Lemons in the Limelight


A Lemon a Day Keeps the Beautician, Doctor, & Weight-Reducing Programs Away

Written by Rebekah McClure – Healthy Magazines

I want you to stop reading this right now.

Good. Now…think. Think of the last time that you got a compliment. I’m not talking about something you were wearing, like “Rachel, that necklace is just to-die-for!” I’m talking about you. When was the last time that someone told you that your skin glowed or your arms were fabulous or you just looked all-around amazing? Yeah, it’s been awhile for me too.

When I realized that I was tired of my handbags getting more compliments than I did, I conducted a little research. There must be some secret for a busy, middle-aged mother of four to looking compliment-worthy. Well-cue hallelujah chorus-I found it.

Lemons. While serious props go to the entire list of citrus fruits, lemons squeeze effortlessly to the top. They have vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and weight-loss properties. And, when put on your skin, not only do lemons make it glow, they contain anti-aging abilities and zit-reducing powers. Their mere scent is enough to leave you invigorated and rejuvenated.

Lemons allow for beauty tricks that are inexpensive, easy, and all-natural. So, instead of turning lemons into lemonade, try turning them into body scrubs, face washes, or breath-fresheners.

For Your Weight Loss

Research shows a possible correlation between lemons and weight loss. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Studies have shown people who maintain a more alkaline diet, do in fact lose weight faster. Yet, while celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow swear that water with lemons is a gift from the beauty, weight-loss gods, other experts aren’t so sure.

“Hot water with lemon in and of itself does not cause any actual weight loss,” says Alissa Rumsey, R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “However, if this drink is replacing a beverage that is higher in calories, like coffee with sugar or fruit juice—and that results in a calorie deficit—then it can help you lose weight.”

Drinking water in general helps boost your metabolism. “Staying hydrated is an important component of a healthy diet because it boosts your metabolism,” says Rumsey. “For those that don’t enjoy plain water, adding some lemon is a great way to boost the flavor without adding calories.”

A study published in Obesity in 2011 found that people who drank about 2 cups of water before each meal lost more weight than people who followed a similar diet without drinking water before meals. The water helps fill up the stomach so you eat less during your meal, making it easier to reduce your daily caloric intake and lose weight. Furthermore, plant chemicals in lemons, called polyphenols, may help to limit increases in body fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2008. This was an animal study, however, so further research is necessary to determine if the same benefit occurs in people and how much lemon would be necessary to achieve this effect.

For Your Skin

The vitamin C component as well as other antioxidants helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and it helps to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is vital for healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within your body.

There’s only one thing better for your skin than sugar scrub: sugar scrub made with lemons. In your bathroom, mix one cup sugar, one-half cup olive oil, and one tablespoon grated lemon zest and mix well. In the shower, wet your body and turn off the shower. Place some of the mixture in your palms and massage in a circular motion all over legs, arms, belly, butt and chest (make sure someone else does your back). Don’t do this while the shower’s running or you’ll wash off the mixture before you get the full effect. Rinse off in the shower.

For those spots that need even more TLC, rub a lemon half on the troublesome dark places of your body like the elbows and the kneecaps. After a few applications, these dark corners will see the light of the day. This lightening effect also works for those times when you accidentally overdo it on the fake tan.

For Your Face

Add the juice of one lemon to one-fourth cup milk and apply to your face. Clean it after half an hour and after a few days, you will feel and see the difference. Unless you have a strange objection to glowing, radiant skin, this face wash is an absolute necessity.

For Your Immune System

Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.

The juice of one lemon, two teaspoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt and black pepper will not only make an excellent glass of lemonade; it also happens to be the recipe to fend off upper respiratory infections like the common cold and the flu. It will clean and repair your body from the inside. And don’t forget to make a glass for your child if you are tired of him or her catching cold every month.

For Your Insides

Drinking lemon water also ensures that some of the toxins in your body are cleaned out, promotes quick bursts of energy and even cleans out some of your internal waste. If you drink lemon water in the morning especially, it will help to activate your body’s detoxifying process and also its natural cleansing process. This principle works proportionally, so the more lemon water you drink, the more you ought to speed up weight loss.

Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

In Summary

There are many health benefits of lemons that have been known for centuries. The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection. Other health benefits of lemons include:

  • Balances pH Levels.
  • Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood.
  • Promotes Healing.
  • Freshens Breath.
  • Aids Digestion.
  • Hydrates Your Lymph System.
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