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A-Z FRUIT CELEBRATION - by Dr Marli Botha

“L” is for Lemon!

Lemon is a yellow fruit used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world, primarily for its juice, which has both culinary and cleaning uses. The pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking. The juice of the lemon contains about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade and lemon meringue pie. So when life hands you lemons, you should definitely make both!

L IS FOR LEMON 2017 ARTICLE MARLI

 

We know lemons are high in vitamin C which is essential for normal growth and development. A single lemon contains around 30-40 mg of vitamin C in comparison an orange contains around 80-90 mg of vitamin C.

Vitamin C has been studied extensively and shown to have a myriad of health benefits from protecting against prenatal problems, cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, skin wrinkles, and immune system deficiencies. http://www.docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/ijmmas/2006/1-6.pdf

It acts as an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. The primary cause of aging comes from free radicals that cause the breakdown of various tissues in the body, namely skin. Research showed that plant derived antioxidants was able to reverse the breakdown of collagen fibres in the skin. Collagen gives skin its strength, structure, and plumpness while protecting the skin from absorbing toxins http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911002158

Citrus flavonoids are the primary cause of improved digestion when drinking warm lemon water.  It aid in the absorption of food, help prevent fatty liver disease, decrease chances of cardiovascular disease, lower fat levels and reduce insulin sensitivity.  This has to do with its ability to inhibit certain synthesis of fat in the body https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23254473

Lemon water sounds like a good idea, and you've probably seen pictures on Pinterest of large pitchers of water with vibrant lemons. Most of us have seen the Top 10 lists of why we should be drinking lemon water.  And we really know the added vitality and cleansing effects on the body lemon water provides. Safety measures for lemon water?!? I know what you're thinking but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • First off you really shouldn't be eating the seeds of the lemon. A few here and there aren't going to be terrible for you, but if you plan to drink lemon water regularly then make sure you're avoiding the seeds. They contain small amounts of salicylic acid which is the main ingredient in aspirin, along with the bitter/astringent coating on the outside of the seed which gives it the bitter taste. http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/fruit-nutrition-seeds-skin.php

  • If you're used to sweetening your tea or coffee then your taste buds are going to want a spike of sugar in your lemon water. Try and avoid adding sweeteners other than raw honey as it will negate many of the benefits mentioned.

  • Another common concern is what effects lemon juice has the enamel of your teeth. As long as you're not using it like mouthwash your teeth will be safe. With the amount of soda that people drink in our time, substituting lemon water will actually save your teeth. If you're super concerned about it then try using a straw.

  • Drinking lemon water is one of these little things that we can do on a regular basis that can have long term benefits. The people who will the most dramatic effects in the beginning will be those who can replace a morning coffee or soda with lemon water. As with any new addition to your diet, give it a minimum of 2 weeks to see what positive benefits you're getting. We're so used to instant gratification in almost everything we do, so when it comes to healthy diet and exercise it can be easy to get discouraged if we don't see results in a few days. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/real-benefits-lemon-water-according-science

Lemon juice is also one of the key ingredients in our brand new L’MONFIZZ carbonated lemonades, so get your hands on them, and get your FIZZZ on!