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10 Benefits of Lemon Juice You Never Knew

10 Benefits of Lemon Juice You Never Knew

When you first tried tasting lemon as a child, it might have gone something like this:

Now, you probably know that although lemons can be nasty on their own, they’re commonplace in the kitchen and often used for cooking and preparing food.

But they shouldn’t just be commonplace…they should be an essential. Why? Because the juice in lemons is pretty much your body’s saving grace. Check out the ways lemon juice can help your body. You’re sure to be surprised by some of them!

Note: For any time I mention consuming lemon juice, you don’t have to drink it straight! Add it to some water and save yourself some pain.

1. It’s crazy high in vitamin C

Sure, you might already know that lemon has vitamin C, but do you know how much? Interesting fact for all you history buffs: for gold miners in the mid-19th century, lemons were practically gold themselves. In fact, they cost a whopping one dollar each. That’s pretty pricy for a lemon now, so imagine how much that cost in 1849!

Why were they so sought after? Because lemon juice has a ridiculously high amount of vitamin C, which could protect them from scurvy.

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Scurvy isn’t exactly a problem now, but it’s still essential to get your daily dose of vitamin C every day. One large lemon contains 45 mg of vitamin C (75% of your daily requirement).

2. It cures…everything

Well, maybe not everything. But lemons juice does help treat swine flu, the common cold, the flu, kidney stones, and even ringing in the ears.

Vitamin C can strengthen your immune system and keep other illnesses at bay…and, well, you already know how much vitamin C is in a lemon!

3. It helps you concentrate (no pun intended)

According to fitness and nutrition expert Jay Cardiello, the mere scent of lemon oil can actually improve your concentration and increase your alertness. If you really need to concentrate on something, try boiling some lemon juice mixed with water on your stove for an extra boost.

4. It’s a natural highlighter for the hair

Who says lemon only has health benefits? It has beauty benefits, too!

When I was a kid, my mom always used to squeeze lemon juice in my hair before I went out on the beach. After a day in the sun, bam! Beautiful highlights. Try it out – it really works!

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5. It can prevent kidney stones

Anybody who’s ever had a kidney stone knows that they’re pretty much the worst thing that can ever happen to you. If you’ve had them before (or even if you haven’t), start adding lemon juice to your daily diet. One half-cup of pure lemon juice per day will do the trick.

6. Makes your skin look amazing

Another beauty benefit: lemon has great antibacterial properties…meaning it can prevent acne and make your skin brighter and clearer! Plus, the citric acid can gradually lighten any pesky acne scars.

You might feel a little weird smearing a big slice of lemon on your face initially, but try it out for a few weeks and watch your skin glow. According to The Dr. Oz Show, you can also combine a cup of milk, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of brandy for a great face mask.

7. Makes you relaaaaax

Chill out, man.

Tiesha D. Johnson, RN, explains that lemons can be used to help you sleep, sooth your stress, and even help those suffering from anxiety.

8. Helps you….um, go

According to Dr. Oz, all those antibacterial properties in lemon juice helps your stomach process and digest, which is great for stomach pain, but also helps constipation.

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Try combining one cup hot water, ¼ lemon, and one teaspoon of ground flax seed…then mix like crazy and drink. Might not be the tastiest beverage you’ve ever had, but hey, it’ll help ya poop.

9. It’s a great detox

Detoxes are all the rage these days, and for good reason. We consume so many toxins every day in normal foods and beverages we drink, which can affect our mood, performance, and health much more than you’d think.

According to Dr. Mike Roussell, you should be skeptical about many detoxes out there – but lemon is a great detoxifier you can depend on.

10. Helps you lose weight…faster!

If you add lemon juice to your water and drink it regularly, you’ll lose weight. Sounds like one of those fake, crazy health myths, doesn’t it?

Good news: it’s not!

Firstly, lemon juice has practically no calories, so that’s pretty great. But it goes deeper than that. We’ve already determined that lemon water helps clean out your digestive tract well, but it also reduces hunger cravings because of pectin fiber.

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You don’t really need to know what that is – just know that it helps you stop craving those really unhealthy cookies in your cabinet.

Tips To Heed On Your Grand Quest For Lemons

If you want to include lemon juice in your diet (you should after reading this post!), here are a few tricks to buying and storing lemons.

Firstly, buy yourself some nice, yellow lemons, with thin skins. Make sure they’re not wrinkly, as wrinkles may mean the fruit is too ripe. Outside of the fridge, if kept at room temperature and away from exposure to sunlight, they keep for a week – but in the fridge, they keep for four weeks.

However, you can just squeeze the lemons right away, because the lemon juice can keep in the freezer for ages.

Happy squeezing!

Featured photo credit: aly chalk via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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