Lemon is an extremely popular ingredient this time of year. From refreshing lemonade to frozen lemon-lime ice pops, this zesty flavor adds freshness to a number of spring and summer dishes, beverages and treats. But did you know that this juicy fruit also boasts a variety of health and wellbeing benefits
? Here’s how to get the most out of one of the most versatile fruits around!
Benefits of eating lemons
Lemons are an incredible source of vitamin C
. Just one lemon provides half the daily recommended intake of this essential vitamin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that’s helpful in supporting the immune system. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage by free radicals and play an important role in disease prevention and health promotion. Studies have shown that increased levels of antioxidants in the diet may also aid in the prevention of many types of cancer.
Observational studies have found that a high intake of citrus fruits, like lemons, may be associated with a lower risk of breast
and pancreatic cancer
. Lemons can be an excellent addition to an antioxidant-rich diet
to promote longevity and prevent the development of many chronic diseases.
Lemons are also a source of folic acid
, which is a vital nutrient important for healthy cell division, proper fetal growth development, and may even be helpful promotion of cardiovascular health. Just one large lemon contains about 14 percent of the daily value of folic acid.
8 best lemon recipes and uses
1. Squeeze it on salad
Lemon serves as an excellent addition to any homemade dressing. In jar with lid, combine fresh lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt and chives. Shake and pour over greens for a simple and delicious flavor-booster.
2. Flavor fresh fish
Season your next fish dish with lemon to bring on a brighter flavor. Try Salmon with Rosemary and Lemon
for a 30-minute weekday meal.
3. Great for grains
Meyer lemons, which are a touch sweeter in flavor than regular lemons, are perfect for adding to grains. We love this quinoa skillet recipe
, which calls for cannellini beans
, artichoke hearts and fresh herbs, too!
4. Perfect on pasta
To whip up a zesty lemon pasta
, toss noodles with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Top with your favorite veggies and protein for added heartiness.
5. Sip on sour
Infuse beverages, such as sparkling water, with lemon slices for natural, good-for-you flavor. Nothing artificial here!
6. Bye-bye brown spots!
Squeeze lemon juice onto already-cut produce, such as avocadoes and apples, to prevent browning.
7. Love them later
Preserved lemons have a light, milder flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes. To make them, combine lemons and salt in a jar and let it sit until fully preserved (should take around one month).
8. Summer snacks
Make a summery granola blend! To your favorite homemade granola recipe
, add the flavor of lemon zest to the mix before baking.
No matter how you slice them, lemons boast undeniable health benefits that make this citrus fruit a perfect, refreshing addition to any spring or summer recipe.