Health benefits of Lemon:
Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is low in calories, 29 calories per 100 g, one of the lowest among the citrus groups.
It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber (7.36% of RDA). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
Its acidic taste is because of citric acid. Citric acid constitutes up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids digestion and helps dissolve kidney stones.
Lemons, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid); provides about 88% of daily recommended intake. Ascorbic acid is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
Lemons, like oranges, contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in the cells in-vitro studies.
Additionally, they also compose a minute levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as a, and ß-carotenes, ß-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Total ORAC value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents).
The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Further, they contain a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.