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The Incredible Health Benefits of Fresh Lemon

The Incredible Health Benefits of Fresh Lemon

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

A squirt or two of this lip-puckering fruit makes water more palatable, prevents apples from browning and balances the flavor of your favorite fish. Indeed, the lively lemon is a gift to your palate and plate, but what’s more impressive is the impact it can have on your health when you make it a regular part of your daily diet.

Even though lemons are technically fruit, I treat them more like a functional food “supplement”—an ingredient I add to my daily smoothie, peel and all! Read on to learn what this sunny citrus fruit can offer you…all for less than $1.00 a day.

Fresh Lemon Slices on a Distressed White Wood Background with a Woven Basket Full of Lemons in the Background

Lemons are Full of Flavonoids

Flavonoids are a group of natural substances found in fruits and vegetables that perform the important role of neutralizing damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules responsible for premature aging and chronic health problems, like cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The flavonoid in citrus that’s most abundant in lemons is called eriocitrin. This powerful antioxidant can support your body by:

  • Removing fat from the liver
  • Balancing cholesterol by improving HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels
  • Controlling blood sugar and decreasing glycation (an undesirable process that leads to impaired elasticity of blood vessels, skin and tendons)
  • Lowering oxidative stress
  • Protecting the integrity of capillaries and improving circulation
  • Acting as an antimicrobial agent

A whole peeled lemon with lemon zest and a lemon peeler beside the lemon

The Appeal of Lemon Peels

It makes me sad to think of the number of lemon peels I fed my garbage disposal over the years. Sure, my sink smelled like sunshine, but I missed out on so many benefits!

Lemon peels are high in fiber for digestive health, immune-strengthening vitamin C and D-limonene, a plant compound with potential anticancer effects.

It’s been said that the mouth is the gateway to the body because poor oral health can lead to a whole slew of health problems. Lucky for us, lemon peels contain powerful antibacterial properties that may inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria.

Tangy Ways to Add Lemons to Your Life

Be sure to wash and thoroughly scrub lemons before using them in recipes. Here are my favorite ways to use whole lemons and lemon juice:

Twi Glasses of Ice Water with Fresh Slices of Lemon and Fresh Sprigs of Rosemary. Fresh Rosemary and Fresh Lemons are in the background

Key Takeaway
Lemons are a refreshingly inexpensive way to upgrade the nutritional quality of your meals. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that success comes easier when you keep things simple. So, when Heinen’s hands you lemons, make some lemon water and drink it every day!

Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. As a published author with over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking, Melanie offers expert guidance through Heinen's Club Fx program to help customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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