We use lemon every day for any kind of consumption. Lemon is consumed in eatables and drinks. It has medicinal properties and is also used in cleaning. Each one of us like lemon in some form. Lemon has numerous benefits. It is yellow in colour and has round shape. The juice of lemon is a citric acid which has a sour taste. Lemon has a nice fragrance.
Nutritional value of lemon
Lemon is a good source of Vitamin C, which accounts for 64% in 100 g of lemon. It contains various photo chemicals. They include terpenes, polyphenols and tannins. Lemon juice has little more citric acid than lime juice. It has nearly double the amount of citric acid than grapefruit juice. Lemon juice has nearly five times the amount of citric acid than orange juice. So lemon is rich in citric acid.
Culinary uses of lemon
The juice, rind and peel of lemon find use in various foods and drinks. Whole lemon is used to make marmalade, lemon liqueur and lemon curd. Lemon slices and lemon rind can be a garnish in food and drinks. Lemon zest is the grated outer rind of the fruit. It adds flavour to puddings, rice, baked foods and other dishes.
Juice of lemon
Lemon juice finds use in preparing lemonade, mocktails, soft drinks and cocktails. It is used in marinating veg and non-veg foods. Lemon juice also finds use as marinades for fish. The acid present in lemon neutralizes amines present in fish. It converts the amines to non-volatile ammonium salts. When lemon juice is used for marinating meat, it’s acid partially hydrolyses hard collagen fibres. This makes the meat tender. Lemon juice is added to pancakes. The juice of lemon also finds use as a preservative for some foods. It prevents those foods from oxidizing and turning brown. Lemon juice preserves fruits after slicing them. The acid of lemon denatures enzymes of fruits.
Peel of lemon
Lemon peel finds use mostly in manufacturing pectin. Pectin is a polysaccharide and has many uses. Pectin finds use as a thickening agent, gelling agent, stabilizer in food and other products. Lemons are preserved in jars of salt. The salt penetrates the peel and rind of lemon. It thereby softens and cures lemon, making them last for a long time.
Oil of lemon
Lemon oil is extracted from oil containing cells in the skin of lemon. Those cells are broken up by machine and water spray is used in flushing off the oil. The mixture of oil and water is filtered and then separated by centrifugation.
Leaves of lemon tree
The leaves of lemon tree find use in some ways. They are used in making tea, preparing seafoods and cooking meat.
Non-Culinary uses of lemon
Lemon is a commercial source of citric acid. It was used before the development of fermentation-based processes.
The juice of lemon can clean substances. A lemon cut in half and dipped in salt or baking powder can be used for brightening Copper utensils. The acid present in lemon dissolves tarnish. Lemon acts as abrasive and assists in cleaning. Lemon finds various purposes in kitchen. The juice of lemon can remove grease, deodorize, disinfect and bleach stains. The oil obtained from lemon peel also has some uses. It cleans and polishes wood. The solvent property of lemon oil utilized for dissolving old wax, grime and fingerprints. Lemon oil has use as a nontoxic insecticide.
Lemon oil has use in aromatherapy. The aroma of lemon oil relaxes human beings.
Electrodes are attached to lemon which is used as a battery for generating electricity. Though it generates low power, still various lemon batteries can power a small digital watch. Lemon juice is an invisible ink which gets developed by heat.
Health benefits of lemon
Lemon is rich in Vitamin C, fibre and some plant compounds. These nutrients are beneficial to health. The benefits of lemon include weight control, healthy heart and healthy digestive system.
Lemon supports health of heart
Lemon contains nearly 31 mg of Vitamin C. According to research; Vitamin C decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke. But it is not only Vitamin C which is good for heart. The fibre and plant compounds present in lemon are also beneficial. They lower some risk factors for heart disease to a great extent. Eating citrus fruit extract everyday can reduce the total blood cholesterol levels. The plant compounds present in lemon are diosmin and hesperidin. They decrease cholesterol levels. Lemon is rich in heart healthy Vitamin C and useful plant compounds that lower cholesterol.
Lemon aids in controlling weight
Lemon is a weight loss food. The soluble pectin fibre in lemon expands in stomach. This causes a fullness feeling. Not many of us eat lemons whole. Drinking hot water with lemon can help you in losing weight. Honey added to this drink is more effective in controlling weight. The plant compounds present in lemon help in weight loss. They help in preventing weight gain in some ways.
Lemon helps in preventing kidney stones
Kidney stones are small lumps that form in kidneys when waste products crystallize and build up. They are a common illness and occur repeatedly. Citric acid present in lemon can prevent kidney stones. It increases urine volume and urine pH. This creates an unfavourable environment for the formation of kidney. Half cup of lemon juice consumed daily can provide enough citric acid to prevent stones. You can drink more lemon juice according to your taste preference.
Lemon gives protection against anaemia
Anaemia is an iron deficiency disease. It happens when we do not get adequate iron from the food we eat. Lemon contains some amount of iron. It prevents anaemia by improving absorption of iron from plant foods. Your gut absorbs iron from non-veg food easily but it cannot absorb from plant sources so easily. This absorption improves by having Vitamin C and citric acid. Lemon contains these in plenty. Hence lemon helps in preventing anaemia by absorbing iron as much as possible from the diet. Lemon helps you in absorbing non-heme iron from plants. This protects you from anaemia.
Lemon helps in reducing cancer risk
A healthy diet may prevent some cancers. People eating citrus fruits have a low risk of cancer. Many compounds of lemon can kill cancer cells. Naringenin and limonene are plant compounds present in lemon. They have anticancer effects. Lemon oil contains D-limonene which has anticancer properties. Lemon also contains the plant compounds hesperidin and beta-cryptoxanthin. These compounds prevent malignant tumours to develop.
Lemon improves digestion
Lemon contains nearly 10% of carbohydrates. It is in the form of simple sugars and soluble fibres. Pectin is the main fibre in lemon. It is a form of soluble fibre which has numerous health benefits. Soluble fibre improves gut health and slows the digestion of starches and sugars. This in turn decreases blood sugar levels. You have to eat the pulp of lemon for benefiting more.
Lemon promotes hydration, freshens breath and improves the quality of skin. It also enhances the beauty of human beings.