Lemons, along with other types of citrus fruits, possess unique nutritional value. In addition to being rich in vitamin C, lemons also have various nutrients, such as vitamin B-6, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, pantothenic acid, and thiamine. Also, lemons are a potent antioxidant, which prevents oxidative damage to human cells from occurring.
However, there is one catch. To reap the greatest benefits, you must consume the entire lemon, peel and all. Not so appealing (pardon the pun)? But there is a remedy–try freezing the lemon.
With such a variety of nutritional benefits, what makes frozen lemons so special?
Well, because the lemon peel is consumed rather than discarded. As mentioned, eating a fresh lemon whole is not particularly appetizing. However, freezing the fruit, eliminates the nasty “peel taste” while retaining all of the peel’s health benefits. Also, a frozen lemon is more palatable to those who don’t particularly care for the sour or tangy flavor.
Nutritionally, researchers estimate that the lemon’s peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the fruit itself. Given the already impressive nutritional density of lemons, consuming the peel will significantly increase nutritional value – and the fruit’s myriad health benefits.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the health benefits of eating a frozen lemon. And in the end, we’ll give some real quick instructions on how best to prepare a tasty, lemony frozen treat.
Here are the benefits of eating lemons, according to research
1. Keeps the weight off
Lemon peel contains high amounts of polyphenols, micronutrients that provide a number of health benefits to the human body. Studies show that polyphenols improve insulin resistance, and are beneficial for developing and maintaining a healthy weight.
But what are polyphenols, you might ask?
They are powerful antioxidants. You consume them in everyday foods like coffee, chocolate, tea, and citrus fruits. Polyphenols are essential in helping to slow down the body’s conversion of foods into fat cells. Thus, they can help reduce obesity and help people maintain a healthier weight.
2. May aid in fighting specific types of cancer
Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, tested the effect, if any, on lemon peel compounds and estrogen levels in rats.
Researchers discovered a correlation between limonoids, flavonoids, and other lemon peel compounds, and “plentiful bioactivities.” The team ultimately concluded the following about the fruit’s anti-cancer bioactivities:
“flavonoids are more active compared to other secondary metabolites in Citrus for their remarkable various bioactivities.”
They noted that the fruit shows promise in reducing underlying risks of gastric and colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
“…flavonoids, limonoids, and coumarins…are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, including gastric cancer, breast cancer, lung tumorigenesis (associated with lung cancer), colonic tumorigenesis (associated with colon cancer)…”
They concluded that this research shines new light on the usefulness of citrus fruits, particularly the peels, in lowering breast cancer risks, specifically:
“A new study has shown for the first time how limonoids, natural compounds present in lemons and other citrus fruit, impede…breast cancer cell growth. This sheds new light on the importance of citrus fruit for breast cancer prevention and supports past studies which showed fruit consumption may lower breast cancer risk.” – Kim, J. et. al: Limonoids and their anti-proliferative and anti-aromatase properties in human breast cancer cells.
3. A powerhouse for the immune system
As mentioned, keeping a whole lemon intact augments the fruit’s nutritional value. One example of this is the further protection and strengthening of the immune system. As we all learned early in life, Vitamin C possesses strong immunological properties. However, it’s new info to many that the peel has higher concentrations of ‘C’ than the fruit itself.
According to Harvard University, a boosted immune system offers specific protections for your body:
- Prevention of acute illness
- Fewer recurrences of chronic disease
- Lessening the impact of stress on your body
- Healthier blood cells
So, do your immune system a favor and whip up some frozen lemon treats!
4. Lowers Risk of Stroke
Lemon peels, as mentioned, provide a hefty dose of vitamin C. According to the American Heart Association,
“Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable, and specifically, vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk.”
A lemon peel’s heavy dose of ‘C’ and flavonoids reduces the risk of stroke in a few different ways. First, the peel’s nutritional properties help to increase blood flow to the brain. Second, flavonoids help maintain healthy blood vessel function. Third, lemon peel possesses potent anti-inflammatory qualities.
5. A number of other benefits
To limit the health benefits of lemon peels to just five items would be inadequate. Here are some other ways that lemon peels contribute to health and well-being:
- Increases iron absorption (a leading cause of anemia)
- Promotes a healthy complexion
- Reduces asthma-related symptoms
- Decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
- Serves as a great source of energy
- Reduces pain by decreasing inflammation
Preparing a frozen lemon treat couldn’t be simpler.
Here’s what you’ll need: lemons (two are good to start), and a grating tool.
To prepare, simply place the lemons in your freezer for a 24-hour period. You may choose to slice the lemon into portions before freezing, as doing so makes grating a bit easier. However, you’ll find them easier to contend with if you decide to keep them whole.
So here are several delicious serving suggestions for you to enjoy your grated frozen lemon.
- Sprinkle them over your salad
- Add peels to unsweetened, non-fat Greek yogurt
- Add to any marinade for grilled veggies
- Enjoy as part of a chilled, natural drink (think up a creative lemon, green tea smoothie, for example)
- Combine frozen grated lemon into a bowl of fruit salad
- Eat it as a topping for ice cream or another frozen dessert
Final Thoughts: Embrace the Lemon as a Supplement to Your Healthy Lifestyle
Are you always on the lookout for new ideas that will add to your healthy lifestyle? Then don’t overlook the lemon! That’s because it’s valuable for much more than just lemonade. In fact, it can improve many body functions while tasting great!