The lemon was first created as a cross between a lime and a citron, and all three grow on evergreen shrubs. The Arabs introduced this small citrus fruit to the Europeans, who then brought them to Spain in the 11th century.
Along with other fruits and vegetables, Christopher Columbus brought lemons with him on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, and they have been growing in Florida since the 16th century.
Besides large amounts of vitamin C, lemons also contain riboflavin, thiamin, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, calcium and folate.
Fact # 1: Immune System Booster
When cold and flu season arrives, it is always a good idea to keep a bag of fresh lemons handy. The citric acid, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, calcium, pectin and limonene do a great job of boosting your immune system and keeping infections at bay.
Fact # 2: Cancer Protection
Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds including limonene – an oil that has been shown to halt the growth of cancer tumors in animals. In addition they also contain flavonol glycosides, which stop the division of cancer cells.
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that limonoids in citrus fruits protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Another study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry stated that limonoids can inhibit tumors in the mouth and stop the growth of cancer cells once a tumor has formed.
Fact # 3: Oxygen Uptake
Lemons have a purer concentration of negatively charged ions than any other fruit. Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain; Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research, says, “negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy. They also may protect against germs in the air.” The first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, said that he attributed much of his success to lemons!
Fact # 4: Digestive Health
Your body works hard to digest all that you give it. Lemon juice helps flush away unwanted materials and toxins left from the digestive process. Because lemon juice is similar in atomic composition to digestive juices and saliva, it does a great job breaking down material and encouraging the liver to produce bile.
Fact #5: Kidney Stones
When you don’t have enough citrate in your urine, you are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones. Eating lemons on a regular basis can help raise the citrate levels in your urine, and may prevent stones from forming by coating very small stones and keeping other material from attaching to the small stones and enlarging them.