Does the very thought of lemon juice make you pucker up? Rest assured that this deliciously zesty fruit will add a brilliant kick to any juice recipe you add it to – and, mixed with a few other flavorful juicing ingredients, it really doesn’t even come on that strong.
In fact, we love the zesty flavor these fruits lend our juice recipes – as well as the wealth of nutritional benefits they provide. Read on to find out the health benefits these zesty treats have to offer and why you should start including them in your juices!
Lemons vs Limes: Which Should You Juice?
Just a quick note before launching into lemon’s list of health benefits – here’s a question we get often: are lemons or limes better for juicing?
Well, both are wonderfully healthy, zesty fruits and they’re both great for juicing.
But here’s something you’ll want to consider before you choose one to juice: Both limes and lemons are sour and add a distinctive kick to any juice recipe. However, limes are a bit smaller than lemons (less juice) and contain higher sugar content. If you’re debating which ones are best for a particular juice – you might want to know that lemons are richer when it comes to vitamin C 😉
8 Lemon Juice Benefits to Pucker Up For
Follow along to find out why it’s a smart idea to make lemonade whenever you can 🙂
Excellent source of vitamin C
You already know that lemon is a great source of vitamin C – just one little lemon contains 74% of your DV for Vitamin C! And this wonder vitamin is great for pretty much everything. It’s like the Swiss Army of vitamins, with benefits ranging from:
- Warding off colds by bolstering the immune system
- Being crucial for collagen formation and helping your skin look young and supple throughout the years
- Protecting against gum disease and tooth decay
- Speeding healing of damaged cells and tissues
- Protecting against – and even reversing – heart disease if consumed on a regular basis.
Even more interesting, especially for those concerned with gut health is recent findings that show a link between Vitamin C and ulcers. This protective vitamin was shown to protect against oxidative damage caused by h. pylori, a major cause of both gastritis and stomach ulcers.
Improves your digestion
While we’re on the topic of gut health, lemon juice improves your digestive function because it contains several phytochemicals that support peristalsis, the involuntary movement of the intestinal walls in the gastrointestinal tract. Besides keeping the digestive process up to par, which staves off constipation and maintains ideal bowel movement, these phytochemicals also get rid of free radicals and toxins in the digestive tract that can trigger health problems in the long run if allowed to accumulate.
There are also compounds in lemon juice that normalize acid levels in the stomach that can cause heartburn. These compounds can also keep pesky symptoms like gassiness and excessive burping at bay.
Lemon juice is a healthy picker upper when you need an energy boost. If you’re anything like most people, you probably start your day with a cup of coffee to get you going. However, making it a habit to reach for a glass of lemon juice every morning doesn’t just give you the energy boost you need to feel perky, but it also has several other cool benefits while at it.
Apart from giving you a dose of energizing vitamin C with each sip, the bioflavonoids in lemon juice also wake up vital organs like the kidneys and liver to help them get rid of toxins and other waste materials in the body more efficiently.
And for those of you looking to drop a few pounds – a glass of lemon juice only has 22 calories, which is roughly half compared to that of a cup of java.
Helps whiten your teeth
The next time you think your pearly whites need a bit of polishing, don’t shell out a lot of money for expensive tooth creams and dental procedures that can cost a king’s ransom. Simply swish a small amount of lemon juice in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. Make sure you get it vigorously moving to cover as much area while doing so. Just remember to gargle a lot of water afterwards or stop when you feel a burning sensation in your mouth.
The citric acid in lemon juice not only reacts with the contaminants that can blemish the teeth over time, but also eliminate bad bacteria that can irritate the gums, tongue and the roof of the mouth. Remarkably, this is the reason why it’s not uncommon to see lemon juice or its by-products in a number of dental and oral care merchandise these days.
Maintains the body’s ideal pH levels
The high acidity content of lemons and limes help keep the pH levels in the body ideal. The acids in these fruits react with essential body fluids and stimulate the formation of alkaline in the system that helps prevent the growth of microorganisms that can thrive in an acidic internal environment.
Fights adrenal fatigue
At its simplest, the adrenals are basically small glands that are situated just above the kidneys. Along with the thyroid, these glands play a key role in the secretion of aldosterone, a type of hormone that helps regulate water levels in the body, as well as control the amount of sodium and other minerals. The lack of aldosterone in the system can lead to dehydration, which not only prevents the body from functioning up to par, but also cause constipation and toxic build-up.
Lemon juice contains beneficial compounds that maintain the optimum function of the adrenal glands so they will keep on working efficiently. This means that besides helping you stay as hydrated as possible, having hale and hearty adrenals also prevents illnesses that may be caused by dehydration.
Boosts weight loss
Apart from its positive effects on the overall function of the digestive system, lemon juice is also very abundant in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps hold back hunger pangs when metabolized by the body. Uncontrolled hunger pangs can lead to overeating, which can easily make you pack on extra weight sooner or later or perhaps make it very tricky for you to lose the surplus pounds.
Now while lemon juice already contains pectin, much of the fruit’s pectin content is concentrated in the peel, so make sure you add a bit of it into your juicer every time you whip up a glass to really maximize lemon’s weight loss benefits.
On top of all this, lemon is of course one of the most low calorie fruits!
Naturally alleviates pain
Here’s a fun fact about lemons: there are high amounts of salicylic acid, a vital component in aspirin, in limes and lemons that help neutralize pain signals. The best way to get the most salicylic acid from these fruits is by consuming the juice. It can also be used as a natural anti-bacterial gargle for itchy throats.
5 Sublime Lemon Juice Recipes
Sure you can just juice some lemon, dilute it with some water and add a bit of honey for sweetness…but why stick to the plain stuff when there are so many delicious lemon juice recipes to make?
Zesty Watermelon Juice Recipe
This is a super simple juice recipe consisting of just two very juicy ingredients:
- 1.5 cups watermelon, rinds and all
- 1 lemon, peeled
Great for detox, rich in lycopene and vitamin C and absolutely delicious!
Perfect Pear to Balance Your pH Levels
Okay, I know I always say this…but this is the best-tasting healthy green juice you’ll ever try! Especially if you love the aromatic taste of basil…
But this juice recipe’s not just good for the taste buds – celery and lemon combine to provide a gentle detox and balance internal pH levels and digestion-boosting pear adds a welcome sweetness to the mix.
As for basil…this delicious herb is the perfect thing to juice for skin health, especially if you’re struggling with blemishes and acne. Basil has proven antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that work on problem skin from the inside out.
Cleansing Citrus Juice
You know sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just feel so tired and rundown, maybe a little hungover, flu like or overly full from the night before? This juice is your cure for that feeling!
What You Need:
- 2 oranges
- 4 carrots
- 2 big handfuls of kale
- 1/2 a lemon
- a knob of ginger about an inch long
Optional: one cucumber
1. Start by slicing the oranges in half, then cut off their skin – both the orange and the inner white layers.
2. Then put everything through the juicer – you’ll get more goodness from the kale if you juice it at the same time as the oranges or carrots as they’re so juicy!
Makes one large glass. Sip, cleanse and enjoy!
Kickin’ Kale: A Gentle Green Juice Recipe
Considering the load of green goodness that’s packed into this juice recipe, it’s delightfully easy on the palate. It’s actually one of the lightest, most refreshing green juices – probably ’cause anti-oxidant-rich, libido-boosting celery and highly-hydrating, mineral-rich cucumbers add the perfect, smooth and clean base for the stronger ingredients like anti-inflammatory, cell-protecting kale and circulation-improving, immunity-boosting ginger.
Cucumbers are pretty much green water (about 90%) so they serve as a great diluting base for stronger greens, such as kale. The same can be said of celery, which is also mostly water.
These watery vegetables are the perfect beginner’s greens – refreshing, hydrating, and gentle on your stomach. They’re also unbelievably low in calories and high in nutrients (Vitamin A, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, etc.) and rich in chlorophyll.
To top it off, flavor-rich cilantro and pH-balancing lemon add yummy flavor to the whole mix!
Get the Juices Flowing Green Juice
Just because you’re new to green juice doesn’t mean you need to juice the same old ingredients all the time. If you’ve already had a green juice or two, you know exactly what we mean. Most green juice recipe for beginners are the same: Add one watery, tasteless leafy green. Add an apple. Maybe sneak in a lemon or a bit of ginger for excitement.
And we’re totally guilty of this, too. But let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s something different for your bored tastebuds!
What you’ll need:
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 1 ruby red grapefruit (peeled)
- 1 small apple
- 1 lemon (peeled)
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 cup spinach
Despite the greens, this juice won’t taste like your average green juice. But it’ll be a delight for your tastebuds – especially if you like the taste of licorice – and for your tummy. Both grapefruit and fennel are excellent for digestion so this is one great juice recipe to sip on if you’re feeling, ahem, clogged.
Quick Tips on Juicing Lemon
- The best lemons to toss in the juicer are those that feel heavy yet have a slight spongy feel when you squeeze them a bit. This means they’re carrying a lot of juice. Although lemons with green patches are alright for juicing, keep clear from fruits with brown spots since they are signs of rot or pest infestation.
- Although lemon juice already has a tasty tang when you drink it straight up (keeps you young 🙂 , combining it with the juices of apples, carrots, pears, kale and mangoes will give its flavor profile a new dimension (and a welcome sweetness).