Lemons have gained a lot of popularity recently, with diets like the Master Cleanse and all the recent hype about adding lemons to your water. There is a good reason for this though. These tiny fruits, yes fruits, are packed full of nutrition such as essential minerals and vitamins that can give your body a quick healthy nutritional boost.
In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of this sour yellow fruit and a few ways that we can use to introduce it to our diet.
Although, in their natural form, lemons are considered to be an acidic substance, once digested by the body they turn in to an alkaline. This is incredibly helpful if you are prone to acidity related issues such as heartburn. Lemons help to balance out the PH levels in the body and if you are ever feeling acidic, particularly after a heavy fatty meal, squeeze a lemon in to a glass of cold water and drink away!
Lemon juice is a great tool in helping your body detox itself. It stimulates the liver and helps it get rid of toxic waste material. It also helps in getting rid of excess uric acid. Combine fresh squeezed lemon juice with fresh parsley (blended or juiced) to give your liver a powerful boost.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lemons contain a large number of vitamins and minerals that help to restore electrolytes, maintain PH balance within the body and also help with other daily functions. These are: Vitamin C (great for improving teeth health and lowering cortisol), Vitamin A (for eye health), Vitamin B (in trace amounts), Potassium (great for heart health), Calcium (for strong bones and teeth), Copper (anti-inflammatory), Iron (for improved oxygen flow) and Magnesium (improved energy production and distribution).
Lemons encourage the production of bile which assists with the proper digestion of foods. The acid in lemon juice also helps in breaking down and tenderizing meat, which enables faster and more efficient digestion. This is also a great trick for tenderizing particularly tough cuts of meat. Marinating the meat in some salt and lemon juice helps to breakdown some of its fibers and seals in the juices. Don’t leave it marinating for more than 12-24 hours though (depending on size of meat) as it can result in your meat just breaking apart before its cooked resulting in a very unpleasant texture.
Makes a Great Dressing
Squeeze some lemon on top of your salads (or even meats such as fish, chicken, etc.) to instantly brighten them up. A squeeze of lemon adds a really nice and refreshing sourness that helps to liven up even the most boring meals (CHICKEN BREAST!).
To make a thicker dressing, you can mix it with some olive oil and you can even add some other herbs and spices such as cayenne, oregano, etc. to improve upon the flavors with minimal added calories.
Also, try blending the juice of two lemons with a handful of mint and some ice on a hot sunny day and you have a highly refreshing and electrolyzing drink. Forget about Gatorade and all those other sodium filled drinks.