Most of the health benefits attributed to lemons are the result of the synergistic interactions of its essential nutrients and potent plant compounds.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 g of lemon contains an incredible 138 mg of potassium, 53 mg of ascorbic acid, 26 mg of calcium and 16 mg of phosphorus, among other immune-boosting nutrients.
On that note, here are 12 of the most popular science-backed health benefits of consuming lemons, a potent superfood:
Regulates blood pressure
High blood pressure heightens the risk of a number of cardiometabolic conditions like heart disease and stroke. Luckily, lemons are one of the best remedies for high blood pressure.
Vitamin C, a major immune-boosting nutrient found in lemons, helps flush out excess fluids, thus reducing pressure along blood vessels.
Inflammation is a natural immune response to infection and disease. But if it persists, that might be a sign of a chronic condition or an underlying health problem.
Fortunately, lemons contain a host of natural inflammation fighters. Vitamin C, in particular, does an exceptional job of reducing oxidative stress that can lead to chronic inflammation.
Protects against cardiometabolic conditions
In fighting inflammation, lemons are also able to reduce the risk of cardiometabolic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
In addition, lemons contain a group of plant compounds called polyphenols that help reduce high cholesterol and keep blood sugar stable.
Supports heart health
Folate, an essential B vitamin found in lemons, is thought to minimize the incidence of strokes and protect against heart attacks by reducing the amount of homocysteine in the blood. In high amounts, this amino acid can damage the lining of the arteries and cause blood clots.
Inhibits the oxidation of bad cholesterol
Besides reducing the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the bloodstream, lemons also inhibit its oxidation.
This means that antioxidants in lemons keep bad cholesterol from contributing to aging, inflammation and other processes that can lead to chronic health conditions.
Promotes gut health
Lemons are made up of soluble fiber that promotes the proliferation of good bacteria in the gut.
In turn, these good gut bacteria support digestion, making it easier to pass stool. For this reason, lemon juice is one of the best remedies for constipation and indigestion.
Reduces the risk of esophageal cancer
Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths around the globe. This particular cancer affects the esophagus, but it can also cause complications in the mouth.
Lemons are great for protecting against esophageal cancer because of the cancer-fighting properties of flavones, a group of plant compounds found in citrus fruits.
Combats pathogenic fungi
Candida species are among the most common human fungal pathogens. These pathogenic fungi are responsible for infections like oral thrush and other genital infections.
Drinking lemon juice has been found to be potent in treating infections due to Candida species because of the fruit's antiseptic and antifungal properties.
Dissolves kidney stones
Kidney stones can be painful to pass, but eating lemons as part of a balanced diet should help make the process a lot easier.
Lemons contain high amounts of citrate, an organic acid that helps inhibit the formation of kidney stones in the first place.
Protects against cholera
The antibacterial properties of fresh lemon juice prevent the proliferation of Vibrio cholerae, a pathogenic bacterium that tends to infect the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea. (Related: Plant extracts from Rosaceae plants can be used as natural treatments for cholera.)
The refreshing scent of lemon oil has mood-enhancing effects. The oil itself has also been found to possess anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and antidepressant-like properties.
Eliminates bad breath
Sucking on lemon slices or drinking fresh lemon juice helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria lingering in the mouth.
This effect can be attributed to citric acid, an organic acid hailed for its antibacterial properties. Just be careful not to let it sit on the teeth for too long to keep it from eroding tooth enamel.
Lemons are a potent superfood capable of protecting against harmful biological agents and promoting optimal health. Drink fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning for a quick pick-me-up or incorporate it into meals and recipes to add a sharp and refreshing kick.
Learn more about the health benefits of lemons and other citrus fruits at Fruits.news.