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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
Featured photo credit: aly chalk via flickr.com