Hello and welcome to today’s installment of Cooking with Fey! On this lovely Friday we are going to continue exploring iconic summer foods and dive into the nutrition and importance of an underutilized item in the kitchen- lemons.
Why lemons, you say? Because lemons boost your immune system, reduce free radicals in the body, ward off some cancers and heart disease and keep our skin looking youthful. That’s a lot of benefit from one little, sour fruit!
So with all that in mind, let’s break down how lemons are able to make such wonderful boasts about helping us live a healthy lifestyle.
As you may know, lemons are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which is an important nutrient linked to immune system health. Having a strong immune system helps the body ward off illness or recover faster from sickness. Lemons have such a high Vitamin C content that when comparing lemons to oranges the two fruits have almost equal amounts of Vitamin C, when measured gram for gram.
Vitamin C is also great for the heart. In a research study published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the diets of 126,399 adults were examined over the course of many years to reveal that for every serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, there was a 4% reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease. The study also pointed out that leafy green vegetables and foods high in Vitamin C, like lemons, had the largest positive impact.
Other studies have found that activities such as daily walking, combined with lemon intake, can reduce blood pressure. So if you are concerned about your heart health talk to your doctor about adding lemons to your diet.
Vitamin C also increases iron absorption in the body, so if you suffer from an iron deficiency or anemia, then lemons might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Lemons also contain antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body. As you may remember from last week’s blog on strawberries, antioxidants have been shown in studies to delay cognitive issues like memory less, fight cancer and decrease your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes.
These same antioxidants also keep our skin looking young and beautiful. Science is starting to show that consuming antioxidants can help slow the onset of wrinkles, age spots or decreased elasticity in our skin.
If you suffer from frequent kidney stones, then try reaching for lemons to help minimize the chances of getting these uncomfortable stones in the future. The citric acid found in lemons can increase urine volume and decrease calcium levels in urine- which leads to less buildup to form kidney stones.