Lemon: benefits of all kinds

Strengthening your immune system and losing weight at the same time has never been easier! With the constant consumption of lemon in the diet, the body loses weight in a healthy way and also benefits the digestion .

All this because citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and fiber. In addition, it is low in calories and carbohydrates. For example, the tahiti type is the most caloric yet has only 32 kcal in 100 grams. ( 1 )

Speaking of the variety of lemons, Brazilians tend to consume four types more frequently, they are: Galician, Tahiti, cloves and Sicilian . But, according to nutritionist, Lívia Nogueira, their benefits are very similar.

“Lemons are known for their high content of vitamin C. They are also sources of minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, among others”, explains the specialist.

Lemon Benefits

The nutrients and benefits of this fruit are found both in the pulp and in the skin. In fact, the latter can also be used in juice, cake and mousse recipes.

Protect the cells

According to Nogueira, vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants we know. This action provides protection for the cells, as it prevents unstable molecules from destroying the cell structure.

In this way, it can help prevent premature aging and various diseases such as cancer. But the vitamin doesn’t work alone to fight these effects.

“Limonene resides in the lemon peel, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. This compound is responsible for preventing cancer ”, completes the nutritionist.

Strengthens the immune system

Another beneficial effect of ascorbic acid is the increased production of white blood cells in the body. For those who don’t know, these cells are responsible for fighting the development of harmful micro-organisms.

In addition, this nutrient also improves antibody levels, so it is an excellent ally in strengthening the immune system, helping against colds and flu. ( 2 )

Allied in the control of hypertension

“A source of potassium, it is a great ally in controlling hypertension. Potassium helps in the elimination of sodium, helping to keep blood pressure levels under control ”, says Lívia Nogueira

The fruit also works as a natural diuretic , so it reduces fluid retention and eliminates toxic substances or substances that are in excess in the body.

Helps in the treatment of anemia

Despite not being a source of iron, the fruit can help anemic patients. That’s because vitamin C works to improve the body’s absorption of this mineral.

Therefore, it is important to reconcile the consumption of foods rich in iron, such as beans , meat and eggs, with natural products that are sources of vitamin C, such as lemon types. ( 2 )

clean the blood

“Lemon, being rich in citric acid and vitamin C, is a food that helps to reduce the level of acidity in the blood , making it alkaline. This helps to prevent inflammation processes in the body and the accumulation of uric acid”, explains the nutritionist.

This citric acid also stimulates the action of liver enzymes, so the food is indicated to help digestion and detoxification processes.

helps to lose weight

Lívia Nogueira justifies this benefit with the low calorie and carbohydrate composition, while there are good sources of dietary fiber in the fruit, especially in the skin.

For this reason, the food works “in reducing the absorption of sugars and fats, helping to increase satiety and reducing
appetite, being a great ally in weight loss processes and diabetes treatment”, complements the nutritionist.

take care of the skin

Remember the antioxidant action mentioned at the beginning? So, it also works for the benefit of the skin, as by combating cell oxidation, the body is able to prevent premature aging.

“In addition, vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that gives skin elasticity and improves vigor .”

Improves digestion

Also according to the nutrition professional, the consumption of water with lemon can stimulate the production of bile by the liver . This activity is extremely important in digestion and helps to combat symptoms such as heartburn and bloating .

“And because it is a source of vitamins and minerals, which help to expel toxins accumulated in the digestive tract, it provides a detox to the body”, mentions Lívia Nogueira.

Fight bacteria

There are several bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal infections , such as E. faecalis, S. aureus, S. Enteritidis and E. coli. But, according to a study carried out by professionals at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, all these microorganisms can be combatted by lemons. ( 3 )

Recipes with this fruit

Lemon can be used as a seasoning or as a main ingredient in the recipe. Check out the nutritionist’s instructions below to enjoy all the benefits already mentioned!

Juice with peel and ginger

“Excellent juice to help detox and digest the body”, he teaches.

Ingredients

  • 1 organic lemon
  • ½ liter of water
  • crushed ice
  • Ginger chips.

Preparation mode

Eliminate the seeds and white filament of the lemon to remove the bitterness. Then blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

water with lemon

Ingredients

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 Sicilian lemon cut into slices
  • 1/2 medium ginger cut into slices.

Preparation mode

Place all ingredients together in a jar with a lid. Then refrigerate and let it sit for an hour. Then just enjoy the flavor and benefits.

Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • Sliced ​​one lemon rinds.

Preparation mode

Boil the water and then add the fruit peels, as vitamin C is sensitive to high temperatures. Then cover the container and wait for up to 10 minutes or the tea will be warm.

“The ginger, cinnamon, mint, cloves and garlic can be added to lemon tea to give more flavor and help in the detox and detoxification processes ”, recommends Lívia Nogueira.

Types of lemon and their main uses

Of the four existing types, only the Sicilian is the real lemon . Galician and Tahiti are lime species, while cloves are a mixture of real lemon and mandarin. Despite this, they are all taken and marketed like lemons.

Sicilian

“It has a thick, yellowish skin, with an elongated shape. It’s not very juicy like the other types, and its flavor is very acidic ”, explains Lívia Nogueira.

The professional also says that this type is an excellent choice for sauces and to add more flavor to some dishes such as lemon-based risottos.

Galician

With a rounded shape and a thin pale green or orange skin, the Galician is known for being very tasty.

Even though it is small, it is one of the most used in cooking, as it can be used in ice cream, sauces, spices , drinks, sweets and juices.

Tahiti

Few seeds and a lot of juiciness, these are the main characteristics of this fruit, which is sweeter and less acidic than the others. For all that it is a great choice for lemonade and caipirinha.

“With a rounded shape and smooth, green rind, Tahiti lemon can be used for purposes outside the kitchen. It is often used to eliminate odors and to make home remedies ”, informs the nutritionist.

clove

This is the perfect variety for marinating meat or replacing vinegar in salads. All this thanks to the taste and aroma of the cloves, which are two very striking factors. Despite not being very attractive, it is one of the juiciest.

Are there any side effects or contraindications?

“The consumption of lemon has no harm, but people who have excess iron in the body should be careful in consumption, as it helps in the absorption of iron in the body”, warns the nutrition specialist.

Lívia Nogueira also advises people with tooth sensitivity to be careful with food, as the fruit increases this sensation. In these cases, the professional recommends consuming lemon juice or flavored water using a straw.

“Contrary to what many people think, lemon does not cause stomach pain. Lemon is an acidic fruit, but when consumed, it becomes alkaline in the body, not causing stomach pain due to its acidity content”, he explains.

Contraindications, on the other hand, are restricted to those who are allergic to the fruit. But even so, like any food, consumption should be done in moderation, as the nutritionist recommends.

Lemon Curiosities

  • Contrary to what you might think, lemon is not the most rich fruit in vitamin C, this position is occupied by acerola. In fact, the acid fruit is in 5th place, also behind papaya, guava and cashew
  • The limonene present in the peel of this fruit can serve as a natural insecticide.
  • No type of lemon should be applied to the skin, especially when there is later exposure to the sun. This is because citrus fruits contain furocoumarins, agents responsible for a type of dermatosis that causes reddened lesions in the epidermis. To get the benefits of lemon for the skin, just consume the fruit, juice, tea or water. ( 2 , 4 , 5 )

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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