Sometimes the greatest assets to your health are also the simplest. Lemons, as well as other citrus fruits, provide a diverse and plentiful array of benefits to the body. Eating organic citrus fruits and drinking fresh-squeezed citrus juices can give your skin a healthy glow, boost your immune system, and, according to some studies, could even help fight a variety of cancers.
One of the best known health properties of citrus fruits such as lemons is their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which aids the immune system in all of its disease-fighting functions. Lemons also contain flavonoids, which increase the potency of vitamin C, reduce bodily inflammation, improve circulation and help regulate blood pressure.
Although one would think that lemons promote acidity because of their sour taste, lemons actually alkalize the body, helping to balance your pH levels naturally. They also aid in the detoxification of the liver by stimulating natural liver enzymes, which helps keep your circulatory system, and your skin, clear. The electrolytes found in lemons help keep your body hydrated and functioning optimally.
Lab studies of the limonoids and citrus pectins found in lemons have shown that these compounds can help slow the growth of cancer cells, keep them from spreading, and also in some cases destroy the cancer cells themselves. Studies have found that limonoids promote cytotoxicity to breast, colon, liver and pancreatic cancers, as well as to leukemia and neuroblastoma.
In one study, which set out to test the effect of limonoids on breast cancer cells, nine different limonoids were extracted from dried lemon seeds. Seven of these nine limonoids showed significant cytotoxicity against ER+ breast cancer cells.
Four of the nine limonoids were cytotoxic to ER- breast cancer cells, and decreased their growth by approximately 44 percent. The most potent of the limonoids was limonin glucoside, which is the most prevalent limonoid in citrus juices.
Another recent case-control study, performed in Europe, found that four or more 150-gram portions of citrus fruits per week decreased the risk of throat cancer by 58 percent, oral/pharyngeal cancer by 53 percent and stomach cancer by 31 percent.
Limonoids are found in the juices, pulp and peels of all citrus fruits. If you include pulp when juicing your lemons, oranges and grapefruits, you will increase your intake of limonoid glucosides significantly. Approximately 75 grams of citrus fruits and juices per day is recommended to help aid your body in natural cancer prevention.
Adding more lemons, oranges and grapefruits to your daily diet can have significant rewards. Plus, water with organic lemon is refreshing and delicious to drink throughout the day, and has the potential to make you look and feel your absolute best.
-The Alternative Daily