In this brief article we will answer the query, ”Is a lemon a fruit?” We will delve into the nutritional profile of lemons. We will also look at some health benefits of consuming lemons.
Is a lemon a fruit?
Yes, lemon is a fruit and is botanically classified as a citrus fruit similar to other fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. Lemon is classified as a fruit because it contains seeds and it usually grows from flowers.
Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber and contain a variety of plant compounds, essential minerals and essential oils. With all the mentioned nutrients, it’s no surprise that lemons have a tonne of potential health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and kidney stones.
Lemons can be enjoyed in many ways, they can be added to smoothies, added to salad dressings and sauces, sprinkled on fish among others. Lemons have a sour taste and cannot be enjoyed alone.
What is the nutritional profile of lemons?
Lemons are good for weight loss as they are low in calories and have very little fat. They mainly consist of carbohydrates at about 10 percent and water about 88 percent.
A 100 grams serving of raw and peeled lemon can typically provide the below nutrients:
- Calories: 29
- Water: 88 percent
- Protein: 1.1 grams
- Carbohydrates: 9.3 grams
- Sugar: 2.5 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
What are the health benefits of lemons?
They are good for the heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Reduced levels of Vitamin C in the blood stream have been linked with an increased risk of stroke particularly in people that are obese or that have high blood pressure.
The intake of isolated fibers from citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges has been linked with reduced levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream and the essential oils in the lemons can help prevent Low density lipoprotein (LDL) ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidized.
They can help prevent kidney stones
Citric acid in lemons can assist in lowering the risk of developing kidney stones. Some research has shown that lemonade, as well as lemon juice, are effective in preventing kidney stones while other studies haven’t found any effect on the 2.
They can help prevent anemia
Anemia is usually as a result of a deficiency in iron and is common among women in the pre-menopausal stage. Lemon has small amounts of iron and is an excellent source of Vitamin C as well as Citric acid which can boost the absorption of iron from other foods.
Lemons can increase the absorption of iron from foods boosting iron bioavailability in the body and thus helping in prevention of anemia.
They can help in management of weight
Lemons have long been touted as a great weight loss food and there are some factors that contribute to this. Lemons are a good source of soluble pectin fiber which enables you to feel fuller for longer.
However, to benefit from this you will require to consume whole lemons and just not the juice.Consumption of hot water with lemon has also been said to help with weight loss. It is however not clear if it is the water that promotes weight loss as water has been studied to temporarily increase no. of calories burned or if it’s the lemon juice.
Studies have also shown that the plant compounds in lemons can aid in the reduction of weight and can as well lead to weight gain in a variety of ways.
They can help reduce risk of cancer
Lemons have also been found to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers which include breast cancer. This is attributed to the presence of plant compounds such as hesperidin and d-limonene.
In this brief article we have answered the query, ”Is a lemon a fruit?” We have looked at the nutritional profile of lemons. We have also discussed the health benefits of consuming lemons.