The Alkalizing Powerfood
Lemons are acidic to the taste, but are alkaline-forming in the body. In fact they are one of the most alkaline-forming foods; this makes them great for balancing a highly acidic condition in the body.
Lemons are a favorite all over the world and an essential food in kitchens everywhere.
“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” –Alfred E. Newman
16 Health Benefits of Lemons:
1. Lemons are alkalizing for the body: Lemons are acidic to begin with but they are alkaline-forming on body fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.
2. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work against infections like the flu and colds.
3. Your liver loves lemons: “The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile,” says Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden. Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
4. Cleans your bowels: Lemons increase peristalsis in the bowels, helping to create a bowel movement thus eliminating waste and helping with regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning.
5. Scurvy is treated by giving one to two ounces of lemon juice diluted with water every two to four hours. In 1747, a naval surgeon named James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor could have one ounce of juice a day. In the past, lemons were replaced with limes; this is where the English got their nickname “limeys.” Watch this video: “Scurvy Pirates and the Lemon of Love”
6. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
7. Vitamin C in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.
8. The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
9. In India, Ayurveda medicine values the lemon as a fruit and for its properties. It is sour, warm, promoter of gastric fire, light, good for vision, pungent and astringent.
10. It destroys intestinal worms.
11. When there is insufficient oxygen and difficulty in breathing (such as when mountain climbing) lemons are very helpful. The first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary, said that his success on Mt. Everest was greatly due to lemons.
12. Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.
13. Blood vessels are strengthened by the vitamin P in lemon thus prevents internal hemorrhage. Also, making it useful in treating high blood pressure.
14. The symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy have been shown in research to improve due to the rutin, found in lemons.
15. Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including naturally occurring limonene; oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals and flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.
16. According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory (RBTI), the lemon is the ONLY food in the world that is anionic (its electron has a negative charge). All other foods are cationic (the outer electron has positive charge.) This makes it extremely useful to health as it is the interaction between anions and cations that ultimately provides all cell energy.
History, Trivia and Interesting Lemon Facts:
- Fashionable ladies used lemon juice as a way to redden their lips during the European Renaissance.
- The lemon is a small evergreen tree native to Asia (as well as the fruit that grows on the tree).
- The lemon is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley (a Bronze Age civilization in South Asia) because of a lemon-shaped earring from 2500 BC found by archaeologists in the area.
- Lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century AD.
- Lemon trees produce fruit all year round. One tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
- Once upon a time lemons were presented as gifts to kings because they were so rare.
- California and Arizona produce 95 percent of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
- Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.
- Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes. Potassium is beneficial to the heart.
|See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:
Lemon (Citrus limon), fresh, without peel Nutrition Value per 100 g (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.80 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.190 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||53 mg||88%|
|Vitamin A||22 IU||1%|
|Vitamin E||0.15 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
How to pick a good lemon:
- Heavier lemons will have the most mineral content and sugar, thus thick-skinned lemons will be lighter than thin-skinned lemons and will have less sweetness and fewer minerals.
- The ones with the most juice will have finely-grained texture peels.
- Lemons should be fully yellow; the ones with green tinges have not fully ripened and will be very acidic.
- Over-ripe lemons will have a wrinkling look, soft or hard patches and will not be a vibrant yellow.
- Lemons stay fresh kept at room temperature (not in sunlight) for about seven to 10 days; or store them in the refrigerator crisper for about four to five weeks.
How to use lemons:
- “When life gives you a lemon… squeeze it, mix it with six ounces of distilled water and drink twice daily.” –Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden
- A bowl of fresh lemons will add fragrance and color to a room for days.
- Alkalize with lemon water.
- To reducing sodium intake, squeeze fresh lemon on salads, steamed vegetables, soups and stews.
- Roll a lemon on the counter a few times before squeezing to maximize the amount of juice.
- Lemon juice can be stored for later use by putting freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays until frozen, then store them in containers in the freezer.
- Dried lemon zest should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight glass container.
- The zest of fresh lemon is a wonderful addition to cakes, cookies and in vegetables.
- Finally…try a Lemon Facial Cleanser …as recommended by Dr. Oz.
“When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and let the world wonder how you did it.” –Tori Truax
- Pure lemon juice contains acid which is harmful to tooth enamel. Always dilute with water before drinking it.
- Lemons that are not washed properly, like the ones you get in restaurants, may include potentially pathogenic microbes.
Delicious Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Water: a.k.a. Sugar Free Lemon-Aid
- Raspberry Lemon Vinaigrette: This dressing is called a “vinaigrette” but it does not have any vinegar in it since vinegar is acid-forming.
- Light Herb Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing: It’s easier to make than to say it. Sugar-free and low in calories.
- Asparagus with Lemon Juice: Two tasty powerfoods together.
- Borscht: Lemon is an important ingredient.
- Avocado Vegetable Dip: So easy and tastes good too.
- Dandelion Flower Syrup: The lemon juice in this syrup is essential.
By Diana Herrington
Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).