Health Benefits of Lemons
The health benefits of lemons are many and varied. Though lemons are not a fruit you would reach for when hungry for a snack, they certainly are the first thing you might want in flavoring fish, salad, guacamole, or even plain avocado. They tend to bring out the flavor of the food to which you add it.
I have a difficult time drinking just plain water. I know it’s good for me, but I have to really think about doing it. Instead, practically everyday, I will juice half a lemon and pour it into a cold glass of water and sip on it throughout the morning. When I think about the many health benefits of lemons, I will have two glasses of lemon juice in a day. Two glasses are best.
It’s very cleansing and aids in removing impurities from the body. It also tends to dissolve uric acid (helpful for gout sufferers) and other poisons. The citric acid in the lemon is also helpful in dissolving kidney stones. Is good for the liver, a great rinse for your hair and is good for skin problems, as well.
For optimum health, it’s important to keep your body in an alkaline state. Though lemons are considered an acidic food, a good thing to know is that they do become alkaline once the body processes them.
Other health benefits of lemons include: Drinking lemon water as I mentioned above. It’s one of the best things you can do for your body on a regular basis. Most people drink water, anyway. In fact, it’s become somewhat of a craze. You hardly see anyone without a water bottle these days. Just squeeze lemon juice into your water and you’ve just done a good thing for your body.
Lemon water is very soothing not only on sore throats but singers have been known to drink lemon water before they go on stage.
It’s not something you gulp down. You just take sips when you become thirsty, or even, hungry. It also quells the appetite and tends to keep the “snack attacks” at bay.
I drove into my driveway this morning and noticed that my lemon tree, very pregnant with lemons, was drooping. I need to get this propped up. But before i do, I wanted to get some of the lemons on the lower branches, because once propped up, those branches were going to be out of my reach. So, Bill and I went out and picked a few lemons today. Gardeners were working next door, so I gave some to them.
Before cutting a lemon to juice it, be sure to wash your lemon well to remove any dirt or pesticide residue, even if you buy organic. For longer shelf life, I keep my lemons refrigerated; however, room temperature is best for releasing the most juice from a lemon. Always roll the lemon gently with the palm of your hand on your kitchen counter just for a few seconds to soften it a bit. This will help to extract more juice.
There are several different kinds of juicers. My favorite is one like this. I’ve had it forever. It is very old fashioned but gets a lot of juice, while capturing the seeds and pulp in the little rim. These are very difficult to find though. Bed Bath and Beyond carries a similar one, but it doesn’t have the rim to catch the seeds. I broke this one recently and am lost without it.
Removing the Zest
The zest is the outer, colored part of the lemon. It gives fabulous flavor to lemon pie filling, lemon bars and even salads. You can use a zester like this to remove the zest or you can cut it off with a knife. Just put your forefinger just below those little holes and drag it down the side of the lemon.
The important thing to remember is not to cut the pith (the white part underneath the zest) as that is very bitter. Once you remove the zest in strips, you can leave it in strips for garnish or it can be diced into smaller pieces.
One of the major health benefits of lemons is their excellent source of Vitamin C, a major antioxidant. Vitamin C neutralizes free-radicals which are very damaging to the body.
Other health benefits of lemons include the fact that they are low in calories, have no fat, and are high in water. Among many other nutritional benefits, they are very high in Vitamin A, Beta-Carotene and folate.
Potassium resides in lemons in great quantities, and phosphorous, magnesium and calcium are also very prevalent.
A Few Ideas for Lemon Uses
- Use lemon juice in place of salt for great food flavor.
- Do as I do and squeeze lemon juice into a glass of cold water.
- Use lemon juice liberally on your lettuce salads as you try to cut the oil intake. You could even mix it with crushed garlic and freshly ground pepper for a delicious salad dressing.
- Lemon juice is also wonderful on bean salads, cole slaw and guacamole.
- Lemon juice squeezed over fish (if you are not vegan) is awesome.You can actually cook it with your fish, as well. Just slice it thinly and place it on top of the fish in the pan before you bake it.
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Getting old does not HAVE to mean getting sick. Our bodies are wonderful machines and given the right foods can not only prevent diseases, but can actually reverse them.
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