Health benefits of lemons
Prevent kidney stones: Drinking one half-cup of lemon juice every day raises citrate levels in the urine. Studies have shown that this could protect against calcium stones in the kidney.
Soothe a sore throat: Mixing lemon juice with honey can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from a nasty sore throat.
Support weight loss: Beyond the old notion that the Master Cleanse was the only way lemons could help you lose weight, new studies have shown the ways lemon juice supports your goals. Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fibre that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles.
Start your day right: Leave caffeinated drinks behind, and start your day off with hot water and fresh lemon juice to stimulate your digestive track and add vitamin C.
Stop an itch: When it comes to poison ivy or insect bites, the combination of lemon juice and cornstarch can help relieve some of the sting.
Aids in digestion: Even Dr. Oz is a big believer in the power of lemon juice for weight loss. He suggests drinking a mixture of lemon juice and flaxseeds in order to eliminate waste more quickly from your body.
Anticancer properties: Studies have supported the anti-cancer activity of citrus liminoids, compounds that protect your cells from damage that can lead to the formation of cancer cells.
Potassium power: Bananas aren't the only way to get a big helping of potassium in your system. In addition to vitamin C, lemons offer 80 milligrams of this mineral that helps your body stay strong and nimble.
Bring down a fever: Forget the days of starving a fever! When your temperature goes up, drinking a lemon juice mixture can help bring your fever down faster.
Balance pH: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they're a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body's pH.
6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Lemons
Written by Helen West, RD (UK) on June 17, 2017
The lemon is high in vitamin C, fiber and various beneficial plant compounds.
These nutrients are responsible for the health benefits of lemons.
In fact, lemons may support heart health, weight control, digestive health and more.
This article lists 6 health benefits of lemons that are backed by science.
1. Support Heart Health
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C.
One lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, which is 51% of your recommended daily intake (RDI).
Bottom Line: Lemons are high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds that have been shown to lower cholesterol.
2. Help Control Weight
Lemons are often promoted as a weight loss food, and there are a few theories as to why this is.
One common theory is that the soluble pectin fiber in them expands in your stomach, helping you feel full for longer.
That said, not many people eat lemons whole. And because lemon juice contains no pectin, lemon juice drinks will not promote fullness in the same way.
Another theory claims that drinking hot water with lemon will help you lose weight.
Other theories suggest that the plant compounds in lemons may help with weight loss.
In one study, mice on a fattening diet were given lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel. They gained less weight and less body fat than other mice (14).
These are interesting findings. However, at the moment no studies have confirmed the weight loss effects of lemon compounds in humans.
Bottom Line: Animal studies show that lemon extract and plant compounds may promote weight loss, but the effects in humans are unknown.
3. Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are small lumps that form when waste products crystallize and build up in the kidneys.
They are quite common, and people who get them often get them repeatedly.
Bottom Line: Lemon juice may help prevent kidney stones from re-forming. However, more quality research is needed.
4. Protect Against Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is quite common. It occurs when you don't get enough iron from the foods you eat.
Iron from meat, chicken and fish (known as heme-iron) is very easily absorbed in your gut. Iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) is not as well absorbed, but this can be improved by the intake of vitamin C and citric acid.
Because lemons contain both vitamin C and citric acid, they may protect against anemia by ensuring you absorb as much iron as possible from your diet.
Bottom Line: Lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid, which help you absorb non-heme iron from plants. This may help prevent anemia.
5. Reduce Cancer Risk
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent some cancers (28).
In test tubes, many compounds from lemons have killed cancer cells. However, many things can kill cancer in a test tube, and that doesn't mean they will work the same way in the human body (32, 33, 34).
Another study used pulp from mandarins that contained the plant compounds beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are both also found in lemons.
The study found that the compounds prevented malignant tumors from developing in the tongues, lungs and colons of rodents (40).
However, it should be noted that the research team used a very potent dose of the chemicals — far more than you would get by eating lemons or oranges.
So far, it seems that plant compounds from lemons and other citrus fruits have the potential to prevent the progression of cancer.
That being said, no quality evidence shows that lemons can fight cancer in humans.
Bottom Line: Some plant chemicals from lemons have been shown to prevent cancer in animal studies. However, human studies are needed.
6. Improve Digestive Health
The main fiber in lemons is pectin, a form of soluble fiber that is linked to all sorts of health benefits.
However, to get the benefits of fiber from lemons, you need to eat a lot of them, including their pulp and skin.
People who drink the juice from lemons, without consuming the skin and pulp, will miss out on benefits of the fiber.
Bottom Line: The soluble fiber in lemons could help improve digestive health. However, you need to eat the pulp of the lemon, not just the juice