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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 October 15, 2018

How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained)

How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained)

It seems that more and more of us are facing tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis. In fact, a lot of people assume that being tired all the time is just part of being a busy person living and working in the 21st century.

Sometimes, the cause is clear – perhaps you’ve been putting in too many hours at the office, or maybe you have just moved to a new home. However, the reason isn’t always so obvious. If you often catch yourself thinking, “Why am I so tired all the time?” this is the article for you.

I’m going to outline some of the most common causes of tiredness, and tell you how to boost your energy levels.

Why are you so tired all the time?

There’re different reasons why you maybe feeling tired all the time, it could be related to your daily habits or even some health issues.

Lack of sleep

We all know that a lack of sleep causes tiredness, but did you know that many people don’t even realize that they aren’t getting enough rest every night?

The average adult aged between 18 and 60 needs at least 7 hours of sleep every night if they want to enjoy optimal health.[1] Unfortunately, 1 in 3 of us aren’t meeting this target.

A lack of sleep doesn’t just result in fatigue – it also places you at elevated risk of a range of diseases, including diabetes.[2]

Unhealthy diet

Your diet has a huge impact on the way you feel. A poor diet lacking in nutrients will leave you drained and fatigued, as will too many processed foods and added sugar.

Your body requires a variety of vitamins and minerals in order to synthesise the neurotransmitters that regulate sleep, so be sure to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit.[3]

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Eating candy and other junk food can give you a brief energy hit, but you will soon become tired again when your blood sugar levels crash.[4] It’s best to eat healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals throughout the day as this promotes steady energy levels.

Alcohol and caffeine are best avoided or enjoyed in small quantities because both disrupt your natural sleep patterns.[5] Do not drink them in the evening shortly before going to bed.

Finally, if you don’t drink enough water, you may become dehydrated. This quickly results in fatigue and a diminished attention span.

Sitting too much and not moving

You might think that sitting down would conserve energy but you’d be wrong. Movement is a great way to beat fatigue.

You don’t have to work out for hours either. Research has shown that just a single 20-minute bout of moderate exercise has an energy-boosting effect.[6] People who spend more time sitting around during the day tend to report getting less sleep at night.[7]

Regular exercise promotes high-quality sleep because it increases the time we spend in the “deep sleep” part of the sleep cycle, which is known for its restorative properties. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Ideally, you should exercise every day. Avoid exercising in the late evening as this can stimulate your body and make it harder to drift off when you go to bed.

Stressful life

We all come up against stressful situations from time to time. You might be under a lot of pressure at work, be facing relationship issues, or be worrying about your finances.

Stress can wreck havoc with your sleep patterns and not only because your worries can keep you up at night.More than 40% of adults reporting that they only experience “fair” or poor sleep during periods of stress.[8]

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Our bodies produce adrenalin, cortisol, and other “fight or flight” chemicals when under stress.[9] This process is an excellent way of preparing the body for an emergency but it makes getting a good night’s sleep difficult.

Medical conditions

What if you have tried to make positive daily life changes yet still feel exhausted? You may have an undiagnosed medical condition.

The following illnesses can cause ongoing fatigue. Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you might have an underlying health problem:

  • Anemia: Anemic patients have a low red blood cell count which impairs the normal circulation of oxygen throughout the body, resulting in tiredness, weakness, and other symptoms including chest pain.[10]
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts at least 4 months. Sufferers often report other symptoms such as joint pain, aching muscles, and gastrointestinal difficulties.[11]
  • Depression: A lack of energy and decrease in general motivation are among the most common symptoms of depression, along with difficulty concentrating and a pervasive feeling of emptiness or sadness.[12]
  • Diabetes: A person with diabetes will frequently feel tired during the day because their body is unable to utilize glucose, one of the body’s primary sources of energy. Aside from tiredness, the symptoms include excessive thirst, blurred vision, and weight loss.
  • Sleep apnea: This condition causes the airway to narrow during sleep, which interrupts a person’s breathing and oxygen supply. The classic sign of sleep apnea is disrupted sleep that causes tiredness the next day. Snoring is a common indicator of this condition.
  • Thyroid disease: Low levels of thyroid hormone (“hypothyroidism”) result in fatigue, weakness, weight gain, a low body temperature and constipation. This is because the thyroid hormone is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. An imbalance triggers a cascade of physical and psychological symptoms.

How to stop feeling constantly tired and feel energetic

Here are 7 proven ways to tackle the cause of your tiredness and help you sleep better and wake up more energectic every day.

1. Unwind & de-stress

Everyone deals with stress in their lives but it’s how you react to it that matters. If you find that you’re getting stressed consistently, it’s time to make the effort to do something about it.

There are many ways you can do this but if stress is consistent, your de-stressing habits must be consistent too.

  • Change your perspective. Sometimes stress is all about your mindset. Try to view a stressful situation in a different way by finding an alternative positive slant. If your commute to work is full of cancellations or roadworks, decide to see this as a perfect time to read a book or listen to uplifting music. It’s all about shifting your focus to the positive.
  • Buy a plant. Researchers have found that simply being around plants can induce your relax response. One Washington State University study found that a group of stressed out people who entered a room full of plants had a four-point drop in their blood pressure. Being around nature in general has a calming and therapeutic effect on our brain. So even just taking a break to sit in a park or by a tree can decrease your stress levels.
  • Go for a short walk. A walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins, helping to reduce stress hormones.[13] If you’re at work, walk up and down the stairs a couple of times or walk around the block. Try to get a longer walk in every now and then to really get a boost. You can be mindful of what you see around you, or download an audiobook to help pass the time. Again, shifting your focus away from stressful thoughts.
  • Laugh. Go on, you’ll feel better instantly. Laughter activates your body’s stress response, then quickly cools it down, leaving you feeling relaxed. Take time out to watch a funny video clip, dig out your favourite comedy or ring up that friend who always makes you laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine!

2. Eat healthier

The foods that we eat (and don’t eat) have a huge influence on our health. When it comes to our sleep patterns, food influences our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that our body follows each day. So it’s important to watch what we put into our body.

You can easily sleep better by making a few changes to your diet:

  • Eat peanuts. If you have difficulty falling asleep, eat more peanuts or natural peanut butter. A rich source of niacin, peanuts help to increase the release of serotonin (which makes us sleepy).
  • Eat cherries. Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin (which controls our body clock). One study found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in improved sleep quality and duration.
  • Try dark chocolate. Dark chocolate helps to relax your body and mind. Make sure you stick to dark chocolate as milk chocolate contains tyrosine which converts into dopamine and acts as a stimulant.
  • Avoid alcohol. Any kind of alcohol is bad for your sleep. One study found that mixing a single glass of vodka with caffeine-free soda at bedtime increased the amount of time women spent awake during the night by 15 minutes.

3. Avoid caffeine

Sure, caffeine can give you a bit of a boost in the short term, but you could drink over eight cups and still feel sluggish.

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And the side effects of caffeine consumption? Headaches, irritability and dehydration. When you’re already feeling drained and crappy, the last thing you want is to feel worse! Here are some surprising ways caffeine is slowly harming your health.

Instead, try drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Your brain will feel alert and energised naturally rather than relying on a stimulant like coffee. Also consume energy-boosting foods, like almonds, oranges, salmon, spinach, or blueberries.

4. Get some sun

Just fifteen minutes in the sun increases your vitamin D levels, which, along with vitamin B is responsible for fighting fatigue. A common symptom of vitamin D deficiency is feeling tired, moody, achey and stressed. Get outside in the sunshine!

5. Work out

Too much time spent sedentary drains your fuel tank.

I know, I know—when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is be active and move about. But you’ll be amazed at how better exercises makes you feel.

According to a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women who get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week report less fatigue and more energy that those who don’t.

On the flip side, you can have too much of a good thing. Excessive physical activity can leave you pushing your body, resulting in feelings of tiredness.

Try to find the balance between activity and rest.

If you’re wondering when is the best time to exercise, check out this article: Which Is Better: Morning Workout Or Evening Workout?

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6. Have a power nap

There are numerous benefits of napping, including improved alertness, learning, memory and performance.

The benefits of a quick power-nap at work have proved to be so good that companies such as Google and The Huffington Post have installed designated sleeping zones in their offices!

However, author of Take a Nap! Change your Life says that napping for more than 20 minutes will make you feel even worse. Make sure you set your alarm!

Check out this article if you want to maximize the effect of a nap: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

7. Switch off

Eight out of ten of us keep our mobile phones turned on overnight. According to Ofcom, around half the population use their phones as an alarm clock too.

Experts are concerned that using phones and other electronics before bed cause problems with our sleep. Research has shown that the bright light emitted from electronics and smartphones seriously mess with our sleep behaviors.

Their advice is to cut back on TV, computer and mobile phone time after 8 p.m. It’s better to read a book or just listen to some relaxing music before you go to sleep.

Summing it up

If you find stress is influencing your quality of life on a consistent basis, it is definitely time to rethink your habits. Be aware of how you react to stressors and create habits that change your negative perspectives and physically banishes stress in your body.

Exercising, switching off, and being more mindful of what you eat creates more energy and counteracts your stress mechanisms.

Decide to make changes today and give yourself the best support you can to improve your wellbeing and stop feeling tired all the time.

Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

Reference

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