I feel like the power of lemons is often underestimated. Perhaps because they are almost always available we do not consider them as something precious. But the lemons are amazing and powerful assistants in our kitchens! Let’s look at them in more depth.
Lemons are so widely spread these days, that it might be surprising that they originate at the base of Himalayan Mountains. Although they were introduced to Europe (Italy) in the second century, their popularity increased only later in the 15th century when they were discovered to be a great cure for scurvy. Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of Vitamin C which was very common among the sailors during the crusades.
All the health benefits provided by lemons are result of their unique compositions. Lemons contains many nourishing elements such as magnesium, potassium, folate, thiamin, flavonoids, zinc, copper, calcium and Vitamins A, B, C and E.
Lemons strengthen our immune systems. Due to a high concentration of Vitamin C (around 50% of the recommended daily dosage), lemons help us fight cold and flu. Even more so as they have cooling effects on the human bodies, they should be consumed to suppress a fever.
High dose of Vitamin C makes them a perfect companion to the foods high in iron. Our bodies absorb iron much better when we consume it together with Vitamin C. Therefore, serving your chickpeas-lentils-spinach stew (all high in iron) with a lemon based dressing salad is a good idea.
If you have problems with digestions, adding lemons to your diet can be very simple and elegant solution. Lemons prevent indigestion and constipation. You can help your digestive organs to process a heavy meal by drinking a glass of water with squeezed lemon or squeezing a bit of lemon directly on your food.
Further possible health benefits of lemons include treatment of kidney stones, reducing stroke risk and high blood pressure, improving skin complexion (reducing wrinkles and helping damaged skin) and hair quality as well as dental problems - lemons are said to eliminate the toothache, stop gum bleeding and eliminate the bad odor.
We can use lemons not just to improve our health, but they can be very helpful in many different ways.
Lemons are great to eliminate a bitter taste of some of the dark green leafy vegetables - such as spinach which brings us back to our chickpeas-lentils-spinach stew. More and more the modern food science unravels that the ancient food combinations were not only delicious but also nutritionally well balanced. But more on that in another post.
Pouring a lemon juice over a cut fruit is a great way how to prevent that fruit from turning brown. The effects are absolutely amazing, you can try it with avocados or apples.
Also, you can mix lemons juice with vinegar or baking soda to create very effective cleaning detergent.
Most commonly people store lemons on the counter in the bowl. However, the best way how to store the lemons to protect them from drying is to keep them in a fridge in a zipper-lock plastic bag. This way, your lemons should stay fresh up to four weeks.