: The lemon (Citrus limon) is by far one of nature’s greatest gifts. Lemons are a cross between citrons and sour oranges and they are in season from May until the end of August. They are not only the key-ingredient in one of the most refreshing summer beverages, the delicious lemonade, but they also have amazing health benefits.
For instance, scientific research asserts that lemons (as well as limes) are capable of slowing down the diffusion of the cholera virus. What is interesting is that researchers have not yet been able to identify the phytochemical responsible for this amazing feat, however, they are relentless in their pursuit to solve this grand mistery.
People around the world have always been aware of the curative properties of lemons and made sure to include them in their diet in the hope of warding off many illnesses. In addition to unique phytochemicals, lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, an amazingly potent natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Why do I stress the importance of vitamin C? Because vitamin C helps boost immunity, reduces inflammation and protects us from the devastating effects of free radicals. Remember this: a dose of vitamin C is efficient against colds, it can alleviate flu symptoms and even help cure recurrent ear infections.
Taken daily, it can be an ideal prevention method for many health issues. Moreover, laboratory studies have shown that citrus fruit also contain important phytochemicals called limonoids which are said to be extremely efficient in preventing cancers of the mouth, stomach, colon and skin. A specific form of limonoids is the limonin, a phytochemical easily digested by our stomach.
Limonoids in general are potent anticarcinogens, highly efficient in preventing cancer cell proliferation. They are found mostly in the rind of the lemon. But no matter what part of this fruit you like, it is highly recommended to consume only natural or organic lemons because pesticides and other modern poisons may actually do you great harm.
Lemons are also very efficient in preventing rheumatoid arthritis because they provide an excellent intake of vitamin C, which is a potent natural anti-inflammatory. Arthritis is a painful condition, but prevention is possible, so try not to avoid this miracle fruit. In addition to this, the vitamin C in lemons can double the absorption of iron and prevent scurvy.
In the past, scurvy was the one illness that plagued sailors. They would spend prolonged periods of time at sea, where they had relatively no access to fresh fruit. However, when lemons were included into the sailors’ diet, their health improved significantly.
Lemons have come to be appreciated not only for the health benefits they bring, but also for their beauty and utility. For instace, lemons are astringent, which is why they are used as main ingredients in numerous cleaning products. We add lemons to fatty or greasy foods to make them edible of to simpler dishes to give them flavor.
They are very efficient in covering unpleasant odours as well: for example, if you eat garlic or fish, eat a few slices of lemon too. This will make your mouth smell fresh and lemony. If you enjoy eating lemons, I encourage you to plant a lemon tree.
You don’t even need garden space for it; you can grow it in a (bigger) flower pot. This way, not only will you have an abundance of fresh fruit at your disposal, but the fresh smell of lemon fruit and lemon leaves will give you an incredible feeling of peace and calm.