The saying, “Making lemonade out of lemons” puts a positive twist on something sour. When it comes to nutrition, a sour lemon isn’t that negative at all. In fact, an acidic lemon actually creates a more alkaline environment in the body. What does this mean? Well, we want to create balance in the body and, with the Standard American Diet, most of us are creating more acid in our bodies with the fried foods, red meats, dairy, refined grains, vegetable oils and processed foods. To balance, we need to reduce those acid-forming foods and implement more alkaline foods, which come in the form of whole, colourful vegetables, leafy greens, fresh fruit, and whole, unprocessed grains.
Lemons fool us because they are, in fact, an acidic PH with a sour taste. Yet, when they are in the body, they actually create a more alkaline environment. We want to focus more on how the food acts inside our body, once metabolized, and what by-products it creates, be it acidic or alkaline. Alkalizing lemons are packed with vitamin C, fibre, flavanoids, potassium, antioxidants and flavour. I keep them on my weekly grocery staples list for these reasons:
Make lemonade out of lemons
Iron absorption: The vitamin C in lemons maximizes iron absorption in the body. During our monthly cycle, post-surgery, or with anemia, we want to make more blood and prevent iron loss. Try pairing a squeeze of lemon with your spinach salad, bake salmon with lemons, or add 1/2 a lemon to your protein smoothie in the morning.
Glowing skin: The vitamin C in lemons plays a role in boosting collagen production in the skin. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, acting as the glue that holds us together. With age, pollution, sun exposure, and poor diet, our collagen formation decreases, resulting in wrinkles, a loss of elasticity and sagging skin. to help protect against the elements and keep collagen producing in the body, try adding fresh lemon juice each day in water, salad dressings, or squeezed on baked salmon.
Disease prevention: The more acidic our bodies, the more susceptible we are to diseases and illness. As we consume more alkalizing foods, like lemons, the more we boost our immune system and help keep our cells strong to fight off disease. Lemons also contain compounds that help to reduce LDL cholesterol for increased heart health, and may even help protect against certain cancers.
Better digestion: A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning helps to stimulate digestive enzymes, which sets us up for increased metabolism with the ability to break down our food and use it for energy. The acid in lemons also helps to break down toxins in the digestive tract and kill odor-causing bacteria, while the water helps to flush and maximize bowel movements. A win-win!
Reduced bloating: A bloated belly is a common complaint and can be a symptom of several conditions. Often, sluggish digestion, a sedentary lifestyle, infrequent bowel movements, poor food combining, and food sensitivities play a role. If you are finding that you are bloated and need to eliminate a build-up of toxins, lemon water can be helpful as it is a gentle diuretic, meaning it will help you pee more. Our kidneys are one of our detox pathways, so the more we can assist with elimination, the better.
Add lemons to your weekly grocery staples list and watch how your health can go from a negative sour to a better kind of sour, with many benefits 😉
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