Unmistakable fragrance; clean, fresh and exhilarating… Unmistakable flavor; sour but inviting, almost a tease to the taste buds… Unmistakable look; shades of yellow that vary from pale to vibrant and it’s textured, almost smooth surface reveal that it’s citrus, but it’s not round or oval, it’s lemon-shaped!
I don’t have a lemon tree but I’m being blessed with fresh lemons, as my friend’s trees are overflowing with these little pops of sunshine.
Or shall I call them little gifts of health? When thinking of healthy fruits, most people would not think of lemons, but they have plenty of health benefits.
Lemons are good for your heart. Though we usually don’t consume it as a whole fruit, one lemon can provide you half of your daily recommended intake for Vitamin C. They are also a good source of soluble fiber, hesperidin and diosmin which are shown to lower cholesterol.
Lemons may help protect you from anemia. Though lemons contain some iron, it is not the iron content that helps prevent anemia. The Vitamin C and citric acid help your body to absorb iron from plant foods which your body does not easily do on it’s own.
Lemons may help reduce cancer risk. In human studies, more research needs to be done but some observational studies have shown that people that eat a large quantity of citrus fruits show a lower risk for cancer. In test tube studies, many compounds from lemons have killed cancer cells, but consuming them does not have the same effect. In animal studies, compounds in lemons have shown anticancer properties and even prevented malignant tumors from developing.
Lemons help digestion. Lemons are made up of about 10% carbs, mostly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars. It’s main soluble fiber is pectin which is shown to have many health benefits.
Though I am a huge fan of lemons I do need to be careful when using them as an ingredient as I have sensitive skin and direct contact can definitely cause skin irritation. So after feasting on shellfish, no lemon wash for me, just soap and water. One other caution, acidic foods in large amounts can be detrimental to your dental health. Remember that everything you ever needed to know, you learned in kindergarten. Brush after every meal and do as I do. When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade and lemon-caper chicken, and lemon bars and lemon sorbet and lemon…