Lemons are citrus fruits with a distinctive, zesty flavour. These yellow fruits are used in cooking throughout the world for their refreshing scent, delicious peel and sharp flavour. Lemons are also used as a fragrance in many household products, cleaners and air fresheners due to their invigorating, fresh and clean smell. In addition to being fragrant and tasty, lemons have many health benefits and are especially useful for those looking to lose weight.
Lemons are ideal for everyday consumption due to their low fat content and high levels of water, minerals and vitamins. Many people add lemon to water for a refreshing flavour, making drinking water more interesting while adding a dose of vitamin C. Lemons are acidic to the teeth, so in order to protect teeth from acid erosion, it can be beneficial to drink lemon water through a straw, so you get the benefits to your health without the acid from the lemons damaging the tooth enamel.
Lemons are also great for adding to foods, such as fish. Drizzling lemon juice over foods gives it a fresh taste, while the anti-bacterial properties of lemon means food can even be stored in the fridge for longer if lemon juice is added to it, as the lemon acts as a natural preservative. Lemons are also useful to use in beauty products for this anti-septic reason, while the astringent properties of lemons make them suited to use in facial toners.
How lemons aid digestion
Lemons have special properties which make them ideal for adding to the diet as part of a weight loss routine. The flavonoids in the fruit remove fat from the blood, helping to purify the body from within. The natural diuretic properties of lemons also help to rid the body of toxins and waste, encouraging excretion through the digestive system and helping to cleanse the kidneys.
Lemon helps the stomach to digest food, speeding the digestive process and helping the gastric juices, while the acidic qualities of lemon conversely encourage an alkaline stomach environment which helps to neutralise acids in the body and prevent heartburn.
Lemon has high levels of vitamin C which is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, while the citric acid maximises enzyme functions which stimulate the liver. The fruit also contains pectin, which is an important fibre which fights against food cravings while the alkaline effect it has on the body suppresses hunger pangs. Lemon is also energising while at the same time being calming so that when you drink lemon water your psychological health is also improved.
How to use lemon in your diet
Lemon can be incorporated into the diet in many ways. One of the best ways to use lemon is in your drinking water as it is refreshing and pleasant in flavour while adding vitamins and minerals to your drink. Drinking lemon water first thing in a morning stimulates your body and increases metabolism, energising and improving your mood. Simply squeeze half a lemon or a whole lemon into a glass of water and drink. You can also place slices of lemon into a water jug for the fridge so that the juice is slowly dispersed throughout the day. Always try to use organic lemons wherever possible to prevent any pesticides from entering your body.
The best temperature for your water is room temperature or slightly warmer to ensure maximum ease of digestion. It can also be beneficial to add a small amounts of grated or powdered ginger to the lemon water drink. In order to use lemon in your water as a boost to your weight loss, you should continue to exercise and follow a healthy diet low in saturated fat and sugar and high in fibre.
You may find the energising effect of the lemon helps you to increase the amount of exercise you do, while for those who do not like to exercise, the lemon boost may be exactly what you need to push you to get more active, which will help you lose weight. Increased exercise and a healthy diet in conjunction with the fat-burning properties of lemons should help you shift those excess pounds.