When life gives you lemons… Make lemonade, marmelades, lemon juices and much more! Lemons have been in the spotlight for years, with supermarkets displaying lemon shots and celebrities swearing only by lukewarm lemon water. But what are the actual health benefits of lemons? Let’s have a look at the sour truth and how to use it.
Top 5 benefits of lemon
1. Lemons are full with vitamin C
If we’re just looking at the numbers, 100g of lemons contain 50mg of vitamin C - a true vitamin bomb! Vitamin C strengthens the connective tissues by stimulating the body's own collagen production. In addition, this antioxidant (because vitamin C is classified as an antioxidant) supports the absorption of iron into the blood. Probably the best-known benefit of vitamin C: it strengthens the immune system and fends off free radicals - which, by the way, is exactly what makes the skin look glowing!
2. Lemons stimulate the bile system
Let's talk about lemon water in the morning, which is supposed to be THE secret for a healthy digestion. Yes, there is truth in it, because lemons can stimulate the bile, i.e. the digestive juices! To put it all into perspective: Other citrus fruits like grapefruit and pomelo have a similar effect.
3. Lemons have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect
You might know this remedy from your grandma or a friend visiting, but there’s nothing quite like hot lemon water with ginger to ward off colds. It is so effective especially thanks to the vitamin C contained in lemons, which has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. However, it is sensitive to heat, so it is better to use lukewarm water for the infusion!
4. Lemons stimulate kidney function
Drinking lemon water to detoxify the body? Sounds like an unbelievable wellness trend, but there is truth behind it! Studies have shown that the vitamin C contained in lemons can stimulate kidney function, which is known to be responsible for removing harmful substances from the body. So sip your lemon water and enjoy the refreshment!
5. Lemons have an alkaline effect
The minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium contained in lemons make them an alkaline fruit. This may sound misleading at first, since lemons are known to be acidic. However, they have an alkaline and balancing effect in the body. Whether you follow a strictly alkaline diet or not, lemons can help the body with hyperacidity. Hyperacidity’s symptoms may be heartburn or discomfort after eating, an issue met regularly by people consuming meat on a regular basis.
Super tip: Here’s how to store your lemons
Lemons can be stored for several months in cool rooms below 10°C room temperature. However, in the kitchen, you should use them within a few weeks and keep them out of the fridge!
5 DIY ideas to use your lemons (leftovers)
1. Citrus olive oil
What do you do with your lemon halves after you've squeezed them into your water? Don't throw them away! You can easily make lemon olive oil from the hulls and give your salads a special kick. All you need is 500 ml of olive oil and 2 organic lemons (make sure they are organic and that you wash the lemons well, as you’ll use the peel). Peel the lemons, add the peels to the olive oil and then wait patiently for about 2 weeks for the oil to absorb the flavour. It is best stored in a dark and cool place. By the way: This DIY olive oil is also a great gift idea!
2. Anti-mosquito candle
Did you know that you can make these anti-mosquito candles relatively easily at home? Similarly to the citronella candles you might be already using in summer, these are quite effective against the pesky buzzing visitors. All you need is wax, wicks and, of course, lemons - there are lots of instructions online. Have fun making them!
3. Lemon all-purpose cleaner
This cleaner works particularly well against lime deposits in the bathroom and kitchen - and all you need is vinegar and lemons! Pour 2 litres of white vinegar (e.g. vinegar essence) onto 5 squeezed lemons (with peel) and let it sit for about 2 weeks. When the vinegar is ready, it turns a little darker and gives off a strong lemon scent. Then you can fill it into a nice spray bottle and tadaaa - cleaning is much more fun!
4. Hair lightening
For natural hair lightening, put concentrated lemon water in a spray bottle and spray it on the hair after washing. Leave to dry in the sun to intensify the effect. Be careful: This method also strains the hair structure, so you should not use the spray too often and care for your hair with oil treatments in the meantime.
5. Vitamin C skin toner
Lemons not only have a positive effect on your skin, but are also a popular ingredient in natural cosmetics - for example in skin serums and tonics. You can easily make your own vitamin C water by squeezing your lemon in water (ratio 3:1) and then dabbing your skin with a cloth soaked in it (this is not for every skin type, as it may cause further irritation if you have a sensitive or inflamed skin). By the way, the acid also has an astringent effect, i.e. it contracts your skin, making your pores less visible.