Drinking lemon juice is known to be healthy, an understanding that has been passed down through generations. Now, it has been scientifically proven that lemon juice offers numerous health benefits. Discover them here and learn how you can take advantage of them!
The Health Benefits of Lemon Juice
Amidst all the exotic superfruits, the good old lemon (Citrus limon) almost goes unnoticed. You might nearly forget that this yellow citrus fruit is rich in healthy nutrients. In fact, this is not a new revelation: as far back as the 18th century, ship’s doctor James Lind wrote about the health benefits of lemon juice. He advocated for citrus fruits as an essential tool for sailors to get enough vitamin C during their long sea voyages. Since then, lemons, oranges, and other vitamin C-rich fruits have become staple provisions for sailors.
Lemons are still primarily renowned for their high vitamin C content, and rightfully so. The juice of one lemon can provide nearly half of your daily dose of vitamin C. This vitamin has numerous positive effects on your health. But did you know that lemon juice contains even more healthy nutrients? In this article, you’ll learn more about it! We’ll delve into:
- the overall health benefits of lemon juice
- vitamin C in lemon juice and its health benefits
- vitamin C supplements vs. lemon juice
- other compounds in lemon juice
- health benefits of lemon peel
- what to consider when incorporating lemon juice into your diet
What Does Lemon Juice Do for Your Health?
Lemon juice is a natural source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Scientific research on the health benefits of lemon juice has shown that the juice of this tangy citrus fruit is beneficial for:
- blood vessels
- teeth and gums
- nervous system
- immune system
- energy levels
Scientifically, it has also been proven that the antioxidant vitamin C from lemon juice can contribute to combating free radicals in your body. These aggressive molecules can cause damage to your cells and tissues. Therefore, incorporating lemon juice into your diet is indeed a wise choice! Below is a comprehensive overview of the numerous proven health benefits.
Vitamin C in Lemon Juice
A splash of lemon juice instantly adds a refreshing and sparkling flavor to your meals or beverages. Additionally, the juice from one lemon provides an impressive amount of healthy nutrients. For instance, a medium-sized lemon (weighing about 60 grams) contains as much as 24 mg of vitamin C. Nowadays, we know more and more about the significance of vitamin C for your health. This vitamin is beneficial for maintaining:
- a strong immune system
- a healthy iron metabolism (promoting iron absorption from food)
- healthy skin (essential for collagen production)
- supple blood vessels (collagen is also crucial for this)
- strong bones (collagen plays a role here as well)
- a healthy iron level in the blood (facilitating iron absorption from food)
- energy levels (boosting energy metabolism)
- a clear mind (aiding concentration and memory function)
Moreover, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, assisting your body in combating free radicals. These are aggressive molecules that can cause damage to your cells and tissues.
Vitamin C Supplements vs. Lemon Juice
Given that vitamin C is involved in so many crucial processes in our bodies, many people keep a bottle of vitamin C tablets at home. Some vitamin C supplements offer very high doses of vitamin C, often in the form of synthetic ascorbic acid, sometimes 1000mg or more. In practice, it’s not recommended to consume more than 2000mg of vitamin C per day, as it can lead to digestive issues. Moreover, many supplements contain various additives, such as binders, anti-caking agents, coatings, and preservatives. Your body needs to break down these additives, which can put extra strain on your liver. Furthermore, some individuals might be sensitive to these additives, experiencing symptoms like skin rash, fatigue, or digestive problems. By now, you’re aware that drinking lemon juice can also provide you with a significant amount of vitamin C. If you intend to drink fresh lemon juice daily, read our tips at the end of this article.
Other Compounds in Lemon Juice
Lemons and other citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, are rich in flavonoids. These compounds often contribute to the color of the fruits. There are around 4000 different types of flavonoids, and lemons contain a considerable number of them, including naringenin, hesperidin, eriocitrin, limonene, and diosmine (found in the peel).
Is Lemon Peel Healthy Too?
The peel of the lemon, much like the flesh and juice of the fruit, contains a significant amount of the antioxidant vitamin C. In fact, the peel contains over twice as much vitamin C as the fruit’s flesh. Moreover, lemon peel is an excellent source of the mineral calcium and is high in fiber (1). Therefore, discarding the lemon peel would be wasteful. If you have a slow juicer, it’s possible to juice the lemon peel as well. We do this ourselves for many of our juices. We always recommend using organic lemons for this purpose, as otherwise, you could ingest harmful pesticides.
Interested in Drinking Lemon Juice? Consider These Points:
As you’ve read, drinking lemon juice offers many health benefits. But are there any downsides or other aspects you should know before making it a habit? Indeed, there are a few considerations:
- Pure lemon juice is extremely acidic and can erode your tooth enamel. This can lead to teeth appearing duller and becoming more sensitive. It’s always a good idea to dilute lemon juice with water or mix it with less acidic juices, such as vegetable juices. Drinking diluted lemon juice with a (biodegradable) straw can also help protect your teeth.
- Some people are allergic to citrus fruits and might experience symptoms such as itching, burning, or swelling in the mouth and throat when drinking the juice. Headaches and digestive issues can also be allergic reactions.
- Lemon juice contains a lot of tyramine, a substance that triggers migraine attacks in some individuals. Generally, lemon juice is very healthy and has few adverse effects. However, everybody is different, and there are always exceptions. Pay close attention to how your body reacts to drinking lemon juice.