- Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is less in calories, carrying just 29 calories per 100 g, the value being one of the lowest for the citrus fruits group.
- They contain zero saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless are an excellent source of dietary fiber (7.36% of RDA). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits.
- lemon’s acidic taste is because of citric acid. Citric acid constitutes up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids in smooth 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 potent 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 bioactive 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 antioxidants such as α, and ß-carotenes, ß-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required for maintaining healthy mucosa 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 antioxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 µmol TE (Trolox equivalents).
- The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
- Further, they carry 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 a scientific fact that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by 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 phytochemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as the insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.
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