DefatX » Nutrition » 6 Health Benefits of Lemons Backed by Science

6 Health Benefits of Lemons Backed by Science

Lemons provide top levels of vitamin C, fiber, and other beneficial plant compounds. The nutrients in lemons have several health benefits. Lemons might help heart health, weight control, and digestive health.

Improves Digestive System

Lemons contain approximately 10 percent carbohydrates, mainly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars. The dominant fiber in lemon is pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber linked to multiple health benefits. Soluble fibre can improve the health of the gut and slow sugar and starch digestion. These effects may lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels.

However, you need to eat the pulp of lemons to get the benefits of fiber.

Supports Heart Health

Lemons are an important source of vitamin C. One lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, 51 percent of the daily intake reference (DIR). Research shows that consuming vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.

It’s not just the vitamin C which is thought to be good for your heart, though. The lemon fiber and plant compounds could also significantly reduce some risk factors of heart disease.

For example, one study showed that eating 24 grams of citrus fiber extract per day decreased total blood cholesterol levels within a month. Plant compounds in lemons such as hesperidin and diosmin can also lower the cholesterol levels.

Reduces Cancer Risk

A balanced, fruit and vegetable-rich diet can help prevent certain cancers. Some observational studies have found that people who eat citrus fruit the most have a lower cancer risk, while others have found no effects.

Many compounds from lemons have killed cancer cells in test-tube tests. However, these may not have the same effect on the human body.

Some researchers believe that plant compounds found in lemons such as limonene and naringenin may have anticancer effects, but this assumption needs further research.

Animal studies show that there are anticancer properties such as D-limonene, a compound found in lemon oil.

Another study used mandarin pulp containing the beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin compounds, which are also found in the lemons. The study found that these compounds were preventing the development of malignant tumors in rodent tongues, lungs, and colons.

It should be looked back, however, that the research team used a very high dose of chemicals much more than you can get from eating lemons or oranges.

Although certain plant compounds from lemons and other citrus fruits may have anticancer benefits, but no proof of consistency shows that lemons fight cancer in humans.

Protects Against Anemia

Anemia caused by iron deficiency are very common. It happens when you are not getting enough iron from the food you consume. Lemons contain some iron, but they avoid anemia mainly by increasing the absorption of iron from plant foods.

Your gut absorbs iron quickly from meat, chicken, and fish (known as hem iron), whereas iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) is difficult to absorb.

However, taking vitamin C and citric acid can improve this absorption. Since lemons contain both vitamin C and citric acid, they can protect against anemia by making sure you absorb as much iron from your diet as possible.

Helps Control Weight

Lemons displayed as food for weight loss, and there are several hypotheses. One popular idea is that the soluble pectin fiber in your stomach expands and makes you feel full for longer. That said, few people eat whole lemons. However, lemon juice doesn’t contain pectin, lemon juice drinks don’t likewise encourage fullness.

Another theory suggests that sipping lemon in hot water will help you lose weight. Drinking water, however, increases the number of calories you burn, so it could be the water itself that helps to lose weight, not the lemon.

Other theories suggest plant compounds in lemons may aid weight loss. Evidence shows that plant compounds in lemon extracts can aid in a variety of ways to avoid or reduce the weight gain.

In one study, lemon-polyphenols extracted from the peel were given to mice on a fattening diet. They gained less body fat and weight than other mice.

No studies support the impact of lemon compounds on weight loss in humans.

Prevents Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are slight lumps that form when the waste products crystallize in your kidneys and build up. They ‘re common and people who get them often get them repeatedly.

By increasing the volume of urine and increasing urine pH, citric acid can help prevent kidney stones, creating a less favorable environment for formation of kidney stones.

Just one 1/2-cup (4 ounces or 125 ml) of lemon juice per day can provide sufficient citric acid to help prevent stone formation in people who already have it.

Some studies also found lemonade was effective in preventing kidney stones, but the results were mixed. Other studies showed no effect.

We need top quality studies to examine whether lemon juice affects the formation of kidney stones.

Bottom Line

Lemons contain a top level of vitamin C, soluble fiber, and plant compounds which give you several health benefits. It can help with weight loss and lower your risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive problems and cancer.

References

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Citrus fruit intake and pancreatic cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. Pancreas. 2009.

Citrus fruit intake and stomach cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. Gastric Cancer. 2008.

Limonoids and their anti-proliferative and anti-aromatase properties in human breast cancer cells. Food Funct. 2013.

Evaluation of chemopreventive and cytotoxic effect of lemon seed extracts on human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012.

Chemopreventive and therapeutic potential of “naringenin,” a flavanone present in citrus fruits. Nutr Cancer. 2015.

Natural products for cancer-targeted therapy: citrus flavonoids as potent chemopreventive agents. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012.

Effects of D-limonene on hepatic microsomal monooxygenase activity and paracetamol-induced glutathione depletion in mouse. Xenobiotica. 1993.

Prevention and therapy of cancer by dietary monoterpenes. J Nutr. 1999.

Cancer chemoprevention by citrus pulp and juices containing high amounts of β-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012.

The effects of fruit juices and fruits on the absorption of iron from a rice meal. Br J Nutr. 1987.

Water-induced thermogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003.

Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in beta-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008.

Quantitative assessment of citric acid in lemon juice, lime juice, and commercially-available fruit juice products. J Endourol. 2008.

Can lemon juice be an alternative to potassium citrate in the treatment of urinary calcium stones in patients with hypocitraturia? A prospective randomized study. Urol Res. 2008.

Long-term lemonade based dietary manipulation in patients with hypocitraturic nephrolithiasis. J Urol. 2007.

Medical and dietary therapy for kidney stone prevention. Korean J Urol. 2014.

Lemonade therapy increases urinary citrate and urine volumes in patients with recurrent calcium oxalate stone formation. Urology. 2007.

Terms of Use: The information on this website is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide personal medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition, consult your doctor or another qualified health provider. Never ignore professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source on this website makes no product recommendations or endorsements.

Naeem Durrani BSchttps://defatx.com/
I am a freelance health and wellness writer. My interests include medical research, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices, which empower people to transform their lives.
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