Lemon juice is a fruit juice obtained by squeezing lemons. It is often used to make lemonade or as an important part of many fruit cocktails and salads. Lemons are oval in shape and have a yellow, texturized outer peel. Their inner flesh is encased in eight to ten segments and full of healthy acidic juice. Available throughout the whole year, lemons are not just perfectly refreshing but they also contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. The interesting fact about lemons is that as they fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.
Health benefits of Lemon juice
Flavonol glycosides are one of the healthiest compounds found in lemon juice. Flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many cases of cancer. However, flavonoids also possess powerful antibiotic effects. Lemons are also an excellent natural source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. This primary water-soluble antioxidant travels through the body and neutralizes free radicals.
Free radicals, side-products of cell metabolism, are unpaired molecules, highly reactive and able to damage other living molecules. When free radicals interact by healthy cells of the body, they damage the cells and cell membranes, causing the inflammation, swelling and degeneration of the tissues. Free radicals are, actually, responsible for a wide range of health conditions such as coronary disorders, cancers or premature aging.
Lemon juice can help in the preventing the development and progression of arteriosclerosis, but it can also boost the immune system and bring a relief in conditions such as flu, cold or various infections.
Laboratory studies found that lemon juice might help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.Lemon juice is also used for cosmetic purposes. It can be applied topically on pimples, or used on hair to improve the brightness. Applied topically it is also effective against insect bites, mouth ulcers and gum infections. Soaking sore feet in water and rubbing them with freshly squeezed lemon, will certainly improve the looks of one’s feet.
How to select and store lemons
To get the maximum health benefits from lemons, one should choose fully ripened lemons. Lemons of good quality usually have a thinner skin. Lemons with thick skin usually have less flesh and are less juicy. If the lemon seems to be heavy for its size, it is probably full of flesh and juice. Finely grained texture is another indicator of good quality. Fully yellow fruits are the best. If the lemon looks wrinkled or has patches and dull coloring, it is most probably over-mature.