To obtain the benefits of lemon is recommended to add it to the diet on a regular basis.
Lemon has a very low nutrient content because, as a fruit, it is composed primarily of water.
It contains vitamins (C and A) and minerals (potassium and magnesium), as well as fibre.
“But as it is usually consumed in very small quantities, that supply of nutrients is negligible,” says Dolores Silvestre Castelló, an associate professor of nutrition and bromatology at the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (CEU UCH) in Valencia.
However, in addition to nutrients, lemon – like other citrus fruits – is characterized by a high content of functional components, i.e. compounds with a beneficial effect on health.
Of these, two stand out: the group of flavonoids, which are in the juice, and limonene, present in the oils of the rind.
What are the benefits of this fruit?
CEU UCH University Professor of Nutrition explains in detail which lemon compounds have a beneficial effect on health:
- The flavonoids contained in lemon juice have two significant properties. On the one hand, they are antioxidants, so they are interesting for all oxidative diseases: ischemia, retinopathy, cellular aging, type 2 diabetes, even some types of cancer. On the other hand, flavonoids are also inhibitors of neuroinflammation, so they are associated with the prevention of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, as well as the improvement of cognitive development. In particular, it has been proven to improve learning and memory.
- The second interesting component of lemon is limonene, present in lemon skin oils. Recent studies, still in the animal experimental phase, are reporting possible antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties that could be obtained from the synthesis of this component of the skin of this fruit.
Does drinking water with lemon on an empty stomach help improve digestion?
“We can benefit from the healthy properties of the lemon we have cited if we add it to the diet on a regular basis, albeit in small amounts, such as adding it to water as a habit every morning. But fasting has little relevance,” says Silvestre.
Does lemon water promote wound healing? What about acne?
According to the expert, taking lemon increases antimicrobial defenses and helps reduce the risk of infections, something that may be beneficial in the case of skin infections resulting from acne or wounds.
Does the mood get better?
It is possible that due to its inhibitory action of neuroinflammation, as a protector of the brain, consuming lemon could contribute to this, “but specific research is needed on this aspect“, warns the Nutrition professor.
Does your consumption boost the immune system?
The immune system acts through multiple mechanisms. Among them, the components of the lemon could contribute to the protection of free radicals and, due to its antimicrobial capacity, could protect the intestinal flora.
Is drinking water with lemon contraindicated in any case?
“Since it is a dietary supplement, its moderate consumption is generally healthy,” concludes Silvestre.