Lemonade, lemon water,  lemon squares, lemon-broccoli chicken pasta—the list of lemon dishes goes on and on. We all know lemons as a delicious and sour citrus staple. They are versatile一great as the main dish or as a spritely garnish. 

Lemons have been known to carry high amounts of vitamin C and are often used to boost the immune system. They have more vitamin C than many fruits, but their acidity can make it hard to enjoy consuming them as a snack. Don’t worry; there are ways to enjoy lemon without it resulting in a puckered-up face!

Vitamins Inside a Lemon

Lemons have several nutrients in them, making them one of the healthiest fruits to eat. The three main nutrients that lemons contain are:

  • Vitamin C: There is approximately 40% of your daily intake needed of vitamin C in one lemon. This is a nutrient that provides immune support and promotes cardiovascular health. It’s recommended that adults’ daily intake of vitamin C is 2000 mg. 
  • Potassium: This electrolyte helps in daily functioning processes, such as blood pressure and digestion. In one lemon weighing 58 grams, you receive 80 mg of potassium. 
  • Fiber: Fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion and lowering cholesterol. One lemon contains 2.8 grams of fiber.

Both potassium and fiber are essential to include in your diet, especially neither is produced naturally in the body. The main fiber inside a lemon is called pectin, which can help lower blood sugar and is found in the pulp.

Surprisingly, you can find the most vitamin C within a lemon peel. While it’s not common to see someone enjoying a lemon peel for a snack, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the peel to get the nutritional benefits. Just shave a little bit off on top of your food before serving it! 

Vitamin C’s Benefits

Vitamin C is a safe and effective nutrient that our bodies can’t produce ourselves, so we need to be receiving it from other sources. It has many benefits when it comes to improving your overall health. 

It is often used when someone has a cold and needs an immune boost because it is an antioxidant. There are a few benefits that vitamin C has on the body:

  • Control Blood Pressure: Vitamin C helps to protect against heart disease because it helps the body maintain lower blood pressure. Heart disease is very dangerous, so adding lemon juice to your water can give you an added immunity boost.
  • Reduces Risk of Iron Deficiencies: Vitamin C works to improve iron absorption from your diet. If you are concerned that your iron levels are low, consuming more vitamin C can help to improve your levels. 
  • Improved Brain Function: It was found that having lower levels of vitamin C in your body correlated with impaired cognition. The more vitamin C someone intakes daily, the better off they will function overall. 

    So, we’ve learned that vitamin C is good, and lemons can provide it.  If you don’t feel that you are getting enough vitamin C, you should consider adding more into your diet with the versatility of lemons! 

    Health Benefits of a Lemon

    Not only are lemons versatile in how they can be used, but they also help your body out in a variety of ways. Lemons are packed with nutrients and vitamins that all impact the way that your body functions—they support immune health and are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Overall, lemons may be linked to supporting digestion, heart health, and urine health. 

    Kidney Stones

    If you’ve had kidney stones before, you know that you don’t ever want them again. Citric acid might help to prevent kidney stones because it increases the urine’s pH. This creates an environment that isn’t meant for the formation of the stones, which puts you at an advantage for not developing them. 

    Heart Health

    Plant compounds and vitamin C have been thought to have a positive impact on heart health. Fibers and plant compounds help to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and vitamin C promotes immunity boosts for multiple functions that affect the heart. Preliminary studies suggest vitamin C may help lower blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.

    Digestive Health

    When you consume just the lemon juice, you miss out on the digestive health benefits that the entire lemon has to offer. Lemons contain soluble fibers inside of their pulp. Pectin, which is the main fiber in lemon, helps to improve gut health and slows the digestion of sugars. When you consume the pulp of a lemon, you receive these fibers, which are great to help regulate your gut. Pulp never hurt anyone!

    Comparing Lemons to Oranges

    The main difference between lemons and oranges is most obviously how we eat them. Most people don’t snack on full lemons because they are acidic and sour—not necessarily fun to bite into. They aren’t as sweet as oranges, making it less enticing to munch through to get all of the nutritional value. 

    Luckily, fresh-squeezed lemonade with pulp or shaving the peel on top of dishes are ways to get the benefits of the lemon into your body.

    Lemons and oranges both contain most of their vitamin C in their peels, but overall an orange will have more nutritional value when eaten whole. You will find, however, that lemon juice contains more vitamin C than orange juice. Lemons also are lower in sugar than oranges, so if you are trying to cut back on sugar, lemons might be your best choice! 

    If you like a bit more tang, try adding more lemon into your diet! It’s delicious and versatile. Yes, it can be sour, but there are ways to enjoy more tame versions of it. Try a glass of warm tea with lemon and honey, homemade lemon vinaigrette, freeze lemon wedges into ice cubes and add to your drinks, squeeze lemon over chicken or fish, or make lemon butter sauce for your pasta.

    When Do You Need More Vitamin C?

    It can be hard to know what you need to add more nutrients to your diet. Especially since there are so many nutrients and minerals in the body to keep track of, and all the different recommended daily amounts can be overwhelming to try to memorize. 

    If you want to know just how much vitamin C is in your body, consider using Vessel Health’s at-home Wellness Test Card to find out. This card is innovative, easy to use, and gives you instant results. You can get peace of mind all from the comfort of your own home. 

    The Wellness Test Card can measure your body’s nutrient and mineral levels and tell you what changes you need to make in your life to improve your numbers. 

    If you want to learn more about your Vitamin C levels, using Vessel Health is the way to do it. 

    When Life Gives You Lemons, Choose Vessel Health

    Lemons contain much of your needed daily intake of vitamin C. This is great because lemons can be consumed in various ways, so it’s easier to find one that works for you. If they are too sour, try shaving the lemon peel on top of pasta and salads, or even in desserts like lemon cookies or lemon bars. 

    You should be getting the proper amount of vitamin C in your diet, and if you think you might not be, consider signing up for Vessel Health’s Wellness Test Card. You will be able to track your nutrient levels and see if you could use a boost of vitamin C in your daily intake. 

    By understanding what is going on with your body, you can make more conscious decisions on changes you need to make to your overall health. Whether that be more lemons or more yoga, Vessel Health wants you to see how understanding your body can help to take the best steps towards feeling better!

    Sources:

    Vitamin C lowers blood pressure and alters vascular responsiveness in salt-induced hypertension | NCBI

    Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review | NCBI

    Dietary treatment of urinary risk factors for renal stone formation | NCBI