Lemon Power – Benefits of Lemon Water
Need to go on a diet or a detoxification program? Think Lemon. Need to marinade meat or poultry? Think Lemon. Need to get those stains off your favorite shirt? Think lemon. Need to clear your hair of dandruff or get rid of suntan? Again, Think Lemon. Indeed, this pint sized orb of sunshine is a one stop solution for myriad problems. Easy availability, low cost and its all round versatility has made the lemon an important part of any household and is widely used as a culinary, health, beauty and cleaning aid.
Know your Lemons:
Lemons are thought to have originated in Southern India, Northern Burma and China and have been cultivated in these regions for about 2,500 years. There are different varieties of lemons; the most important being the Eureka, which are the ones with thicker rinds, and the Meyers, which is thought to be a cross between the lemon and mandarin orange. A good quality lemon is thin skinned and heavy having a peel with a finely grained texture. Try to select the bright yellow ones, (the green ones are fine too).
Lemons will stay fresh at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight, for a week. To keep them fresh for a longer period keep them in the crisper section of the refrigerator where they can stay fresh for up to four weeks.
Before removing the juice roll the lemons between your palms to break down the cells inside the fruit that holds the liquid.
It is not a good idea to microwave the lemons to soften them, as this could change the actual chemical structure of the lemon and as a result destroy most of the nutrients.
Nutritional value of Lemons:
Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Containing zero calories, fat and cholesterol, the nutritional value of 0.25 cup of lemon juice weighing 61 grams is:
|Vitamin C||28.06 mg|
|Citric Acid||1.85 mg|
|Lutein + Zeaxanthin||5.49 mcg|
Benefits of Lemon Water:
Most of us think of lemonade when we think of lemons. Lemon water (without the added calories of sugar) would be a more appropriate and healthier alternative, as drinking plain lemon water has an array of health benefits. It is so easy to prepare and refreshing to consume. Mix the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm or tepid water, and voila! Your lemon water is ready!
Now let us see the different ways the lemon can come to our aid:
Drinking lemon juice mixed with warm water every morning on an empty stomach has a load of health benefits. Adding lemon juice to your water is a healthy way to replenish and rejuvenate your body.
- High in Vitamin C, lemons prevent scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums, tooth infections and aching joints.
- The citric acid, ascorbic acid and the organic citrus compound, zeaxanthin (a potent chemical found in the rind of the lemon and a natural insect repellent) makes the lemon an effective insect bite repellant.
- Drinking lemon water benefits to speed up weight loss, helps to cleanse most of the toxins from the body, promotes quick bursts of energy and also helps in cleansing internal waste. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning activates the body’s detoxifying process.
- Lemon water helps relieve many digestive problems including heartburn and constipation.
- Potassium helps nourish the brain and nerve cells. Calcium helps build healthy bones and teeth. The calcium and magnesium helps improve the quality of albumin in our blood.
- Lemons are also an excellent remedy to fight throat infections, sore throat and even tonsillitis as it contains anti bacterial properties. For relieving sore throat, mix the juice of 1 lemon and a teaspoon of sea salt to a cup of warm water and gargle three times a day. In case of tonsillitis, gargle every two hours.
- The potassium content found in lemons is also good for the heart and aids in controlling high blood pressure, dizziness and nausea. It also helps in reducing mental stress and depression.
- The pectin power in lemons along with its nutrients which aid in metabolism and circulation can help lower cholesterol.
- Athletes swear by lemon power as a means of refreshing and revitalizing themselves. Having a glass of lemon water is an effective way of getting rid of fatigue.
- Anti bacterial and anti viral properties of the lemon juice helps to heal mouth ulcers or cankers.
- Two teaspoons of lemon juice is a sure way of curing hiccups!!!
The acidic nature of lemons might be detrimental to our teeth. Use a straw while drinking concentrated lemon juice to prevent teeth from coming in direct contact with the lemon juice.
After salt and pepper, lemons are the next most commonly used flavoring ingredient in cooking. This versatile fruit has many uses in the culinary world and is used widely in baking to making sauces and marinades. Apart from its tangy flavor and aroma, it also enhances the other flavors of the dish.The acid in lemons helps dissolve the connective tissues in meat and is commonly used to marinade meat and poultry.
- The acidity in the juice of lemons prevents oxidation and helps to retain the color of cut apples and pears and prevent them from becoming brown. Lemon juice also helps to retain the color of cauliflower and potatoes while cooking.
- Add a tea bag, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of hot water to make a refreshing and tasty drink. The citrus acid and Vitamin C in the lemon juice helps to preserve the flavonoids and antioxidants found in the tea, making it a healthy drink. Green tea with lemon is also known to lower the risk of certain skin cancers by almost 70%. Know more benefits of lemon tea
- To prevent egg shells from cracking and to facilitate easy peeling of boiled eggs, add a few drops of lemon juice to the water while boiling the eggs.
- While cooking rice, add a spoonful of lemon juice to prevent the rice from becoming lumpy.
- Revitalize soggy lettuce leaves by soaking them in cold water in which a spoonful of lemon juice has been added.
An excellent and natural beauty aid, the lemon has properties to help enhance your external beauty
- The problem of an Itchy scalp and presence of dandruff can be effectively washed away by mixing an egg white with a tablespoon of lemon juice and massaging it thoroughly into the scalp. Leave it on for an hour and wash with a mild shampoo. Continue this treatment for 2 -3 times a month. Read more home remedies for dandruff
- Lemon juice mixed with an equal quantity of cucumber juice aids in getting rid of scars. Pat the mix onto the scar and leave for twenty minutes. Wash with warm water and pat dry.
- Soak finger nails in lemon juice for ten minutes. Then brush them with a nail brush dipped in a solution of equal quantities of white vinegar and water. Rinse your hands with warm water and watch your finger nails shiny and bright. This also helps to strengthen the nails.
- Dab some lemon juice with the help of a cotton ball onto your pimples and rinse off after 8 -10 minutes and watch the blemishes and acne fade away right before your eyes. Drinking water mixed with lemon juice will also help to clear acne as it helps in internal cleaning and detoxification of the body. Read more on how to get rid of acne naturally
- Lemon juice mixed with buttermilk is an excellent remedy to treat sunburns and dark spots. After coming in from the sun, just apply this mix all over the exposed parts of your skin and wash off after half an hour.
- For beautiful, soft hands, mix equal quantities of sugar and lemon juice and scrub hands thoroughly with this mix. Rinse off with water.
Since some people are allergic to lemons it is advisable to do a skin test before trying out any of the above remedies. Apply some lemon juice on your elbow and if you feel your skin itching or burning, wash it off immediately.
Lemons are natural cleansers and are known to be a great means of getting rid of dirt, grime and stains. The power of lemon is evident in most cleaning aids such as detergents, dish-washing bars and stain removal agents.
- Dip a sliced lemon in salt or baking powder and scrub brass, copper or silver ware. The acidic property of the lemon combined with the abrasive quality of salt or baking powder ensures shiny and bright results.
- Clean your cutting boards with diluted lemon juice. This helps clean germs and also helps get rid of stains.
- Place a cut lemon in a saucer in your refrigerator to get rid of odors. Change every week.
- Unclog drains with a mixture of baking soda followed by lemon juice. The foaming action helps clear minor clogs.
- Clear build up of minerals on your pressure cooker by placing a used lemon rind in the cooker and boiling it for about 10 minutes. The same procedure can be followed for removal of scaling found on vessels, pots and pans.
- In an old spray bottle add water, the juice of a lemon, a teaspoon of dettol and a few drops of a dish-washing liquid. Use this solution to clean kitchen counter tops, dining tables, and your cook tops. The lemon acts as an insect repellent while the dettol and dishwater liquid cleans and disinfects, leaving the kitchen clean and free of insects.
- Remove odors from the microwave by placing ¾ cup water and two teaspoons of lemon juice and microwaving on high for 3 minutes. After waiting for another ten minutes, just wipe away the grime with a dry cloth.
And finally, Lemonade:
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This is a famous expression which means that we should have a positive attitude towards life and make the best use of what we get in life. Having said that, let us now get on to making a refreshing glass of lemonade, literally, from the simple recipe given below.
Water – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Lemon juice – From 4-6 lemons
Cold water – 4 cups
- Blend 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves completely. Cool and refrigerate.
- Mix the juice from 4-6 lemons with the sugar syrup and stir well, adding 4 cups of cold water. Serve with garnish of thin lemon slices or a sprig of mint.
The versatility of the lemon fruit is immense and it definitely makes sense to keep these small in size but big on usefulness fruits handy in your home. The next time when life gives you lemons – USE THEM!