The pleasant, mouth puckering tang of lemons can add so much to so many things! Lemon flavor is definitely one of mother nature's finest!
Lemons - Did you know?
- The lemon originated in China?
- Lemonade was a favorite of the Chinese Emperors?
- British sailors earned the nickname "limeys" during the 1600s and 1700s because the British Navy discovered that limes (and lemons) would prevent scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease that was fatal on long voyages that lacked fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lemons are valued for their many uses in flavoring the food we eat, as a garnish, and for household purposes. Lemons contain nearly twice the vitamin C of limes, though you'd have to eat a whole lemon to get even half the Daily Value of vitamin C.
Select lemons that are bright yellow. Lemons should be firm and heavy. Avoid lemons that are bruised, wrinkled or have brown spots.
In squeezing a lemon for juice, let the lemon sit at room temperature and roll on a hard surface before squeezing. One lemon yields up to three tablespoons of juice. Ice cubes frozen with a twist of lemon peel add flavor to diet beverages and sparkling mineral water. Alternatively, you can microwave them on high for 30 seconds, then roll them on the counter to burst the juice cells; slice and juice.
You may store lemons at room temperature for a week to 10 days, or longer in the crisper bin of your refrigerator.
Lemons Aid Detox
Lemons are the best liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione. Glutathione reduces the likelihood of negative effects from environmental chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to warding off cancer, and fighting the effects of pollution and cell damage. They also help our adrenal glands manage the effects of stress.
A Morning Detox Aid With Lemon
Start with the fresh juice of half a lemon squeezed into warm, pure water first thing upon rising in the morning. This helps stimulate your bowels to eliminate the waste products that may have built up in your intestinal tract.
It also helps to balance your blood pH. In other words, it reduces the acidity of your blood. This is essential because pain and disease thrive in acidic blood. The simple act of neutralizing the acidity helps lessen pain and decrease any harmful pathogens that reside in your body. Also, the act of detoxifying stirs up toxins that are predominantly acidic. You may be thinking, "But lemons are so acidic, how can they possibly alkalize my blood?"
Lemons are acidic, but when they are metabolized in your body, they have an immensely alkalizing effect.
Lemon Nutritional Facts:
- Lemons are fat free
- Lemons are saturated fat free
- Lemons are very low in sodium
- Lemons are low in calories
- Lemons are high in Vitamin C
One medium lemon contains:
- 31 milligrams of vitamin C
- 80 milligrams of potassium
- 1.6 grams of fiber
Lemons should be firm and have a bright yellow color. Avoid soft, shriveled lemons with spots. The best lemons will be fine textured and heavy for their size. Thin skinned fruit tends to have more juice, while fruit that has a greenish cast is likely to be more acidic. One medium lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated peel.
Varieties of Lemons
There are two different types of lemons -- acid and sweet. The most common acid varieties include Eurekas and Lisbons. The acidic type is grown commercially and the sweet types are grown mainly by home gardeners. The trees bloom continuously all year and can produce up to 500 or 600 lemons a year.
Quick Lemon Tips
- Freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays for later use.
- Add a twist of lemon to the water in ice cube trays for added zip to beverages.
- Use juice on fruit or white vegetables to help them keep their color.
- Remove odors, such as fish, onion, or bleach by rubbing with fresh lemon.
- Lemon and salt can be used to treat rust spots, and to clean copper pots.
- Get the most juice out of your lemon by warming it in the microwave for 15 seconds or rolling it with your hand on the counter if it is at room temperature.
- Add a few drops of lemon juice to whipping cream if it doesn't stiffen.
Grated Lemon Peel, known as the zest, contains the phytonutrient d-limonene. researchers at the university of Arizona in Tuscon have found that people who ate as little as one tablespoon of grated citrus peel (lemon or orange) a week were 30 percent less likely to develop skin cancer. D-limonene is found only in the oil of the peel and not in the flesh or juice of lemons.
See also: Lemon and Lime Food Facts