Lemons

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 28. May. 2020

Lemons not only add freshness and acidity to a range of dishes, but are a great source of nutrients like vitamin C.

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Lemons...

  • ...are packed with vitamin C. 100 grams of lemons contain 53 milligrams of this immune-boosting vitamin, more than half of your average daily requirement.
  • ...can help prevent infections. The fruit acids abundant in lemons can help render some bacteria in the body harmless.
  • ...protect the body's cells. Lemons are rich in flavonoids, antioxidants which fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body.
  • ...can help the body heal. The vitamin C and ascorbic acid in lemons helps wounds such as cuts or abrasions heal faster. Ascorbic acid also supports bone health.
  • ...can help you lose weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure to incorporate lemons into your diet. Not only are they extremely low in calories, but their acidity can also help the body burn fat more quickly. Lemons act as a natural appetite suppressant.
  • ...can help detoxify the body. While it might sound counterintuitive, lemons high acidity actually has a deacidifying effect on the body, increasing the pH value and thus leveling out the acid-base balance.
  • ...keeps skin looking healthy. Lemons’ high vitamin C content helps produce collagen in the body, which helps keep skin smooth and connective tissues firm.
  • ...soothe the stomach. The acids in lemons can help alleviate flatulence, bloating and diarrhea, among other stomach issues.

What You Should Know About Lemons

Lemons get their delicious, sour scent and flavor from their abundant essential oils, which are mainly found in the countless glands of their peel. The essential oils not only provide the typical citrus scent, they are also said to have a mood-lifting effect.

Origins

Lemons originate from western Asia. Only over the course of many centuries did lemon trees become native to the numerous other countries where they now grow in abundance, from North America to Europe.

Season

Asia, Africa, Australia, Mexico, USA or Southern Europe - somewhere in the world, lemons are always ripe, ensuring that you can find fresh, flavorful lemons in the supermarket year round.

Taste

Lemons are incredibely sour, making them the rare fruit that doesn't taste good consumed on its own.

Varieties

There are many different varieties of lemons, depending on their country of origin and cultivation area. The main difference between the different varities lies mainly in the thickness of its peel and more much juice the fruit yields. As a rule of thumb,  the thinner the peel, the more juicy the lemon.  The color of the peel can vary, but whether its light yellow or a more deeper hue is ultimately irrelevant as to the juiciness and flavor of the flesh. Some varieties have considerably more seeds than others, but this doesn't have a bearing on the flavor or quality either.

Our Favorite Recipes With Lemon

Find all our recipes with lemon here.

How Healthy Are Lemons?

There's no debate that lemons are extremely healthy. 100 grams of the fruit contains about half your daily requirement of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, speed up the metabolism, has a general antibacterial effect in the body and plays an important role in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenalin. Vitamin C also helps support the formation of collagen in the body, which is important in maintaining the elasticity of skin, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels, and helps strengthen teeth and bones. Collagen also supports faster healing of wounds.

Some people also swear that lemons help aid in digestion, especially when it comes to fat. While there is no clear scientific evidence to support this, the acids in lemons can help to break down food more quickly. 

Lemons are also a rich source of potassium, which regulate the fluid balance in the cells and can have positive effect on blood pressure.

LEMON NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  WHOLE FRUIT | 100 ML LEMON JUICE   
Calories 36 / 27
Protein 0.7 g / 0.4 g
Fat 0.6 g / 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 3.2 g / 2.4 g
Fiber 4 g / 0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchase

You can buy lemons in any supermarket. Non-organic, cheap varieties are suitable for virtually any dish except those which utilize the peel, as standard lemon farming treats the peel with chemicals and pesticides that make them inedible. 

Storage

Fresh lemons keep well for several weeks in a cool place, and dry out a little faster at room temperature. You can also store lemons in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator, however this will make them lose some of their essential oils, and thus their aroma and flavor.

Preparation

Very often, after harvesting, the natural protective layer of lemons is washed off and replaced with natural or artificial wax, to make the fruit more durable. Lemons marked 'untreated' or 'peel suitable for consumption' are free of preservatives and pesticide residues, but may still be waxed. This is why it's important to always wash lemons thoroughly under hot water, even if you're just using the inside flesh.

Before juicing a lemon, either roll it back and forth vigorously on your counter or microwave for 5-7 seconds. These tricks will make them easier to juice and yield more juice overall. 

What To Make With Lemons

Let's face it - what would a meal be without lemon? Whether used on fish, meat, poultry, seafood, savory or sweet dishes, starters, main courses or desserts, a splash of lemon amplifies the flavor of almost any recipe.

This is even more true when baking, as grated lemon zest adds tremendous flavor by acting as a flavor foil to the sweetness of the sugar. 

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