1. You Look Younger
Don’t waste your money on expensive face creams or spa treatments; adding some lemon to your diet could be all you need to achieve a youthful glow. According to a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high vitamin C intake was associated with a lower likelihood to develop wrinkles and less skin dryness; two physical traits that can age you big time. Since one lemon contains about half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, stocking up on the citrus fruit will make you immortal… or at least, look like you are.
2. Your Blood Pressure Goes Down
High blood pressure can lead to scary stuff like kidney failure, a heart attack or a stroke. Luckily, eating lemons on the regular has been proven to help. People who ate at least half a lemon a day, coupled with walking about 7,000 steps, greatly increased their blood pressure levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. Although lemons shouldn’t be the sole treatment for something as serious as high blood pressure, it’s a promising health benefit; a lemon a day could keep the doctor away.
3. Your Cholesterol Improves
Lemons are chock-full of cholesterol-fighting ingredients, including vitamin C, which has been proven to lower levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, according to a study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Lemons also contain flavonoids, which lowered the levels of LDL and triglycerides in participants of a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. And the pectin in lemon peels was found to lower hamsters’ cholesterol in a European Journal of Nutrition study. Although hamsters aren’t humans, there’s enough strong evidence to add lemons into your daily diet for cholesterol-lowering benefits.
4.And You’ll Lose Weight
Lemons are rich in polyphenols, which are naturally-occurring compounds that contain antioxidants. Although citrus fruits have their own combination of polyphenols, the ones found in lemons can have significant health benefits. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that mice who were fed a high-fat diet and also lemon polyphenols experienced a suppression of fat accumulation and weight gain, and an improvement in levels of blood sugar, leptin, and insulin. Although scientific results in mice don’t always translate to the same in humans, the researchers still recommend an intake in lemon polyphenols as a way to combat obesity.
5. You Fight Off Inflammation
Although regular inflammation is important for your body’s immune response to fight off something like a cold, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain, fatigue, digestive issues, mood swings, and even cancer — pretty nasty stuff. Luckily, vitamin C has antioxidant properties that have been proven to reduce inflammation, according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. vitamin C was found to be beneficial during inflammatory conditions, including protecting immune cells.
6. You May Fight Off a Cold Quicker
There’s a reason your mom told you to stock up on orange juice if you have a cold; vitamin C has long been essential for staving off cold symptoms. Although research on just how much vitamin C has an impact on the common cold is mixed, it did show some therapeutic benefits at the onset of symptoms, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. It also had positive respiratory health benefits, another bonus when fighting off an annoying cold.
7. You’ll Drink More Water
There’s no denying that water by itself is pretty boring. Although drinking plenty of water is associated with such positive health benefits as losing weight, a faster metabolism and more energy, sipping on plain, flavorless liquid gets tiresome. Adding lemon juice water makes it more refreshing and palatable. Even the CDC recommends adding a fresh lemon squeeze to still or sparkling water in lieu of soda, which is terrible for you.
8. You’ll Have Fresher Breath
Nothing ruins the mood like bad breath. But if you’re out of gum or mints, reach for a lemon! Lemons are known to freshen up your home, and the same can be said for your mouth. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes odors, which helps combat nasty breath from things like garlic and onions.
9.But They Can Wreak Havoc on Your Teeth
Just don’t go overboard on the lemon juice. Lemons are highly acidic, which can wear away the enamel of your teeth. Once your tooth enamel is gone, there’s no getting it back, and enamel erosion can lead to discoloration and extreme tooth sensitivity. Lemons may have amazing health benefits, but it’s best to enjoy them in moderation (like anything else).
10. You Won’t Get Kidney Stones
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, then you know the excruciating pain that comes with trying to pass one. But if lemons are regularly a part of your diet, you may not have to worry about it. Lemons have a high amount of citrate, which has been proven to naturally prevent the formation of kidney stones. A study published in Urology found that patients who received lemonade therapy (four ounces of lemon juice in two liters of water a day with little to no sugar) formed kidney stones at a slower rate than before they started treatment. It was so beneficial, the researchers recommend lemonade therapy as an alternative treatment for kidney stone removal. Speaking of staying healthy, read up on 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat for more salt and sugar duos that you should steer clear of to avoid weight gain!