Everyone has that one ingredient they need in the kitchen, and mine is a lemon. I love the taste of lemon on everything, from salads, to pasta, and even my eggs. But besides from tasting delicious and providing my dishes with a light and fresh flavor, lemon has a wide variety of health benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.
Lemons are considered superfoods due to their large amounts of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. They’re extremely versatile and available all year long, making them an important staple in the kitchen.
If you’re not convinced you should eat the citrus fruit daily, consider these seven reasons why lemon is one of the most important health foods.
1. Lemon Helps With Digestion
You may have heard the importance of drinking a glass of lemon water every morning, and this is because lemon helps conserve insulin, allowing your body to take more time to take in and process nutrients after eating. Lemon also helps provide your body with vitamin C.
2. Lemon Cleans Out Your Liver
Lemon contains a compound called naringenin, which can help reduce liver inflammation. It also contains eriocitrin, a flavonoid that helps protect the liver against oxidative stress.
3. Lemon Preserves Produce
You can use lemon to help prevent produce from going bad. Squeeze some lemon on foods like avocado or apples to keep them from turning brown, as the ascorbic acid can help reverse the oxidation reaction.
4. Lemon Clears Up Your Skin
Lemon is a great natural treatment for acne, as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The citric acid present in lemon can also help lighten dark spots and blemishes. Just apply directly to skin and rinse with cool water.
5. Lemon Freshens Your Breath
If you don’t have a mint on hand, you can use lemon instead. Fight bad breath naturally with lemon, as the acidity in the fruit helps break down pungent smells. Studies have found that eating lemon can help neutralize the smell of even potent garlic breath.
6. Lemon Can Help Protect Against Cancer
Because they contain a huge amount of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, lemons make a great dietary addition to help protect against cancer. Squeeze lemon over your salads, chicken, or even your toast for added protection daily.
7. Lemon Helps When You’re Sick
Drinking lemon in warm water can help loosen congestion and keep you hydrated. Because lemon has antibacterial properties, it’s a strong immune-booster and healthy addition when you’re feeling under the weather.
Photo by Frank Lindecke
Photo by DJ-Dwayne [Returning in 2015/16]