The fruit juice of a lemon contains mainly sugars and fruit acids, which are principally citric acid. Lemon peel has 2 layers, a zesty outer layer, which contains approx. 6% essential oil, which is mostly limonene (a very important phytonutrient for human health and liver detoxification) and an inner layer made of bitter flavone glycoside and coumarin derivatives.
Despite popular belief that all lemons are sour flavoured, there is a sweet variety of lemons called the Meyer lemon, and it can be easily grown indoors in the UK. Unlike other citrus fruit trees, lemon trees can bear fruit all year round, so lemon trees make an attractive and healthy gift idea for a loved one.
- Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C
- They also contain vitamins A, B1, and bioflavonoids, as well as potassium, magnesium and folic acid.
- The main health benefit of lemons, is the limonene extracted from the skin. It is currently being used in clinical trials to dissolve gallstones, and has promising anticancer properties.
- The best way to add the benefits of lemons to your diet, is to drink the juice in tepid water throughout the day, and notably first thing in the morning.
- You can also slice the lemon in half and pop in the freezer. You can then grate the whole lemon over salad, veggie or protein dishes that require an extra health boost and lovely zingy flavour.
- Try to use organic, unwaxed lemons if possible, but if they are not available, please ensure you soak and scrub the skin before use
Lemon Basil Salad Dressing Recipe (serves 2)
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 tbsp. of olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt.
Handful of finely chopped basil leaves
Add this to any salad, for a lively, fresh zesty taste all year round.