Fascinating Fruit Facts
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
One lemon provides 51 percent of an individual’s daily intake of vitamin C.
The internet is full of conflicting views on what’s good for you and what isn’t. One week, what you thought is a healthy treat turns out to be a harmful one, and the next week it reverses! It’s as if science simply can’t make up its mind. The same applies to the good old yellow citrus fruit that is found in so many different dishes and drinks: lemons.
Welcome to another exciting “Fascinating Fruit Facts,” where we will dive into everything lemon and find out once and for all if the lemon is healthy. Or, you know—until science states otherwise.
The lemon is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae and is native to South Asia and Northeast India. However, this sour yellow fruit can now be found worldwide in practically every household. Above all, lemons are a good source of vitamin C; one lemon provides 51 percent of an individual’s daily intake of vitamin C. Because of their tart and acidic flavour they aren’t commonly just eaten straight up; instead, they are used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, or as a garnish to drinks and meals. However, because of their acidity, lemons can wear down the enamel of your teeth which is impossible to get back, so enjoy in moderation.
It’s not just the vitamin C that is thought to be good for you; the fiber and plant compounds found in lemons can lower the risk of heart disease. In fact, one study shows that consuming 24 grams of citrus fiber daily for a month decreases blood cholesterol levels. Fiber can also improve gut health by slowing the digestion of starches and sugars.
Lemons are widely believed to help maintain a healthy weight, but actual evidence is far and few between on this one. One theory on lemons helping with weight loss is that the fiber expands in your stomach, making you feel full for longer. However, as previously mentioned, not many people just eat lemons straight up, and instead prefer the juice, which does not contain any fruit fiber.
Another theory is that drinking water with lemon juice can help people lose weight. Some research indicates that drinking water helps the body temporarily burn more calories, therefore it must be the water helping with weight loss and not the lemons.
Other benefits to consuming lemon are to prevent kidney stones due to the citric acid increasing one’s urine volume and urine pH, which helps in creating less favourable conditions for kidney stone formation and to reduce the risk of cancer.
It has been preached time and time again that a healthy diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of cancer, however some studies suggest that people who eat more citrus fruits have a lower risk than people who do not.
The bottom line is that news on lemons, and a great deal many other things, will always fluctuate, which is why it is important to have variety in your life and diet, and to not believe everything you read on the internet or watch on TV.