When life hands you lemons, eat them! Lemons are a pucker-worthy fruit that are packed full of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Unlike other animals, humans are unable to make vitamin C on their own and must obtain it from the diet.1Lemons have been studied as health-promoting fruits that contain phenolic compounds as well as vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential oils, and carotenoids.2Lemons are tasty way to flavor your water, tenderize your meat, and “zangify” your salad. Here are 3 Benefits of Adding Lemons to your Diet:
Lemons may act as antipoliferative agents
An antipoliferative agent is something that suppresses unhealthy cell growth. Cell growth that spirals out of control can be highly damaging to the body. In one study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers compared water drops on liver cancer cells to that of common fruits. Water had no impact on repressing cancer growth, nor did pineapple, oranges, or pears. Fruits that were more successful at combating cell proliferation included peaches, bananas, grapefruit, grapes, strawberries, and apples, some cutting cell growth by up to 50%. However, the two most successful fruits were lemons and cranberries, only needed in small amounts to inhibit cell proliferation.2
Lemons support satiety
Citrus fruits are high in pectin, a gelatinous polysaccharide that is commonly used as a thickening agent in jams. Pectin can promote feeling full after a meal, therefor reducing hunger and providing satiety. Lemons are a great source of pectin and can be used to support healthy weight management. One study fasted 49 men and 25 women overnight, then fed them orange juice and later, ice cream. One of the two days, participants were fed orange juice mixed with pectin and found a significate decrease in hunger, with effects lasting up to 4 hours after ingestion.3
Lemons can boost mood
Essential oils are often used for the practice of aromatherapy. In one study, participants were exposed to stressful events and then exposed to scents of lavender, lemon, and a placebo. Researchers concluded “…clear and consistent evidence that lemon oil inhalation enhances positive mood” when compared to a placebo and lavender oil.4Lemon is commonly used in aromatherapy as an energizing agent, perfect for boosting mood and getting you through the day.
- Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Updated March 2, 2018. Accessed July 9, 2018.
- Sun J, Chu YF, Wu X, Liu RH. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(25):7449-54.
- Tiwary CM, Ward JA, Jackson BA. Effect of pectin on satiety in healthy US Army adults.J Am Coll Nutr. 1997;16(5):423-8.
- Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Graham JE, Malarkey WB, Porter K, Lemeshow S, Glaser R. Olfactory Influences on Mood and Autonomic, Endocrine, and Immune Function. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008;33(3):328-339. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.11.015.