In this Article
|Introduction||Nutrition Profile||Medicinal Properties||Health Benefits|
Lemons are part of the evergreen tree species that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Lemon trees are South Asian natives which is typically abundant in India.
Lemons fruits are somewhat ellipsoidal in shape and usually bright yellow in color. Its texture is smooth with porous-like skin. Its tips depend on its variety. Some lemons have pointy tips while other lemons have rounded tips.
Lemon Trees have at least five known types such as:
Let’s see them in detail.
1. Tropical Meyer
A type of lemon tree that is usually found in China and are available all year round. This type of lemon tree produces orange-yellow colored fruit. It was stated that Meyer Lemons may have been a cross product of a real lemon plus either the mandarin fruit or the usual orange fruit.
The leaves of the Meyer Lemon are dark green in color with white flowers. Its taste is sweeter and less in acidity than most common lemons available in commercial markets. Among the Lemon Tree types, Meyer Lemon Trees are the most popular.
A type of lemon tree that is said to have originated in Portugal. Presently, Lisbon Lemon Trees are commonly grown and cultivated in California. Its fruits are larger in size compared with the other types of lemon trees with a very small number of seeds and its taste is somewhat extraordinarily juicy. Although they produce enough crops all year round, they are usually abundant and harvested during the winter season and the early spring.
A type of lemon tree which has been considered as the “real” lemon tree as it was not hybridized unlike others. The fruits of Eureka Lemon Trees are yellow-green in the early stage and develops into a bright yellow colored fruit after some time for harvesting.
The advantage of this lemon tree is that it produces fruits in abundance all year round without any periods of dormancy which makes it popular in the market. Eureka lemons are one of the types of lemon trees commonly found in the commercial market. They are generally used for cooking or beverages.
A type of lemon tree that originated in Spain which are abundantly produced in the Spanish market. Primofiori Lemon Trees are known as “Fino” Lemons locally. It can also called as “Blanco” Lemons or even “Mesero” Lemons.
The color of fruits are usually pale and are smooth, thinned-skin in texture. Although the sizes of its fruits are much smaller compared with the other varieties of lemons, it is much luscious in taste. It may be available all year long but it is mainly harvested during the winter season.
A type of lemon tree that also originated in Spain. Its fruits are larger in size but are less consumed in the market compared with the other types as they do not have enough juice contained. It is mainly harvested between the spring and the summer seasons.
Some of its variants have at least seven percent of citric acid value. They are a rich source of vitamin C which is necessary for the body. Always remember that lack of vitamin C can cause several health issues.
It is uncertain as to where the lemons exactly originated. Others suggested that it may have originated to the following places:
- Punjab Region of India bordering Pakistan
- Himalayan Region found between the Republic of China and Myanmar
Around 500 BC, Lemons have been part of the daily lives of people living in China. Between AD 1000 to 1200, lemons had also reached the European continent.
It was also believed that Captain James Cook, a British explorer that heads the British Royal Navy and a known navigator and cartographer, had introduced lemons in Australia in 1788.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Sapindales
- Family: Rutaceae
- Genus: Citrus
- Species: C. limon
Common Names Of Lemons
Lemons are widely known due to their culinary use and known health benefits but are called differently in other countries. Below are some of the names “lemons” are called of:
- Botanical Name: Citrus Limon
- English Name: Lemon
- Malayalam Name: Naranga
- Tamil Name: Elumichai Thol ; Naranga
- Hindi Name: नीम्बू ; Neembu
- Telugu Name: Nimma pandu
- Spanish Name: Limón ; Limonero
- Chinese Name: 柠檬 ; Níngméng
- Portuguese Name: Lima ; Limão Cravo ; Limoeiro
- Italian Name: Citreno ; Limone
- Japanese Name: レモン ; Remon
- Dutch Name: Citroen
- Swedish Name: Citron
- Thai Name: มะนาว ; Manāw
- Vietnamese Name: Chanh
- Other Scientific Names: Citrus limonum Risso, Citrus medica var. limon L.
Nutritional Value Of Lemons
During the early expeditions, sailors and explorers alike included lemon fruits as part of their food storage. Aside from its purpose as food, it also aided them for preventing or treating common health issues such as scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease that resulted from deficiency in vitamin C or ascorbic acid. During those times, the said disease was considered as life threatening and was a common occurrence among sailors and explorers.
Lemons are highly beneficial to everyone due to its health benefits. The fruits are exceptionally rich in vitamin C which is important for the body. The vitamin C content of lemons produces at least sixty-four percent.
Furthermore, it also contains the following nutritional value:
Good source for:
- vitamin C
- vitamin A
With small amounts of:
- vitamin B6
- pantothenic acid
Based on the Daily Dietary Recommendation for Vitamin C intake:
- Women – 75 milligrams
- Men – 90 milligrams
- Smokers – an additional 35 milligrams
In addition to the nutrients listed above, lemons also contain various phytochemicals such as:
- Polyphenols – micronutrients abundant in antioxidants and may support in treating various health issues.
- Terpenes – a compound that is responsible for creating its tangy scent, having a soothing effect.
- Tannins – anticarcinogenic in nature, it may support the healing system of the body.
Medicinal Properties of Lemons (Juice, Peel, Oil, Leaves, etc.)
Lemons are one of the most popular fruits among the masses. It acts as a flavoring agent to any dishes we make at home such as baked treats and desserts, marinating various types of meat, a good addition for salad dressings and sauces as well as for making beverages.
We can all agree that lemons have numerous health benefits, too, aside from its culinary purpose. Several industries have also incorporated lemons as the basis for their products. For now, let us discuss its medicinal properties.
A. JUICE EXTRACT
Lemons are commonly used to create drinks such as lemonades, cocktails and even carbonated drinks (or soft drinks). The juice extract is also used for marinating various types of meat and fishes. The acid content of lemons may neutralize the amine content and foul odor of fishes. In contrast, the acid content of lemons may tenderize the texture of the meat, making it soft and juicy when cooked.
For others, the juice extract of lemon fruits are used to preserve certain foods to avoid them from oxidizing and turning brown after slicing. The fruits that are usually preserved are bananas, apples and avocados. The acid content of the lemons destroy the enzymes responsible for oxidation.
Lemon juice extracts are also known in lowering the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) content of an individual. Aside from that, lemon juice extract also helps in decreasing the triglyceride level of an individual which is very valuable for any person that suffers from hypertension. Regular intake of lemon juice is vital for the body.
Commonly, peels are the discarded parts of the lemon fruits. The fruit itself and its juice extract are mainly used. However, some research has found out that lemon peels are overflowing with bioactive properties which may also provide a number of health benefits.
Lemon peels have antibacterial properties which may prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. In that note, the peel may aid in preventing cavities and infections from spreading which may support in maintaining an individual’s dental health.
Lemon oil extract has been used by most households as a way to neutralize bad odors, mainly in the kitchen. Aside from its industrial purpose, the lemon oil extract is also used for aromatherapy. Its tangy scent provides a calming effect which may aid in soothing the nerves due to its therapeutic properties.
People who are suffering from anxiety and stress may find the lemon oil extract subdue the pain or any discomfort they may have been experiencing. Additionally, it may also aid in helping you breathe easier. It significantly helps an individual to stay calm and be in a relaxed state due to its anti-stress properties.
The leaves of lemon trees are commonly used for producing tea. Drinking lemon tea may benefit the overall condition of an individual’s digestive health and may support in achieving necessary weight loss.
The extract from leaves was also used in providing a healthier skin complexion acting as a natural cleanser. Most cosmetic companies incorporate the extract to their products.
E. LEMON FRUIT SLICES
Recently, lemon fruit slices are added in either cold or hot water. It was used for supporting the digestive system as well as for controlling weight loss.
It also helps in detoxifying any harmful toxins within the body due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which is beneficial for any individual. It can also help by acting as a cleaning agent for the kidneys and urinary tract system which may prevent the formation of kidney stones or urinary tract infection.
Health Benefits of a Lemon Peel
Over the years, lemons have proven its worth not only for providing flavor to any dishes and industrial purposes but also for providing us numerous benefits that are good for the overall well-being of any individual.
Below are some of the health benefits lemons provide us.
1. May lower the risks of having stroke
Lemons may help lower the chances of an individual having stroke. Based on several studies, fruits and vegetables that are a rich source of vitamin C may prevent heart-related diseases such as stroke. In this regard, lemons have huge vitamin C content.
Lemon peels also contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are said to be helpful in reducing the risk for having any types of stroke in women, particularly the ischemic stroke. Aside from that, the fiber and compounds found in lemons peels could also aid in decreasing some risks for having any heart-related health problems.
2. May help reduce the blood pressure
Lemons have been considered as one of the best treatments for hypertension. The occurrence of hypertension nowadays is due to some environmental and lifestyle factors resulting in high blood pressure.
Some studies show that lemon peels can assist in reducing the blood pressure of an individual. Lemon peels typically have a restraining reaction against blood pressure. The effects it has on the body can be best experienced when paired with a regular exercise routine or even walking on a daily basis.
It has been known that lemon peels contain vitamin C in a generous amount. It generally acts as an antioxidant agent that helps in eliminating free radicals within the body. Lemon peels also aid in controlling your weight which is one of the factors that results in a high blood pressure.
3. May help in reducing cholesterol levels
High cholesterol has been considered as one of the most common risk factors that may cause heart-related illnesses. Lemon peels have beneficial compounds such as pectin, hesperidin, diosmin and flavonoids that may fight against cholesterol and other heart-related diseases.
Pectin compound helps in improving cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of having a high blood pressure.
Hesperidin compounds support the cardiovascular system while helping to boost the healing properties of the body.
Diosmin compound helps in reducing any inflammation that had spread within the body.
Flavonoid compounds aid in eliminating harmful toxins and free radicals that may damage the overall state of the body.
It is important to note that regular intake of lemons may be deemed substantial for decreasing the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels of a person while increasing the “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels.
4. May support in the maintenance of a healthy skin complexion
Our skin plays an important role within our body. It acts as a shield or a barrier which provides protection against factors such as the following:
- changes in temperature
- harmful microorganisms
- radiation against sunlight
- harmful pollutants found within the environment
The skin has a support system called collagen which comprises the major part of the connective tissues that is responsible for making up various parts of the body. This main point lets us understand the importance of vitamin C for the creation of collagen for the skin.
Lemon peels are a rich source of vitamin C which also include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Such components are important for supporting an individual’s skin complexion. It goes without saying that having lemons could make the skin even healthier everyday.
5. May aid in preventing asthma
Asthma is a respiratory condition which causes inflammation in the air passages while producing additional mucus harmful for the body. A person suffering from asthma usually has difficulty in breathing accompanied by a wheezing sound and coughing fit. Studies show that asthmatic people tend to have lower vitamin C intake.
With that said, lemon peels contain a large amount of vitamin C which may aid in treating several chronic respiratory problems including asthma, even supporting the individual for reducing or preventing the risks asthma may possess.
6. May aid in preventing anemia
Anemia is a condition caused by an inadequate amount of red blood cells within the body, lessening the oxygen distribution to the body. It is generally a deficiency in iron and is a common occurrence among others.
Adding lemon peel extract to foods rich in iron, such as spinach, may prevent anaemia from occurring. Lemons also act as a support system for your body’s ability to absorb iron, especially for green-leafy foods, due to its vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and citric acid content.
7. Supports the immune system
The immune system of the body comprises a complex network of cells that protects the body against harmful toxins and infections that may cause damage.
Since lemon peels contain a substantial amount of vitamin C, in addition to its antioxidant properties, it significantly boosts the entire immune system of a person’s body. It aids in fighting off harmful microorganisms that may cause common ailments such as colds and flu.
Some people drink a glass of warm water with lemon to treat colds or cough.
8. May help improve the digestive system and achieve weight loss
People who are overweight tend to look for ways on how they can reduce the excess gain. Others are often constipated and bring them discomfort. And now, this is where lemons come into picture.
Have you heard about the addition of lemon slices in water? It has been proven effective by the users who were aiming for weight loss. Lemon extract acts as a detoxifying agent for the body which makes way for losing some weight.
Some studies suggest that the pectin compound of lemons plays a big part in improving your digestive health system, making you feel fuller for a long period of time without eating excessively.
Overall, eating lemons as a whole fruit or as a juice extract improves your digestion and helps in losing some unnecessary weight that may lead to various chronic illnesses.
9. May support in maintaining a healthy heart
Lemon peels may support in maintaining the overall heart condition of one’s body. Since lemons are a great source of vitamin C, it goes without saying that it is good for your heart, too. It has been suggested that lemons can aid in reducing cardiovascular-related diseases.
Ideally, lemon peels may help decrease the levels of homocysteine and prevent the likelihood of a heart disease from occurring. Protect your heart by having enough vitamin C intake on a daily basis.
10. May prevent or reduce the risks of having kidney stones
Having kidney stones may cause harm for both the kidney organs and the urinary tract system of the body. Serious cases might need some surgery by removing the stones which actually cost a huge amount of money.
Lemons are said to be a natural cure for treating kidney stones due to its citric acid properties. Citric acid is significantly advantageous for people who are suffering from kidney stones which ultimately help in inhibiting any further formation of stones in the kidney that are beginning to manifest.
11. May help supporting dental health
Having healthy oral hygiene is good for us. Proper dental hygiene prevents us from having bad breath, tooth decay and other oral-related problems. However, if you are suffering from a toothache or any other dental problems, then try incorporating lemon peels.
Lemons contain anti-inflammatory properties which may reduce swelling and prevent further infection from spreading. It can relieve the pain and discomfort brought about by the toothache.
Lemons can also be used for fighting off cavity-causing bacteria due to its antibacterial properties.
12. May aid in preventing cancer
Some studies show that lemons contain anticancer properties. The compound within lemons called flavonoids also plays a role for the possibility of preventing cancer.
Other research studies discovered two more compounds found in lemons which are said to be anticancer in nature. These compounds are called naringenin and limonene. However, more research is still being conducted to provide more scientific evidence about its anticancer properties.
Indeed, lemons provide several benefits that are beneficial for the overall well-being of an individual. However, we should not only rely on lemons when it comes to taking care of our health.
Combining lemons with other healthy fruits and vegetables, plus the right amount of meat and fish, can make a difference in an individual’s healthy state. Enjoy life and stay healthy!