Food of the Week: Lemon
The power of the lovely lemon is nothing new. Back in the 1700’s they were found to be the cure for scurvy for sailors who spent months at see with no fresh fruit or veg.
Super rich in flavonoids, lemons are great for building the immune system, digestion, hair and skin health, lowering blood pressure, respiratory disorders and rheumatism.
The benefits of this food don’t come from its macronutrient content. Low in carbohydrates and with trace amounts of protein and fats barely worth talking about… it’s all about the micronutrients.
Don’t take the pith…
Vitamin C is the number one micronutrient locked in lemons. This powerful anti-oxidant does an awesome job of fighting the evil free-radicals which cause cancer forming cells. It also plays a major roll in delaying the ageing process, as vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen in the skin, helping to keep skin supple and wrinkle free 🙂 . So powerful is the vitamin C in a lemon, that even applying the juice and flesh directly onto the skin can help with sun damage.
When vitamin C is paired with iron, the ability for the body to absorb the mineral is increased… squeezing lemon juice over salads, spinach, chickpeas and even red meat will maximise micronutrient take up 🙂 .
Lemons are a natural antiseptic, and so great for sore throats! They can help reduce pain caused by swollen joints and rheumatism by dissolving the uric acid which forms.
Alongside this, lemons are loaded in a huge spectrum of other vitamins and minerals (in varying amounts)… vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus.
Make lemons a daily habit…
I put a large glass of water with a wedge of squeezed lemon by my bed every night, so it’s the very first thing I see when I wake up. We lose a lot of water overnight just from breathing, so rehydrating should be numero uno priority upon waking 🙂 . With such an awesome mix of micronutrients, this is a sure-fire way to replenish the body with the electrolytes that maintain our water-balance.
If you take one thing away from this love-of-lemons feature… make it this, and start a new habit of drinking lemon water each morning.
Drinking lemon water really aids the digestive system to flush out toxins, maintain the pH balance of the body, and can prevent infections by stopping pathogenic bacteria growing 🙂 . Does it burn fat? Sadly just drinking lemon water… no, but it supports the body to perform all of it’s natural functions to the best of it’s ability, which definitely includes fat metabolisation 🙂 .
Outside of the body, lemon juice is mildly acidic, but once metabolised and all of the minerals and vitamins are absorbed it is actually alkalised, having the effect of raising the bodies pH. This is a great thing. With the exception of the stomach (where acid is important for digestion) the cells of the body all operate best in an alkaline environment which includes prevention of disease, illness and cancer.