Lemons are arguably one of the most useful of all fruits - these sharp-tasting citrus fruits contain a wealth of health-enhancing properties. They are capable of soothing or stopping an array of ailments, some of which are explained below.
Lemons contain pectin, a natural fiber and gelling agent, which mops up fat stored by the body, reduces absorption, and helps you feel full.
Lemon acids and pectin has also been found to slow the absorption of sugar after a meal. So cooking with lemon juice or sprinkling it on food can prevent low blood-sugar dips, which can trigger hunger pangs and overeating.
The Vitamin C in lemons also helps us to produce carnitine - an amino acid that helps our body burn fat.
Indigestion and heartburn
Lemon juice makes fried food more digestible because its acids emulsify fats so that they don't sit in the stomach.
When lemon is metabolized by the body, it has an alkalizing effect. Lemon juice and pulp from the fruit is broken down in the body to make potassium carbonate, which helps to reduce stomach acid.
Limonene, the major component of lemon oil which is found in lemon peel, is associated with helping to prevent heartburn. It is thought to coat the gullet lining, protecting it from acid. A U.S. study of 19 adults found that taking 1,000mg of limonene every day or other day relieved heartburn and acid reflux.
high blood pressure
Potassium in lemons helps to regulate body fluids, and their magnesium relaxes arteries. They also contain flavonoids - nutrients known to promote healthy vessels.
One small lemon's Vitamin C can boost levels of nitric oxide, a gas which sends a signal to the body to relax and widen blood vessels.
Finally, lemon juice resembles some hypertension medications known as ACE-inhibitors - it inhibits the production in the kidneys of the hormone angiotensin, which is known to raise blood pressure by constricting blood vessels.
Lemons contains the compound limonene, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties, making them beneficial for clearing up pimples, mouth ulcers, and sore throats. Limonene is found mainly in the peel, but also in the juice. Lemon oil can also help by excluding air from a cold sore.
Apply lemon juice to a cold sore several times a day, using a clean cotton pad each time, or add a drop of lemon oil to two teaspoons of almond oil and apply this to the cold sore.
Lemon essential oil is an expectorant - a type of ingredient often used in cough medicines which encourages the airways to expel mucus.
A five-year study of 63,257 people in Singapore found that a diet high in fruit fiber discouraged chronic coughs. Researchers suggested that flavonoids - which have antioxidant properties - protect the lungs from inflammation and tissue damage.
Psoriasis refers to patches of thick, flaking skin, often on the knees, elbows, scalp or elsewhere. Citric acid in lemon juice can ease dryness and flaking - it helps the skin retain water and encourages the exfoliation of dead skin cells.
In addition, the juice of a lemon contains psoralens, a natural chemical found in many plants which is highly sensitive to the sun's UVA rays and reacts on the skin's cells. Many dermatologists prescribe psoralens orally or to be applied to the skin, combined with UVA therapy for psoriasis.
Smooth lemon juice over psoriasis patches several times a day, then expose them to sunlight for a few minutes a day, increasing the time over several weeks.