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16 Benefits of Lemon You May Not Know About

16 Benefits of Lemon You May Not Know About

Bright, flavorful, and juicy; lemons are the most popular citrus fruit in the world. From Indian Ayurveda, to Italian cuisine (where lemons are practically a culture themselves), lemons are used all across the world to enhance the flavor of food, soothe a sore throat, and even cure certain diseases. Lemons are rich in many nutrients, such as Vitamin C, pectin, flavonoid antioxidants, B-vitamins, potassium and calcium. It’s no wonder these little yellow fruits have so many different uses! Below you’ll find several benefits of lemons you may not know about that can make you healthier, improve your appearance and simply make certain tasks easier.

Balance Your Body’s pH

According to the Ayurveda philosophy, we should always start our day by aligning our body with nature’s rhythms. This includes restoring the pH balance in our bodies which often becomes acidic due to the stresses of modern life: junk food, pollution, lack of exercise and other toxins. It is important to keep the body slightly alkaline to prevent illnesses and chronic diseases like as cancer. Although lemons are indeed acidic, the nutrient content found in lemons is alkaline-forming. Lemons are one of the most alkaline forming foods around, which is why they are great for alleviating a number of health problems. Kick-start your day with a morning ritual of drinking a cup of lukewarm water with half a lemon squeezed in.

Relieve Indigestion and Constipation

Lemons are little antibacterial powerhouses. Their bacteria-fighting properties destroy bad bacteria and allow good bacteria to flourish in the body, which can relieve indigestion and constipation. Sipping a warm glass of water mixed with the juice of one lemon can stimulate peristalsis, as well as the production of saliva and stomach acids that start the digestion process.

Lose Weight Faster

If you’re on a diet, lemons can be your best ally. Several Hollywood starlets swear by the Lemonade Diet when they need to lose weight fast. Lemons aid with weight loss in several ways:

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  • Pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in lemons, can help you feel fuller and eat less. Drinking a cup of hot tea with half a lemon squeezed in before meals is a great way to prevent the overeating.
  • Pectin also works double duty to slow the rate of glucose or sugar absorption in the body, thus preventing blood sugar spikes that are common to Type 2 Diabetes.
  • As an added bonus, lemon juice also happens to be a natural diuretic! This means it helps the body flush out excess water weight through increased urination. Less water weight means less bloating and puffiness, so you look slimmer and fit into your jeans better.
  • If you want to quickly shed some pounds before a big event, use this technique: In the mornings, you can make a diet lemonade drink by mixing about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons of honey in a large glass of water. For the remainder of the day, fill a large water bottle (about 500mL) with a mixture of purified water and the juice of 2 to 3 freshly-squeezed lemons. Carry the bottle with you wherever you go and take frequent sips throughout the day. You’ll feel fuller throughout the day, experience less cravings, and gently flush out extra water weight accumulating around your midsection. Just be prepared for frequent trips to the bathroom!

Kill Parasites

If you’ve ever suffered from parasites and intestinal worms, you know that they can be difficult to get rid of. The key to destroying parasites once and for all is creating an environment where they can’t survive. Parasites love acidic environments, so the best way to kill them is to make your digestive system alkaline. Eating a lemon or drinking the juice from a lemon is one of the fastest ways to make your intestines alkaline and kill off pesky parasites.

Improve Your Oral Care

Whether you suffer from bad breath or canker sores, lemons can alleviate a host of oral health problems. Got a toothache? Applying fresh lemon juice to the area can eliminate the pain. Can’t stop your gums from bleeding? Massage freshly squeezed lemon juice into your gums to stop bleeding and keep bacteria that causes gum disease at bay.

Boost Your Concentration

Lemon balm essential oil, which gives off a gentle lemon scent, has been scientifically proven to have a calming effect. One study revealed that sniffing lemon essential oil had the ability to boost the mood of the study’s participants. If you want to increase your concentration and alertness at work, keep lemon balm essential oil handy.

Exfoliate Your Skin

The vitamin C found in lemons is not only good for your health, it’s great for your skin. Vitamin C is a key ingredient in many skincare products because it neutralizes free radicals and stimulates cell renewal by exfoliating your skin. Try slicing a lemon in half and using it as a facial scrub at least once a week. This removes stubborn dirt and dead skin cells that build up on the surface of your skin and reveals a fresher layer of skin underneath. Your face will look healthier and younger, and the best part is, you used something fresh from Mother Nature!

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Detoxify Your Liver

According to herbalists and naturopaths, the sourness of lemons signals the nerves and hormones of the body to activate the liver and kidneys. The antioxidants in lemons also help enhance your kidney and liver function, enabling them to detoxify your body. As previously mentioned, lemon juice is also a mild diuretic which encourages your body to let go of stored water weight and flush out accumulated waste products. You will feel cleaner, lighter and more energetic than ever before. Detoxify your liver with a glass of lemon-water each morning. Simply add freshly-squeezed lemon juice to the first glass of water you drink each day.

Treat High Blood Pressure

Pectin found in lemons can help lower cholesterol which causes high blood pressure. Flavonoids in lemons as well as vitamin P help strengthen the blood vessels. Lemons are also rich in potassium which helps prevent high blood pressure.

Get Rid of Dandruff

If you want a simple do-it-yourself treatment for dandruff, you can combine lemon juice with other natural ingredients like coconut oil to make a hair mask that heals and moisturizes your dry scalp, leaving you dandruff-free. Just don’t overdo this treatment because lemon juice also has the ability to lighten your hair.

Make Your Feet More Attractive

Do you have rough, scaly or calloused feet? The solution might be right within your own kitchen. Lemons contain citric acid or vitamin C which acts as a natural exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells, enhance skin renewal, and brighten dark areas. To harness the power of lemons to make your feet pretty and sandal-worthy, there are two things you can do:

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  • Make a lemon foot soak by combining the juice of 2 to 3 lemons with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ cup of milk. Add this mixture to a basin full of warm water. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes,then use a foot file to file off any dead skin from your feet, especially on areas like your heels and the balls of your feet.
  • You can also create a lemon and sugar scrub to exfoliate your toes. Combine two cups of brown sugar with about ¼ cup of olive oil. Make sure the mixture is soft but not too oily. Then add several drops of lemon essential oil. Use this as a scrub after soaking your feet, and top off the homemade foot spa with some lemon-scented lotion! Not only will you have amazingly soft feet, but they’ll smell like summer as well.

Get Rid of a Fever and Chills

Lemon juice can help break fever and chills by naturally increasing the rate of perspiration. To help alleviate a fever, add lemon juice to a cup of hot water or tea with honey. Drink the concoction once every 2 hours or until the fever subsides. If symptoms persist, consult your physician.

Get Glowing Skin

The Vitamin C found in lemons are one of the gentlest and most natural ways to lighten dark spots and even out your skin tone. Vitamin C is also a key component when your body produces collagen and elastin, the tissues responsible for giving your skin a plump and youthful appearance. Without adequate vitamin C, your skin can’t repair these connective tissues, which results in fine lines and wrinkles.

Cure Acne

If you suffer from acne, lemon juice makes a great natural antibacterial treatment for acne. Simply wet a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it to your face once at night on areas with acne, blackheads and eczema as an alternative to topical acne treatments. Wash the solution off with water the following morning, and follow your regular skincare routine.

Keep Insects at Bay

There’s no need to turn to commercial insect repellents and bug sprays with harmful chemicals if you have lemons on hand. To make a simple yet effective bug spray, simply combine 1 part of lemon essential oil to 10 parts of carrier oil like olive or sunflower oil or ethyl alcohol.  You must use a carrier oil to formulate this concoction because water simply won’t mix with the essential oil.

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Alleviate Pain

Lemon essential oils create an aroma that relaxes blood vessels and reduces inflammation, which are key factors in pain relief. If you’re suffering from sore joints due to arthritis, rheuma or other inflammatory diseases, drinking a glass of lemon water each day could help ease your symptoms. Lemon extract can also help alleviate pain associated  with sunburn if applied to the skin with water. Got PMS or premenstrual syndrome? Believe it or not, drinking the juice of a few lemons each day could help relieve your symptoms.

Reduce the Appearance of Varicose Veins

Tired of unsightly varicose veins and spider veins? Use the blood-vessel strengthening properties of lemon to make your legs look younger and more beautiful. Mix several drops of lemon essential oil with a moisturizing oil of your choice, such as jojoba or avocado oil. Massage the mixture into the affected area on a regular basis and watch your unsightly varicose veins slowly disappear.

Whiten Your Teeth

Store-bought teeth whitening treatments are expensive and contain plenty of strong chemicals that could leave your teeth painfully sensitive. Save money and go natural route with a homemade lemon juice and baking soda formula to whiten your teeth. Simply combine the two ingredients in equal proportions to create a bubbly concoction that you can rub onto your teeth using a Q-tip. Leave on for 45 seconds, but no more: the acids in the lemon juice and baking soda can weaken your tooth enamel, then gently scrub off with a toothbrush and clean water.

As you can see, lemons pack a lot of benefits in such a tiny package. Refreshing, invigorating,cleansing and detoxifying, lemons can make a great addition to your home life.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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