11 Evidence-Based Benefits of Lemon

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of lemon are attributed to its vitamin C content. It helps improve skin health, encourage weight loss, fight cancer, and act as a breath freshener. Lemons also help with dental problems, throat infections, and high blood pressure. These citrus fruits can also be used in skin and hair care. Lemon also helps to strengthen your immune system.

Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. Even more, as a refreshing drink, lemonade helps you stay calm and cool.

What is Lemon?

Lemon is a yellow citrus fruit that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Its scientific name is Citrus limon and it is native to South Asia. Lemons are mostly round or oval in shape and they have a thick skin. The juice of these fruits has a sour, acidic taste due to the presence of citric acid in it. Lemons are treasured for their high vitamin C content. They are used to add flavor to baked goods, cocktails, salad dressings, sauces, and desserts.

Watch Video: 9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon

9 Surprising Benefits Of Lemon | Organic Facts

People make lemonade by mixing lemon juice and water. Drinking its juice with olive oil is a known home remedy for gallstones. As per the results reported in a study by the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, lemon water may provide some protection against inflammatory polyarthritis and arthritis, too. However, more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of these results. Many also use it as a washing agent, because of its ability to remove stains. Its strong scent can also repel mosquitoes.

You can check out how to make lemon water here.

Nutrition Facts

Lemons, raw, without peel
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]88.98
Energy [kcal]29
Energy [kJ]121
Protein [g]1.1
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.3
Ash [g]0.3
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.32
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]2.5
Calcium, Ca [mg]26
Iron, Fe [mg]0.6
Magnesium, Mg [mg]8
Phosphorus, P [mg]16
Potassium, K [mg]138
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.06
Copper, Cu [mg]0.04
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.03
Selenium, Se [µg]0.4
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]53
Thiamin [mg]0.04
Riboflavin [mg]0.02
Niacin [mg]0.1
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.19
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.08
Folate, total [µg]11
Folate, food [µg]11
Folate, DFE [µg]11
Choline, total [mg]5.1
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]1
Carotene, beta [µg]3
Carotene, alpha [µg]1
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]20
Vitamin A, IU [IU]22
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]11
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.15
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.04
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.04
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.09
18:2 [g]0.06
18:3 [g]0.03
Sources include : USDA

Nutrition Facts of Lemon

The health benefits of lemon are due to its many nourishing elements. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it contains a good amount of vitamin C, and a small amount of a number of vitamins and minerals, including B-vitamins (niacin, folate, thiamin, riboflavin) as well as potassium, zinc, and magnesium.

Health Benefits of Lemon

Various health benefits of this zesty citrus fruit are explained in detail below:

Manages Hypertension

Lemon juice might help you manage your blood pressure with long term use.

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, regular consumption of lemon combined with walking (average body movement) was effective in lowering high blood pressure.

A 2014 research article shows that the blood pressure-lowering properties of lemon juice are especially evident in people with hypertension, rather than among people with normal blood pressure.

Aids in Weight Loss

Drinking warm water with lemon and honey in the morning is said to aid your weight loss efforts. While that might or might not work for you, a research study performed on mice confirmed that polyphenols present in it suppress body weight gain and body fat accumulation. This could have positive implications for lemon juice drinks in human weight loss.

Lemon honey juice fasting (LHJF) is considered as a natural remedy for reducing weight. In the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, researchers have shown that short-term LHJF may help in reducing body weight, fat mass, and total serum triglycerides.

Read more about the benefits of lemon water detox here.

May Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Both, the fresh fruit and lemon juice concentrate, have more citric acid content per liter than grapefruit juice and orange juice concentrate. This is confirmed through a study in the Journal of Endourology.

Another study confirmed that the high citric acid content in the fruit helps increase urinary citrate levels more than 2-fold without changing the total urinary volume. Thus, lemonade therapy can be used as a secondary therapy for the treatment of hypocitraturia calcium nephrolithiasis (urinary stones formed due to low citrate consumption).

Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or the juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

Fresh lemon and leaves on a wooden table

Citrus lemons with leaves Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dental Care

A study headed by Helsinki University reports that low concentrations of vitamin C can cause periodontitis (gum infection).

Lemon can be used in cleaning teeth. While most remedies will advocate using lemon and baking soda, try and avoid it as it may lead to dental erosion. The safest way is to choose a toothpaste containing this fruit as one of the ingredients. If you are keen to use lemon or its juice for oral care, it is best to consult with a medical expert before trying out anything new.

May Help Prevent Cancer

Lemon has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.

A systematic review conducted by Korean researchers shows that citrus fruits help to reduce your risk of stomach cancer by 28%. While these results do bring hope, the impending studies conducted on humans that may help us get more insights.

Evidence also suggests that citrus fruits like lemons have the potential to become co-chemotherapeutic agents.

One study also showed that lemon seed extracts, when mixed with methanol and water, may potentially serve as a chemopreventive agent for breast cancer. This is attributed to the presence of certain compounds called limonoids in lemon.

Clinical tests are still ongoing to find out how effective fruit juices like pomegranate and lemon juice can be against colon cancer. While the majority of these scientific researches show huge potential, more tests on humans are still happening.

Hair Care

Anecdotal evidence shows that Palestinian folk remedies treasure lemon for its hair care properties. Lemon juice combined with chamomile paste and apple cider vinegar has long been used there to change hair texture.

Lemon juice has proven itself useful in the treatment of damaged hair on a wide scale. When mixed with olive oil and applied to the scalp, the juice can arrest problems like dandruff, hair loss, and other problems related to the hair and scalp. Many beauty experts also suggest that if you apply this juice directly to the hair, it can give your hair a natural shine as well. However, an ample amount of research is still awaited.

Here are 7 Amazing Ways to Use Lemon Juice for Hair Growth

Skin Care

Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. The juice contains vitamin C, and therefore, it can be applied to reduce the pain of sunburns and bee stings as well. It is also good for acne and eczema.

Citrus juices like lemon juice act as an anti-aging remedy and can reduce wrinkles and blackheads.

Drinking its juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin. Many over-the-counter cosmetic products also contain lemon as a natural skincare agent.

Find out How To Use Lemon Juice For Skin

Health benefits of lemon infographic

Lemon is a yellow citrus fruit that belongs to the Rutaceae family.

Anticoagulant Properties

Very few research studies have been conducted to determine the anticoagulant properties of lemon.

A 2014 study conducted on rabbits shows that lemon contains an anti-thrombin component, which means that it helps in regulating blood clotting and may prevent excess loss of blood in case of an injury.

May Relieve Asthma

Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from asthma.

Being a rich source of vitamin C, it helps in dealing with more long-term respiratory disorders as well.

Reduces Corns

Lemon juice can help dissolve lumps on the skin. So it can be applied to the areas where the skin has hardened up developing corns and calluses, like the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.

Throat Infections

Lemon is an excellent fruit that fights problems related to throat infections, due to its well-known antibacterial properties. You can add it to your soups or teas for relief.

Using Lemon In Your Diet

There are many ways to add a squeeze of lemon to your diet. You can toss a spoon of its juice on your salads, add it to your tea, or simply mix it with cucumber water for more flavor. One lemon gives you about 2-3 tablespoons of juice but that may also vary depending on the size of the lemon. So, you can use it accordingly in your recipes by following the guide here.

If you are looking for some easy ways to use lemon, try these out:

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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