Lemons are very versatile fruits—with loads of vitamin C (a primary nutrient for immune system support), vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and antibacterial and antiviral properties—the juice of a lemon can make you feel good inside and out. (1)
The phytonutrient limonine in lemon (and lime) has been found efficacious in combating cancers of the colon, stomach, breast, lung, mouth, and skin. (2) It is so effective because it’s readily bioavailable, meaning the body can use its nutrients just as it is.
Here are some practical reasons for drinking for lemon juice—some may surprise you.
1. Acne – The citric acid in lemon juice may irritate sensitive skin, so try on a small area before applying to your whole face. Lemon juice works by adjusting the pH level of your skin to be slightly acidic, which it seems to generally prefer. The acid and phytonutrients kill bacteria that cause acne and reduce skin inflammation. (3)
2. Appetite suppressant and weight loss – hesperidin is a bioflavonoid found in lemons. It has been found to increase resting metabolism, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, and reduce loss of bone density. (4, 5)
3. Blood pressure – flavonoids account for the reduction of high blood pressure with daily ingestion of lemon juice. (6)
4. Cold and flu – VITAMIN C. Lots of it. Need we say more?
5. Fibromyalgia – due to its ability to raise metabolism (plus nutrition!), chronic fatigue experienced with this condition are ameliorated.
6. Fingernails – the acid in lemon acts as a bleach to safely whiten nails.
7. Gallbladder support – this often-overlooked organ is responsible for releasing bile from the liver to break down fats in the body. As with kidney stones (below), limonene and ascorbic acid inhibit the formation of gallstones and “literally dissolve fat sludge”. (7) Turpentine—the solvent used to clean oil-based paint—is derived from terpenes, the phytochemicals in citrus that give it the sour taste and smell. As in turpentine, terpenes clean through accumulated gunk.
8. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and digestion – effective in supporting the entire digestive system, lemon juice helps to balance the body’s pH: it seems paradoxical but—like many other foods—lemon juice is acidic by nature but once it’s metabolized in the body, becomes alkaline. This is important because cells break down faster and abnormal cells thrive in an acidic environment. Lemon’s antibacterials get at a common trigger for GERD (h.pylori) and other bacteria from “food poisoning”, such as salmonella and E.coli. (8)
9. Inflammation – the alkalinity affected by lemon juice reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation is very often the precursor to disease. Its anti-inflammatories are also useful after a work-out (plus the electrolyte mineral potassium to rehydrate) and to reduce accumulation of uric acid that can cause joint pain.
10. Immune system support – limonene is detoxifying in the body, promoting lymph drainage. The lymphatic system is responsible for transporting white blood cells throughout the body to eliminate waste and toxins.
11. Kidney stones – the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in lemon juice inhibits the formation of kidney stones. (4)
By squeezing a fresh organic lemon into warm water each day, you help support everything your body needs to do. Adding a little raw honey adds sweetness and additional health benefits to complement.
You can use the whole lemon for different actions so none of it goes to waste:
- Before squeezing, zest the peel to use in cooking and baking. Or use as a topical anti-inflammatory on whatever part of your body hurts.
- After squeezing, don’t throw the peel in the compost just yet: apply each half of the lemon to the heels of your feet overnight to breakdown dry and cracked skin, ready to be exfoliated.