By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
Apart from containing ample amount of Vitamin C, being a low caloric fruit and providing an immense cooling hydrated effect after a heavy workout; Lemon along with its peal and leaves also has end number of benefits for our health as well as our surroundings.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board, general guidelines say that women should get at least 91 ounces per day and men should get at least 125 ounces. This includes water from food and drinks (1).
Benefits Of Whole Lemon
- Improves Air Quality
Lemon’s detoxification properties make it an effective means to improve air quality. According to researchers, it gives off a powerful aroma that makes the air in the room and around the bed a bit more pleasant. When inhaled while sleeping, it improves the breathing process and also clears the nostril passage. People suffering from asthma or sinus should practice the habit of placing lemon next to the bed, as it also opens up their lung pathways (2).
- Insect Repellent
Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. A study suggests that ants and mosquitoes hate the smell of lemon and other citrus foods. Rubbing lemon peels on your skin or even placing it near the pillow can protect you against mosquito and insect bite.
A recent study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours (3).
- Reduces Anxiety And Depression
You may have noticed that when you use lemon-scented products for cleaning your home, you feel more relaxed and in a better mood afterward. A small 2016 study found that lemon essential oil reduced anxiety among people after undergoing orthopedic surgery (4).
A 2006 study showed that lemon essential oil was a powerful calming and mood-improving agent during three stress test experiments and also showed that it was more effective at relieving stress than other essential oils such as lavender and rose (5).
According to aromatherapy, inhaling lemon while sleeping helps control headache, and rheumatoid arthritis. The research showed that women who inhaled lemon essential oil, felt less anxiety and fear as compared to others (6).
Benefits Of Lemon Peel
- Oral Health
Lemon peel contains antibacterial substances that may inhibit microorganism growth.
In one study, researchers identified four compounds in lemon peel that have powerful antibacterial properties and effectively fight common oral-disease-causing bacteria (7).
- Treat Gall Stones
Some studies suggest that D-limonene in lemon may help treat gallstones — hard deposits that can develop in your gallbladder (8). In a study in 200 people with gallstones, 48% of those injected with a D-limonene solvent experienced complete gallstone disappearance, suggesting that this treatment could be an effective alternative to surgery (9,10).
- Promoted Heart Health
Research suggests that compounds such as flavonoids, vitamin C, and pectin — the main fiber in lemon peel — may reduce your risk.
A review of 14 studies in 344,488 people found that an average increase of 10 mg of flavonoids per day reduced heart disease risk by 5% (11).
A 4-week study in 60 children with excess weight noted that supplementing with lemon powder (containing peel) led to reductions in blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol (12).
Benefits of Lemon Water
- Protects Against Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is quite common. It occurs when you don’t get enough iron from the foods you eat. Lemons contain some iron, but they primarily prevent anemia by improving your absorption of iron from plant foods (13,14).
Your gut absorbs iron from meat, chicken, and fish (known as heme iron) very easily, while iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) not as easily. However, this absorption can be improved by consuming vitamin C and citric acid.
Because lemons contain both vitamin C and citric acid, they may protect against anemia by ensuring that you absorb as much iron as possible from your diet (15).
- Improves Digestive System
Ayurvedic medicine says the sour lemon taste helps stimulate your “agni.” In ayurvedic medicine, a strong agni jump-starts the digestive system, allowing you to digest food more easily and helping to prevent the buildup of toxins.
Lemons are made up of about 10% carbs, mostly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars.The main fiber in lemons is pectin, a form of soluble fiber linked to multiple health benefits. Soluble fiber can improve gut health and slow the digestion of sugars and starches. These effects may result in reduced blood sugar levels (16,17).
Benefits Of Lemon Leaf
In Ayurveda, when Vata is imbalanced, we experience dryness, anxiety and stiff joints. Sometimes we feel cold to the bone. Lemon and lemon zest along with leaves are warming, calming and lubricating. Lemon leaf is used to sooth anxiety, headaches, thirst and dryness of skin or joints. It is known for its antispasmodic properties and is therefore good for relief of asthma, nausea and vomiting (18).
Lemon leaves, when boiled to make teas, may have antispasmodic and sedative properties.
Other than these, Lemon has many multiple uses for home, body and environment namely; polishing metal, cleaning microwave and wooden cutting boards, remove laundry stains, polishing wooden furniture, removing refrigerator odour, getting rid of soap scum.