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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 August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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