Lemon: properties, benefits and contraindications

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Lemon is a citrus full of good properties that allows very different uses. It is common to drink its juice in the form of a delicious lemonade, and it is also present in dressings and in numerous food preparations that are part of the Mediterranean diet. The lemon is mainly water, but its composition highlights the presence of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that make it a healthy food, always in the right proportions.

Lemon properties, benefits and contraindications

Lemon properties

The fruit of the lemon tree, native to Asia, is already a food grown and consumed throughout the world, available practically throughout the year. On the other hand, the lemon is a low-calorie and low-fat fruit , since, as stated by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN) [1] , 100 grams of lemon represent only 44 kcal. and the intake of 0.4 grams of total fat.

In its composition, soluble fiber (1g/100g) and micronutrients stand out, the main ones being: vitamin C (50mg), vitamin A and some from group B, including B6. In addition, we must not forget the presence of minerals that are so important for health , such as calcium (12mg), magnesium (18mg), iron (0.4mg), phosphorus (16mg), selenium (1ug), sodium (3 mg) and first of all potassium (149 mg). In addition, the lemon stores other important nutrients in its pulp, such as some beneficial organic acids. Among them, malic and citric, as well as phytonutrients (limonoids) that are located mainly in the peel and in the characteristic white strands inside the fruit.

All these elements are what make the lemon a healthy “cocktail” of vitamins, minerals and acids that give it important properties, such as:

  • Powerful antioxidant , especially for its phytonutrients and the abundant presence of vitamin C.
  • Alkalizing food . Despite its clearly acid taste, the lemon, after the digestive process, has alkalizing effects.
  • Diuretic properties that help eliminate fats and toxins from the body.
  • Natural antibiotic. Lemon favors the good state of the immune system, exerting a preventive action against viruses and bacteria.
  • Antiseptic and healing properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties
  • Satiating food that also contributes to the correct metabolism of fats.
  • Astringent and natural whitening properties .

Lemon benefits

The composition and properties of the lemon translate into a varied and balanced diet. In addition, this food provides numerous health benefits, helping to prevent or improve various pathologies. Among the benefits of lemon are:

  • It helps purify the body by helping to eliminate fats and toxins, something important when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Lemon juice is a good ally in weight loss diets.
  • It slows down the effects of free radicals , favoring the good condition of the different body tissues at the cellular level, minimizing their deterioration or premature aging.
  • The soluble fiber makes the lemon help maintain cholesterol and blood glucose at adequate levels , being effective against hypertension and certain types of diabetes.
  • Promotes good digestion by helping to control the production of acids during the digestive process. In cases of excessive acidity or with problems such as constipation or stomach swelling, lemon juice can be a good help.
  • Its vitamin C and its high water content make it an excellent remedy against colds and flus.
  • Lemon is an ally of cardiovascular health .
  • Due to its diuretic properties, lemon is recommended for fluid retention problems.
  • In external use, included as an ingredient in masks, cleansing creams or shampoos, it helps maintain the correct fat levels, being effective in combating acne or seborrheic dermatitis problems , as well as providing extra shine to the hair.

Lemon Contraindications

There are few cases in which lemon juice or the presence of the fruit in sweet or savory dishes may not be advisable:

  • It is true that lemon acids and their corrosive action can end up damaging tooth enamel , although we must clarify that it is something that could happen in case of excessive intake and, above all, taking the juice directly, without diluting it in water in the form of rich lemonade (something rare).
  • Also for those people who suffer from gastric reflux problems or stomach ulcers, the intake of lemon should be moderate, because although the juice of the fruit is alkaline, at first it could cause irritation in the walls of the digestive system . In these cases, it is always advisable to consult a specialist doctor.
  • Faced with problems that involve an abnormal and excessive flow of urine and possible dehydration, for example, in an episode of cystitis , lemon, like other diuretic foods, may not be, in principle, advisable.

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