Top Health Benefits of Eating Lemons
Do you have a regular habit of eating lemons? If you are like me, then you probably grew up with these delicious citrusy treats to snack on. If not, then you could possibly be missing out on a refreshing fruit that has lots of health benefits for you, as well as a multitude of ways to use and prepare them. In this article, I will explain the health benefits of eating lemons. I will then cover how you can incorporate them into your diet, as well as list a few downsides of these fruits that you will have to keep in mind.
A lemon is what scientists call a Citrus limon. As mentioned above, a lemon is a citrus fruit that is grown in tropical and subtropical regions across the world. The leading producers of lemons are India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain, with the rest coming from other tropical and subtropical countries. The United States grows about 5.5% of the world total. People primarily use a lemon for its juice, which is very useful for cooking and is noted for its acidic properties (having a low pH of 2 to 3). But, eating lemons also means devouring the pulp and rind as well, as will be shown later.
There are many health benefits of lemons that make them worth eating and consuming. For starters, lemons are a wonderful source of vitamin C, which is needed on a daily basis by the body because it is water-soluble and is quickly used. In fact, for many people in tropical regions, lemons constitute the primary source of vitamin C – which is why it has taken hold in other areas that may not be able to grow citrus fruits of their own. Also, eating these sour fruits will help you fight infection and heal wounds because it can bolster your immune system with its ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is an anti-oxidant and helps protect your body from the damage that oxidation can do to it.
The aroma of lemons is said to also be quite soothing and relaxing, although it offers no direct health benefits. Additionally, there are those who claim that the vitamin C found in lemons can help protect against the common cold (though scientific studies on this matter are so far inconclusive). The health benefits were recognized early on by the Romans, who thought lemons could even cure poison. British sailors were also given rations of lemons and limes to protect against scurvy, which results from a vitamin C deficiency. So, there are health reasons behind eating lemons.
Most people tend to think of lemonade when they picture consuming lemons, but there are other ways. Many people, for example, eat freshly-peeled lemons raw. With a bit of sugar to offset the extreme tartness of the juice, this can be a refreshing and impromptu treat. Other people take the lemon peel and make marmalade out of it, or use lemon juice extract in dishes as diverse as chicken, lemon meringue pie, cookies, and dessert frosting. Chances are, if you can think of a way to eat a lemon, then you can do it.
One word of caution, though. There are downsides to consuming lemons. Eating raw lemons excessively can damage your tooth enamel because the acid eats away at the material that comprises your tooth. If you eat a lot of lemons, or otherwise consume lemon juice frequently, be sure to brush afterwards to take the juice off of your teeth so you do not damage them.
Eating lemons can provide you with a healthy yet tasty treat – if you can stand the sour, mouth-puckering taste. The next time you go to make fresh-squeezed lemonade, stop and take a little bite of the lemon – your body may thank you for it.