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Loving Lemons

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Sour or not, the likeable lemon is a popular fruit. A squirt shows up in many places and is a famous garnish. Still, when it comes to health, we can benefit from finding more ways to enjoy this healing food.

Sour or not, the likeable lemon is a popular fruit. A squirt shows up in many places and is a famous garnish. Still, when it comes to health, we can benefit from finding more ways to enjoy this healing food.

Lemon Lore

Like other vitamin C-rich fruits, the lemon was highly prized by miners during the California Gold rush in the mid-19th century, since they were used to protect against the development of scurvy. Almost as good as gold, people were willing to pay up to $1 per lemon, a price that would be considered high today, never mind in 1849. The lemon can be just as valuable as a whole food for us today. With its high content of vitamin C, it is an extremely effective antioxidant that is known to boost the immune system and protect the body from disease and the effects of aging.

The lemon’s striking sunny colour is a hint of its disease-fighting properties, called phytonutrients. These powerful plant compounds give plants their colour, flavour, and natural resistance to disease. These same compounds have been shown to help prevent disease, including cancer in humans.

Lemons have also been shown to help in the following diseases and conditions: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insect bites, migraine headaches, inflammation, influenza, the common cold, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, heartburn, gout, neuritis, diabetes, fevers, and rheumatism. Lemons are also a tasty way to aid digestion and may help to dissolve gallstones.

Lemon Fresh, Inside and Out

Commercial cleaners include lemons in their products for a good reason - lemons are well-known cleansers. When it comes to internal health, this unique fruit is also prized for its cleansing and detoxifying abilities. Eating lemons helps the body cleanse the bloodstream and liver. A gentle, effective way to cleanse your body on a daily basis is to drink lemon juice each morning. Simply squeeze the juice of one lemon into a mug of warm, filtered water and drink. As a cleanser it balances pH levels in the body and promotes healing. Lemons are a wonderful liver stimulant and help the liver do its job of cleansing.

Selection and Storage

Fresh lemons are available year round, so be picky when you pick up this yellow fruit. When possible, choose lemons with thin skins, which will yield more juice. A ripe lemon will be fully yellow. A slightly green lemon, which is not fully ripened, will be more acidic. Overmature lemons may be wrinkled, have soft or hard patches and be dull in colour. Lemons can be stored at room temperature for two weeks. If you want to keep them longer, put them in a plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator crisper for up to six weeks.

There are many healthful reasons to include the lovely lemon in your daily diet.

More Juice, Please!

Now that you know how beneficial lemons are for your health, you’ll no doubt want to get more squirts for your squeeze. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • If lemons have been refrigerated, leave them at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before juicing or eating them. Warmer lemons yield more juice.
  • Roll lemons back and forth on the counter a few times for easier juicing.
  • Put lemons in hot water for 15 minutes—they will yield nearly twice as much juice!
  • Place freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays until frozen, then store them in plastic bags in the freezer for quick use in recipes or marinades in the future.

Lemony Treats

  • Place thinly sliced lemons underneath and around fish when baking or broiling. The slices will not only flavour the fish, but will soften to the point that you can eat them as a part of the meal.
  • Combine lemon juice with extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, crushed garlic, and black pepper to make a deliciously nutritious salad dressing.
  • Have a cup of lemon tea after a rich, heavy meal, to aid digestion.
  • Add some lemon juice to the cooking water when making rice, for an extra zest of flavour.
  • Add organic lemon rind to healthy muffin recipes.
  • Serve lemon as an edible garnish.
  • Squeeze lemon into a glass of water for a refreshing boost in the afternoon.
  • A splash of lemon on an avocado is a tasty, healthful treat.
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