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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 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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