A fruit that is very low in calories and rich in nutrients
Lemon, like its relative the orange, is a fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family. It is the result of crossing cedar and orange.
It is one of the most popular citrus fruits and used both in the kitchen, to flavour dishes, desserts and drinks, and in perfumery, as well as in preparing natural remedies. This is thanks to its intense fragrance and its properties and benefits for the body.
The origin of the lemon is unclear, although experts say it comes from Southeast Asia, probably from China or India, where it has been grown for 2,500 years.
Although it may be difficult to believe, ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans did not know about lemons. It would not be until the 13th century that this fruit would arrive in Europe, brought by the Arabs. In fact, the word “lemon” comes from the Arabic “laymun”.
It was soon grown throughout the Mediterranean basin and specifically the Iberian Peninsula, especially in the Levant and Andalusia, both areas under Arab occupation.
Lemons are one of the most important sources of vitamin C. A 100-gram serving of lemon contains about 88% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
It also contains vitamin B9 (folic acid), an essential vitamin for the proper development of cells and tissues in the body. This natural antioxidant is found in large quantities in lemons, helping to promote digestion and prevent the formation of kidney stones. It is especially important for pregnant women, as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the foetus.
It is also a good source of vitamin B6, which plays a crucial role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. In addition, it assists in the production of neurotransmitters and in the formation of red blood cells.
Although in lower amounts than above, lemons contain vitamin A, necessary for a healthy immune system, vision and skin.
It is a good source of potassium, a mineral essential for the proper functioning of cells and organs. It helps to regulate the balance of fluids in the body, contributing to the functioning of the nervous and muscular system, and is also important for cardiovascular health.
Although in smaller quantities than other foods such as dairy products, lemons also contain calcium, which, as well as being important for maintaining strong bones and teeth, plays a role in muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve signals.
Lemons also provide magnesium, a mineral essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is involved in energy production, protein synthesis, bone health, and muscle and nerve function.
It contains phosphorus, which is necessary for the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth. It also plays a role in energy production, acid-base balance and kidney function.
Lemons are very low in calories and sugars, making them an excellent choice for those looking to control their caloric intake or blood sugar levels.
A medium lemon (about 58 grams) contains about 17 calories. This means that eating them in moderation will not contribute significantly to your daily caloric intake.
It is also low in natural sugars. A medium lemon contains about 1 gram of sugar.
By squeezing lemons for their juice, you can add an acidic taste to your meals or drinks without significantly increasing their sugar content.
It is important to note that these values may vary slightly depending on the size and variety of the lemon.
Lemons strengthen the immune system, thanks to their vitamin C content. This helps prevent infections.
Like all citrus fruits, lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidation caused by free radicals. In addition, it supports the maintenance of healthy, youthful skin.
The flavonoids contained in lemons can help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving arterial function and reducing inflammation.
They also help reduce the risk of obesity, one of the main risks for cardiovascular diseases, since they are low in calories and carbohydrates, in addition to being rich in fibre. This makes them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a healthy weight.
While consumption of lemon juice is generally safe and beneficial for most people, there are some contraindications and considerations to bear in mind:
Lemons are acidic and can worsen the symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux in some people. People with these conditions should limit their consumption of lemon juice or avoid it completely.
The high content of citric acid in lemon juice could damage tooth enamel if consumed in excess or kept in prolonged contact with the teeth. It is recommended to rinse your mouth with water after drinking lemon juice to reduce the risk of dental damage.
In addition, some people may be sensitive or allergic to lemons. If you experience symptoms such as itching, swelling, rashes, or difficulty breathing after consuming lemon juice, you may be sensitive or allergic and should avoid using it.
Due to its potassium content, people with kidney problems should follow a low-potassium diet and therefore, should limit their consumption of lemons.
It is important to note that these contraindications are more relevant in cases of excessive consumption or in people with specific medical conditions.
Lemon juice is a very popular drink to quench your thirst and cool off, especially on hot days.
Lemon adds a refreshing and acidic touch to desserts, making them a perfect choice for those who enjoy citrus flavors. Some interesting ideas are lemon cake, lemon mousse and lemon sorbet.
Get the most juice out of your lemons with delicious recipes.