Get the juice on your main squeeze
Although lemons can leave us with a sour face, they are packed with beneficial properties to keep us feeling our best
Although lemons can leave us with a sour face, they are packed with beneficial properties to keep us feeling our best. There is a plethora of research praising this sunny citrus.
Lemons are probably best known for being a rich source of vitamin C or ascorbic acid, a pungent water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C helps boost the body’s immune system and attacks free radicals and toxins in our bodies.
Lemons are also a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. If this is not enough to convince you that lemons are the kings of citrus, they also have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Sore throat? Try a gargle of equal parts lemon juice and warm water twice a day.
There are also several plants and herbs that share lemon’s lovely fresh citrus scent and, like lemons, are good for our health. Lemongrass, for example, is often used to add a herbal lemon flavour to many Asian dishes. However, it has also been used for centuries for its numerous healing and health properties, which include being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and having antibacterial effects.
Lemon verbena is good for digestive health, and it is also thought to stimulate brain function when used in aromatherapy. This distinctive scent is said to help promote calm and ease anxiety and stress.
Next time you are preparing a meal, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice or gratings of fresh rind and enjoy the benefits of this superstar citrus.
Sparkle and shine
Lemons are a fabulous natural cleaner and deodoriser to use around the house. Half a lemon dipped in kosher salt makes a wonderful scouring paste for restoring shine to copper or silver cookware.
A squeeze of lemon juice added to your dishwashing liquid will help cut through grease, while a 1/2 cup (125 ml) of lemon juice added to the laundry rinse cycle will help brighten your whites.
You can also wash your hands with the juice of half a lemon to neutralise garlic or fish odours.