The Six Proven Health Benefits of Lemon Juice

Here are 6 evidence-based health benefits of lemon juice.

1. Lemon juice to boost heart health

Lemons are a good source of vitamin C. One lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, or 51% of the RDI. Research shows that eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Effect of fruit and vegetable intake on coronary heart disease risk

However, not only is vitamin C beneficial for heart health. The fiber and plant compounds in lemons may significantly reduce some risk factors for heart disease. For example, one study found that taking 24 grams of citrus fiber extract daily for a month reduced total cholesterol levels. The plant compounds found in lemons, hesperidin and diosmin, have also been found to lower cholesterol.

2. Lemon juice to help control weight

Lemon is often touted as a weight loss food, and there are some theories as to why this happens. The popular theory is that the soluble pectin fiber it contains expands in your stomach, helping you feel fuller for longer. However, few people eat whole lemons. Since lemon juice does not contain pectin, drinks made with lemon juice do not particularly promote feelings of fullness. Another theory suggests that drinking hot water with lemon will help you lose weight. However, drinking water is known to temporarily increase the number of calories you burn. So it may be the water itself that helps in weight loss, not the lemon. On the other hand, other, more convincing elements indicate that many other plant compounds present in lemons aid in weight loss. Research shows that the plant compounds in lemongrass extracts, naringenin and naringenin, can actually help prevent or reduce weight gain.

3. Lemon juice to prevent kidney stones

Kidney stones are small growths that form when waste products crystallize and accumulate in the kidneys. It is very common and people who suffer from it often experience it several times. Citric acid can help prevent kidney stones by increasing urine volume and pH. Thus creating an unfavorable environment for the formation of kidney stones. Half a cup (125 ml) of lemon juice per day can provide enough citric acid to help prevent stones from forming in people who consume it. Some studies have also shown that lemon juice is effective in preventing kidney stones.

4. Lemon juice to prevent anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is very common. It occurs when the foods you eat do not contain enough iron. Lemon does contain some iron, but it prevents anemia primarily by improving iron absorption from plant foods. Iron from meat, chicken, and fish (called heme iron) is easily absorbed by your gut, while vegetable iron (non-heme iron) is not easily absorbed. However, this absorption can be improved by taking vitamin C and citric acid. Since lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid, they may prevent anemia by ensuring that you get as much iron as possible from your diet.

5. Lemon juice to reduce the risk of cancer

Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent some types of cancer. Some observational studies have shown that people who consume more citrus fruits have a lower risk of developing cancer. Some researchers believe that plant compounds in lemons, such as limonene and naringenin, may have anticancer effects.

Animal studies show that D-limonene, a compound found in lemon oil, has anti-cancer properties. Another study used tangerine pulp, which contains the plant compounds beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are also found in lemons. The study found that these compounds prevent the development of malignant tumors in the tongue, lungs and colon of rodents. However, it should be noted that the research team used a very high dose of these chemicals. Much more than you might get from eating lemons or oranges.

Certain plant compounds from lemons and other citrus fruits have anti-cancer potential. But beware, there is no good evidence to suggest that lemon can fight cancer in humans once it has started. It is therefore ideal for prevention, but from a therapeutic point of view: it should be avoided.

6. Lemon juice to improve digestive health

Lemon contains about 10% carbohydrates, mostly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars. The main fiber in lemons is pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been linked to multiple health benefits. Soluble fiber can improve gut health and slow the digestion of sugars and starches. These effects can lead to low blood sugar levels. However, to reap the benefits of lemon from fiber, you must eat the pulp. People who drink lemon juice without the fiber in the pulp will miss out on the benefits of the fiber.

Sources

  • KJ Joshipura: Effect of fruit and vegetable intake on coronary heart disease risk. Ann Intern Med 2001 Jun 19; 134 (12): 1106-14. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-12-200106190-00010.
  • Audrey Chanet: Citrus flavanones: What is their role in cardiovascular protection? J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 12; 60 (36): 8809-22. doi: 10.1021/jf300669s.
  • Julia M. Asini 1: Citrus flavonoids and lipid metabolism. Coin Lepidol. 2013 Feb; 24 (1): 34-40. doi: 10.1097/mol.0b013e32835c07fd.
  • Lemon polyphenols suppress diet-induced obesity through up-regulation of mRNA levels of enzymes involved in beta-oxidation in mouse white adipose tissue. J Clin Biochem Clin. 2008 Nov; 43 (3): 201-9. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.2008066. Epub 2008 Oct 31.
  • Ashraf Alam: The effect of citrus flavonoids, naringenin, and naringenin on the metabolic syndrome and its mechanisms of action. Adv Clin. 2014 Jul 14; 5 (4): 404-17. doi: 10.3945/an.113.005603. Print 2014 Jul.
  • Jong-Myon Bae: Citrus intake and pancreatic cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. pancreas; 2009 March; 38 (2): 168-74. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e318188c497.
  • Jong-Myon Bae: Citrus intake and gastric cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. stomach cancer. 2008; 11 (1): 23-32. doi: 10.1007/s10120-007-0447-2. Epub 2008, March 29.
  • Saravana Kumar Jaganathan: The role of pomegranate and citrus juices in the prevention of colon cancer. J Gastroenterol. . 2014 Apr 28; 20 (16): 4618-25. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i16.4618.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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