It’s the busy season for coughs and colds and a time when it’s well worth considering the antioxidants and vitamins offered by that lovely citrus fruit, the lemon.
The evergreen lemon tree is a native of Asia where varieties of ellipsoidal yellow fruits abound. There’s a good reason why the fruit’s juice, pulp, peel, and especially zest are used as food and drinks, not least the lemon’s many virtues whether for beauty, wellbeing or culinary use.
Citrus fruits have wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties and it has been scientifically established that lemons and oranges are especially rich in vitamins and minerals and have many health benefits.
It is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits, such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre, is helpful in reducing the risk of cancers and other chronic diseases like arthritis and coronary heart diseases.
The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, giving that bitter taste and the low PH of juice makes it antibacterial. So now’s the time to put some lemons in the shopping basket as lemon can help to move phlegm and relieve a fever. Mixed with honey in a hot drink you have the perfect combination to ease a sore throat and prevent or restrain influenza, malaria and colds.
Lemon juice mixed with water is useful in quenching the thirst of patients suffering from diabetes and can give offer relief in abdominal disorders.
The natural Vitamin C in lemons is actually much more effective than the synthetic one, helping to prevent various dental and gum problems like scurvy, bleeding gums, and gingivitis. The potassium content is beneficial to the heart.
The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates, essential for the proper functioning of almost every process in the body.
However, unbeknown to many of us the healthiest part of the lemon is the skin, which offers as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon itself and yet is the part we generally throw away.
It consists of essential enzymes, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin P, calcium, potassium, fiber, limonene, citric acid, polyphenol flavonoids, and salvestrol Q40, which can fight against cancerous cells, making this fruit rind a must for a healthy body and mind.
So don’t throw that peel away, use it! To promote healthy skin lemon peel is effective in eradicating toxic elements in the body. The vitamin C and citric acid in the lemon helps purify the blood vessels in the body, helping to eliminate impurities in skin cells. Lemon peel is also great for acne and pimples because it contains antioxidants, which detoxify the skin.
There are a number of lemon peel powders for the face on the market, which can prove beneficial, however, consuming the peel would be the best option so for cleansing and it seems such a pity to let it go to waste.
A zester is the perfect tool to utilize the skin of all citric fruits. However as an alternative you can freeze the whole lemon which will allow you to grate the nutritional lemon peel on your favourite dishes, giving additional flavour to your food and a healthier lifestyle.
Sprinkled in salads, stir-fry, soup, noodles, vegetables, sauces, sushi, fish dishes, ice cream, cheesecake and cocktails, lemon peel will add a tasty and beneficial twist.