Read through any wellness magazine or pamphlet and you will likely be advised to incorporate lemons or lemon juice into your diet. Lemons are constantly doted on by nutritionists and health writers to remedy all types of health problems, from acne to obesity.
But are lemons really all that?
While lemons alone may not remedy health problems, they are beneficial when used to supplement your diet, especially as part of your morning.
What Makes Lemons So Special?
Lemons have been used for thousands of years for both medical and culinary purposes. They contain vitamin C, which is essential for bodily function and goes hand in hand with the body’s absorption of iron to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Some of these functions include:
- Helps build proteins that make up the body’s skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
- Helps repair damaged body cells
- Helps iron absorption
- Stimulates collagen formulation
- Protects against damage to cells thanks to antioxidants
Vitamin C is a critical part of nutrition that is not naturally made in the body, so diet or supplements is the only way to get it. Adults need around 90 mg of vitamin C a day.
One lemon is a good source of vitamin c, containing an average of 34 milligrams of this key nutrient, which is more than a third of the recommended daily value.
Beyond their vitamin C content, lemons are mostly fiber and water, making them a low sugar and low-calorie everyday staple.
The Benefits of Using Lemons
Because vitamin C is essential to body repair and development, the use of lemons can benefit several bodily functions and organs.
Here are some ways regular lemon consumption can help contribute to your overall health.
Studies have shown consumption of lemons can help decrease cholesterol levels as well as help with the management of high blood pressure. Lemons can also help prevent strokes, heart disease, and heart attacks, making for a healthier cardiovascular system.
Ease in Digestion
Because lemons contain soluble fiber, they can help ease symptoms of constipation and support a healthy digestive system.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant inside of the body, protecting cells from harmful molecules that can damage them. Lemons work to strengthen the immune system and prevent damage to healthy cells and therefore help keep illness at bay.
The fiber and water content in lemons helps to keep you full for longer periods of time, which makes you less likely to snack throughout the day and experience unintentional weight gain.
Vitamin C helps the body synthesize collagen and proteins, which make up our skin. Consuming lemons can help clear up skin and protect it from the sun.
But Lemons Are Acidic, and Acid Is Bad for You, Right?
Fresh lemon juice has a pH of approximately two, making lemons very acidic due to their citric acid content. Although they are acidic outside of the body, lemons are one of the many foods that are alkaline-forming once they are ingested.
This means that they are no longer acidic once they enter the body, and in some cases, can actually help reduce acid in the stomach.
That being said, it is best to speak to a doctor before using lemons if you struggle with heartburn or stomach acid problems, as different reactions may occur.
While lemons are generally safe for use and consumption, potential side effects may occur. These include:
- Erosion of tooth enamel due to the high acid content.
- Irritation of skin and eyes if externally applied.
It is best to exercise caution when using lemons and lemon juice. When in doubt, consult your physician.
How To Make Lemons Part of Your Morning Routine
It is recommended for lemons and lemon products to be used in the morning.
While you can use them at any time, lemons can be very refreshing and hydrating, making them a perfect addition to your morning routine.
Lemons are versatile and can be used in various ways, whether in your food or in your skincare products. Here are some ways you can add lemon to your diet and routine:
In Your Water
The most popular way to consume lemons is to squeeze a slice of lemon in your water, whether you prefer to drink it hot or cold. Lemon juice can have a strong flavor, but adding some natural honey to the mix can help improve the taste without adding too many calories.
How To Use: We recommend you have a glass of warm water with lemon on an empty stomach within an hour of waking up to maximize its effects against toxins. To make lemon water, simply squeeze the juice of half a lemon into eight ounces of water.
In a Skin Serum
Vitamin C from lemons can be a great addition to your morning skincare routine. While we do not recommend you apply lemon juice directly to your skin, many skin care products can allow you to apply vitamin C to your skin in a safer way. This can include skin serums or moisturizers.
How To Use: When applying skincare products with vitamin C on your skin, it is best you do a spot test first to gauge any adverse reactions. We recommend you apply vitamin C serum on damp skin right after washing. Make sure to apply moisturizer and sunscreen on top!
Salad dressings and other condiments are usually full of sugar and refined carbohydrates that only do more harm than good. Lemons can add nutritious flavor to any meal. Bonus points if your food is high in iron.
How To Use: Squeeze some juice from a lemon on top of your food! You can squeeze lemon juice on half an avocado to help break up the fat with some acidity. Pair it with a spinach omelet for a nutritious breakfast.
As an Essential Oil
Essential oils can be applied to the skin once diluted or used for aromatherapy. Some studies have shown that the use of lemon essential oil can help promote feelings of calm in the morning and give you an energizing boost. It can also help alleviate morning sickness.
How To Use: Essential oils are very versatile. You can use them by diluting in a carrier oil and using a roller bottle to apply them to your neck and wrists. Another way is to use an oil diffuser. Put a few drops of lemon essential oil in your diffuser while you’re making breakfast for some self-care before the day begins.
While skin serums and oils can have many health benefits, consuming lemons can improve overall results. Of course, if your goal is simply to add a serum to your skincare or introduce an energizing scent to your aromatherapy routine, lemon is the way to go!