Lemon Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
Lemon, native to Asia. The fruit is used in beverages and cooking and is also used as a preservative due to its antioxidant properties and is often added to fresh fruit to prevent oxidation and browning. Lemon fruits can be highly acidic and have a high content of citric acid, vitamin C, and other key nutrients, providing health benefits.
Citrus lemon fruit contains a high content of phenolic compounds, primarily flavonoids, diosmin, hesperidin, naringin, quercetin, and limocitrin, as well as phenolics, coumarins, amino acids, and vitamins, which contribute to its valuable biological activity. Lemons are an interesting source of phenolic compounds, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, essential oils, organic acids, and carotenoids.
The Nutritional Value of Lemon
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, providing 64% of the Daily Value in a 100 g reference amount. Lemons contain numerous phytochemicals, including polyphenols, terpenes, and tannins. Lemon juice contains slightly more citric acid than lime juice, nearly twice the citric acid of grapefruit juice, and about five times the amount of citric acid found in orange juice.
Lemon is 89% water, 9% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contains negligible fat.
One medium raw lemon provides 17 calories, 5.4 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 1.6 g dietary fiber, 17 IU vitamin A, 31 mg vitamin C, 6 mcg folic acid, 80 mg potassium, 15 mg calcium, 9 mg phosphorus, and 5 mg magnesium.
Raw Lemon Nutrition Facts Label
Health Benefits of Lemon
Many health benefits come from the consumption of lemons, especially those related to the flavonoids and limonoids, which play a major role in preventing chronic diseases due to their antioxidants, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, and antiallergen properties, as well as their inhibitors of lipid peroxidation. There is also significant evidence that consumption of lemon may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lower the risk of stroke.
Lemons come with a robust antioxidant ability that is specific to the presence of flavonoids hesperidin and hesperetin. While they can scavenge free radicals, they actually take their antioxidant effect a step further. In addition, they enhance the cellular defense against antioxidants through the Nrf2 signaling pathway. When the Nrf2 pathway is activated, it serves as a major mechanism against oxidative stress. We know that wherever we have inflammation, we also have oxidative stress in the tissue and cells, so we want to increase our antioxidant capabilities to keep our cells from excessive damage.
The most well-known and most common benefit of lemon is as a good source of vitamin C. The first indication of health benefits from lemons was on board the early explorer ships to help treat scurvy, a common disease among sailors in those days. Scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency, and vitamin C is also important for the absorption of inorganic iron in the human body.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and acts as a reducing agent, which can help prevent cell damage caused by free radical molecules as they oxidize protein, fatty acids, and DNA in the body. This powerful antioxidant of lemons and lemon juice can help fight the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.
In citrus fruits, limonoids such as limonin, nomilin, and limonoids have significant biological activity. Some studies have demonstrated the health benefits and chemopreventive action of limonoid ingestion or treatment. They have the capacity to stop the growth and proliferation of many types of cancer. In vitro tests with human breast cancer cells demonstrated that limonoids have significant antitumor activity. Limonoid glucosides consumed in a diet can lower serum cholesterol levels.
Lemons are rich in pectin, a dietary fiber that is reported to lower the incidence of ischemic heart disease by promoting lower blood cholesterol levels. Lemon pectin contains the highest methoxyl content compared to other citrus fruits. Pectin has decreased blood lipid levels and the peroxidative status and has shown antioxidant activities in kidney toxicity induced by octylphenol. An intake of 25-30 g/day of dietary lemon fiber is considered adequate to meet daily needs.
With its rich composition of these phytochemicals, lemon has also been found to regenerate the liver. Compounds in lemons are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and protective of the liver.
Now we can better understand why we add lemon to water: It does a lot more than just neutralize stomach acids and relieve indigestion. Combining a whole lemon daily with pressed juice is an ideal way to extract the biochemical benefits from both the juice and the peel!
Lemon fruit contains a variety of nutrients and antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids, vitamins, terpenoids, and other compounds with antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, antiallergic, and other properties. However, despite the positive effects, lemons and lemon juice are not a remedy for cancer, unlike the popular myth about lemons and lemon juice being able to cure or prevent cancer or AIDS. Bioactive compounds present in lemons as well as in other fruits with antioxidant properties are actually beneficial to health but should never be used as a substitute for radiation therapy or chemotherapy.