Ever heard that lemons are man-made? Here’s why people say so. Lemons originate from southern Asia, particularly in Northeast India at a region called Assam. The citrus fruit which is also native to northern Myanmar and Yunnan is formed through human plant breeding or cross-pollination, making it a hybrid between citron and bitter orange.
Even though the fossil record of lemons is poor – which makes it hard to trace back the exact period lemons were discovered or created – the following facts about lemons and their benefits hold weight as proven by science.
- Health benefits of lemons
Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C and fibre. This citrus food which is used for both culinary and non-culinary purposes carries immune-boosting properties in addition to having both antibacterial and antiviral abilities.
Lemon juice has a pH level of 2.2 making it acidic although once it is digested it produces alkaline by-products.
The logic behind drinking lemon water to lose weight lies in the fact that lemon juice aids digestive health and also increases metabolic rate. This is why a cup of lemon juice mixed with warm water is said to support weight loss as well as maintain the pH balance of the body. Check out more fat burning foods that aid in weight loss.
However, in as much as drinking lemon water on an empty stomach may aid in weight loss it can also trigger heartburn. This fact also applies to other citrus fruits which range from pineapples to grapefruits, oranges and limes.
Medicinal benefits of lemons/lemon juice include:
- Lowering the risk factors associated with heart diseases
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, citrus fibre and plant compounds such as diosmin and hesperidin lower cholesterol which causes heart disease. Lemons also reduce the risk of a stroke.
- Curb kidney stones
Citric acid dissolves substances such as calcium, oxalate and especially uric acid which crystallizes to uric stones in people with low urine pH levels. The citric acid in lemons increases urine pH levels creating a less favourable environment for waste products to crystallize. This makes it hard for kidney stones to form since citric acid also increases urine levels.
- Detoxifying agent
Apart from helping flush out kidney stones and toxins from the bladder, lemons also help in cleansing the liver.
- Soothe cold
Honey, ginger and lemons have been used since time immemorial to remedy colds, flu and fight a sore throat. Lemons contain anti-bacterial properties which aid in fighting respiratory tract infection while providing electrolytes to hydrate the body.
- Fight anaemia
Anaemia is a deficiency disease caused by lack of adequate iron in the body. Lemons improve the absorption of iron from plant foods since they contain ample vitamin C and citric acid. Citric acid and vitamin C ensure that you absorb non-heme which is iron from plant sources. Moreover, lemons contain iron themselves.
- In beauty
Aside from substantial health benefits, lemons also provide skincare benefits when used in the following ways; More skincare ingredients you can get from your kitchen.
- To cleanse
Drops of lemon juice mixed with tea tree oil and water can be used as a toner to cleanse the skin.
- To brighten
Many beauty experts acknowledge lemons as skin brighteners due to their high content of Vitamin C (boost collagen) and citric acid. Vitamin C is also a great antioxidant which aids in neutralizing free radicals, bacteria and viruses. These antioxidants help brighten the skin by reducing photodamage which happens due to frequent sun exposure. In addition, the antioxidants in lemon can help lighten dark spots.
- To scrub
You can use lemon with sugar to make a lip scrub. In case you have chaffed lips mix drops of lemon juice with brown sugar then use the mixture to get rid of the dead cells. Check out 3 Simple Yet Heavenly DIY Lip Scrub Recipes
- To moisturize
Does gel manicure cause a yellowing effect on your nails? Try soaking your nails in a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Doing this will get rid of the yellowing as well as moisturize your dry and brittle nails. The 6 ways to reduce nail damage.
Caution: Do not overuse lemon juice on your face. Why? This citrus fruit contains citric acid which has a pH range of 2-3. Your skin, on the other hand, has a pH level of 4-5. Not only does lemon juice lowers your skin’s pH level – creating a favourable environment for bacteria and breakouts – but leaving it on your skin, and getting exposed to the sun could lead to hyperpigmentation, burns and damage. Check out this article – Does Applying Lemon on Your Face Help or Hurt Your Skin?
This is why it is advisable to buy lemon-infused products instead of applying lemon juice directly onto your face.
Featured image via 1md