Lemons are one of the most affordable superfoods on the planet. For less than a dollar, you can help remedy and prevent an assortment of temporary and chronic ailments. Lemons are versatile fruits that can complement most dishes, so it’s easy to sneak them into your diet. I have been adding lemons to my daily diet for the last five years, and I am convinced that they have improved my health in many ways!
The lemon is such a powerful fruit that many people are beginning to drink lemon water first thing in the morning to alkalize their bodies and get their morning vitamin C boost. Others include lemons in comforting herbal teas, with raw honey to complement the healing properties in the tea blend.
Here are just some great reasons why my lemon bowl is always full!
Oxygen uptake helper
Lemons have a purer concentration of negatively charged ions than any other fruit. Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owner’s Manual for the Brain; Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research, says,
“Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy. They also may protect against germs in the air.”
Possibly due to its potential effect of increasing oxygen to the brain, some research has found that aromatherapy with lemon essential oil may help boost attention and learning. The authors of a 2010 study published in NeuroSciences analyzed the effects of lemon aroma on rats and their ability to solve labyrinths. On their results, the authors wrote:
“Our results indicate that the lemon aroma may have some effects on learning. The findings obtained from this study are consistent with the findings of similar research on the behavioral properties of the lemon aroma.”
The first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, said that he attributed much of his success to lemons!
What you can do: Put lemon oil in your diffuser for a fresh and invigorating aroma throughout your home or office.
Lemons are considered one of the most alkalizing foods you can eat. This may seem counterintuitive, as they are acidic on their own. However, in the body, lemons have an alkalizing effect; the citric acid does not create acidity once it has been metabolized.
The minerals in lemons actually help to alkalize the blood. Most people are too acidic, and lemons reduce overall acidity, drawing uric acid from the joints. This may reduce the joint pain and inflammation that many people experience.
Regarding the alkalizing effects of lemons, the authors of a 2015 study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases wrote:
“Lemon juice stimulates the formation of calcium carbonate released by the pancreas and aids in alkalization of the blood and urine, neutralizing acids such as uric acid.”
The researchers involved in this study tested the ability of lemon juice to reduce uric acid levels in gout patients. On their results, the authors wrote:
“In this study all individuals given lemon water showed a reduction in SUA [serum uric acid], improvement of serum creatinine and GFR [glomerular filtration rate, a test of kidney functionality] as well as urine alkalization after 6 weeks of lemon water. Lemon water may be a useful adjuvant in the treatment of patients with gout.”
What you can do: Squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon into a glass of warm water each morning.
As discussed above, lemons can help decrease the body’s acidity and restore healthy pH. This, along with the many antioxidant compounds found in lemons, can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
The authors of a 2007 study published in the journal Food Science tested the anti-inflammatory powers of citrus limonoids on mouse subjects. On their results, the authors wrote: “Limonoids from citrus fruits have potent anti-inflammation and analgesic effects.”
Reducing systemic inflammation is vital to your overall health, as inflammation has been found at the root of many chronic conditions, including a host of autoimmune illnesses, as well as diabetes and heart disease.
What you can do: Make your own salad dressing using fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, stevia, and herbs.
The vitamin C in lemons can aid in the healing of all sorts of illnesses. In particular, lemon may provide some relief to sufferers of respiratory conditions such as asthma.
The antibacterial nature of lemon may help fight respiratory infections. In a study published in Pharmaceutical Sciences, honey and lemon were tested for their ability to combat bacteria derived from respiratory tract infections. The study authors wrote.
“Excellent antibacterial activity was observed with lemon, honey and lemon mixture…Better killing of the bacteria isolates on exposure to honey and lemon was observed with lemon and honey/lemon mixture than the honey alone…This study justifies the use of honey and lemon separately and in mixture as an alternative medicine by the populace in the treatment of respiratory tract infections.”
What you can do: Add lemon and raw honey to your favorite warm tea.
More ways to use lemons for great health
Ease chapped lips
Rubbing fresh lemon juice onto puckered lips at night, then rinsing it off in the morning is a great way to exfoliate dead skin and soften the lips. As a bonus, your lipstick will go on more smoothly.
Go to any pharmacy and you’ll see many nail-strengthening products; however, these are often made from harsh chemicals. Combining lemon juice with olive oil and using the mixture as a nail soak is a natural alternative that can help to condition brittle nails. This simple soak can also help whiten yellowed nails.