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Lemons: Nutritional Benefits and Facts

Published on Mar 20, 2023   -  5 min read


The lemon is one of the citrus fruits and a great source of vitamin C. It has numerous nutritional benefits. The article details the same.


The greenish to yellow round fruits of citrus fruits are loaded naturally with vitamin C or ascorbic acid. These fruits are well known popularly and globally for adding flavor, freshness, and acidity to any drink and food. Read the article to know their nutritional content, benefits, and the best form of culinary use.

Are Lemons Low-Calorie Fruits?

Lemons are easily the most commonly and popularly used citrus component and global fruit in almost every kitchen. Lemons are not only used for garnishing and flavoring of desserts, but they are even juiced, cut into wedges, or grated to make delicious lemon zest.

Lemons are considered naturally very low when it comes to the nutritional calorie count and are even low on carbohydrates as well. These citrus fruits are available all year long in most countries worldwide.

What Is the Nutritional Value of a Lemon?

One lemon without its rind or outer skin (measuring approximately 2 1/8" in diameter or around 58 grams) as per the USDA (united states department of agriculture) yields nearly 17 calories, 5.4 grams (g) of carbohydrates,0.2g of fat, and 0.6 grams of protein. These fruits are a rich source of vitamin C. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 58 to 60 g of lemon:

They are also negligible in terms of fat content and are low glycemic foods. The total glycemic load of a whole lemon is estimated to be around one. Lemons can yield a daily dietary source of vitamin C that can compensate for over half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C in adults which is around 30 to 31 mg.

What Are the Benefits of Lemon?

  • Immune Function: There are very minimal or trace amounts of thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate in lemon that are good for your immunity. Lemon may not be loaded with a lot of minerals because they are found in trace amounts usually. However, they do contain small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium that can be healthy even if consumed daily. A higher vitamin C intake is also recommended by all health experts worldwide owing to their essential functions in bodily metabolism.

  • Prevents Scurvy: Scurvy, though a rare disease in developed countries is increasingly more prevalent, especially in developing countries. It may commonly occur in individuals with vitamin C deficiencies, malabsorption syndromes, and those suffering from nutrient deficiencies in low and middle socio-economic countries. According to most nutrition experts, scurvy can be prevented by the consumption of vitamin C (10 mg per day). But a single whole lemon can give around 30 mg of vitamin C.

  • Improves Cardiac Health: Vitamin C intake is associated with a lowered risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease and stroke. The cardioprotective benefit of the lemons are because of the rich antioxidants in them that can prevent oxidative and cellular damage in humans.

  • Anti-cancer Effect: According to the National Cancer Institute, the increased levels of antioxidants help prevent the different types of free radical damage that occur in an individual that is associated with cancer development.

Are Citrus Allergies Real?

People with allergy to citrus fruits should definitely avoid lemons or other products that are made from lemon zest. Citrus allergy is a very rare issue, However, it is possible to occur in some individuals who have been previously sensitized. Studies also showcase reports that have mentioned individuals who developed asthma as a reaction after inhaling the smell of citrus fruit peels like lemon or orange peel. Even though it is very rare, One should seek help from a qualified allergy specialist or nutritionist if suspected of a lemon allergy.

What Is the Impact of Lemon on Tooth Enamel?

According to dental research, The acid in lemon juice has definitely been shown as a detrimental factor to tooth enamel. Enamel sensitization would occur because of the exposure to the acidic lemon when consumed more often. However, according to some health experts consuming lemon water with a straw can prevent the exposure of acid to teeth especially while drinking lemon water on a daily basis.

How Are They Stored?

There are many different types of lemons mainly ranging from bright yellow color to green-hued lemons. The most commonly available lemon globally is in fact called the Meyer lemon globally which is not a true lemon, but rather a cross between a lemon and the mandarin or orange fruit which is an interesting fact.

The true lemons on the other hand are the ones that are brought at the grocery stores and are likely to be either the Lisbon, Bearss, or Eureka varieties . The peak harvest season of lemon is from late winter to early spring or early summer. lemons can be stored at normal room temperature, however, they last only for about a week. Lemons can be stored in the refrigerator for a longer time.

Certain products or fruits like apples easily turn brown and exhibit a clear colour change when they start to oxidize. The process known usually as "enzymatic browning" occurs when the phenolic compounds are present in certain fruits and vegetables (pears, bananas, avocados, eggplants, and potatoes). The brown pigment which is called melanin though harmless after forming doesn't look appealing. Lemon juice is acidic in nature and can definitely prevent the browning or oxidation process by preventing enzymatic denaturation. In fact, one common culinary tip followed by most of kitchen chefs is to rub lemon or lemon juice onto the exposed surface of the fruit or vegetable to make them last longer once they are cut.

What Are the Culinary Uses of Lemons?

One can use lemons every day in their diet by adding a bit of color or its healthy acidic flavor which works well for nearly every type of cuisine and recipe. It is important to remember to not cut up the bitter skin called pith (the white lemon skin) while making lemon zest at home. The most healthy recipes can be prepared by cutting out sodium and calories, by adding a dash of lemon juice that will balance the recipe taste or even in salad dressings, or for spicing the veggie. lemon juice can also be similarly used in fruit salads to prevent enzymatic oxidation and can be added as an ingredient in marinades and it can tenderize meat. The consumption of chilled lemon juice is a way healthier option or substitute for any of the sugary desserts or pastries (the frequent consumption of sugar-rich desserts should be avoided for better health).


Lemons are the perfect fruits that are loaded with ascorbic acid that are available easily in the kitchen to use either for the acidic flavor of the fruit salads or veggies, for regular salad dressings or seafood recipes, or even for flavoring water.

Last reviewed at:
20 Mar 2023  -  5 min read




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