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When life gives you lemons, add them to everything! A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice can liven up any meal and add a burst of flavor to your water or tea. These citrus fruits not only add zest to your favorite recipes, they also provide you with incredible health benefits.
A small squeeze of lime or lemon goes a long way. Thanks to their antibiotic effects, people from third world countries can protect themselves from cholera and other deadly bacterial diseases. Lemon and lime contain D-limonene, which is a nutrient that has powerful cancer-fighting and antibacterial properties. Simply adding lime to rice and sauces during main meals substantially reduced the incidence of cholera in many West African villages.
Bright citrus fruits like lemons and limes contain compounds called limonins, or limonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risks of certain cancers, like skin, lung, and breast cancer. Scientists are finding that limonins may prevent cancerous cells from spreading. Ongoing research also suggests that they may even help lower bad cholesterol.
On top of boosting immune function, antioxidants like vitamin C prevent cholesterol from building up in the artery walls, reducing the risk of developing heart disease. They also capture and neutralize harmful free radicals that damage blood vessels and cause inflammation. For that reason, vitamin C found in foods like lemons and limes have been shown to help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A study found that people who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were at least three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed foods with higher amounts.
Starting your day with a glass of lemon water not only wakes your body up and gives you a healthy dose of antioxidants, but it also helps reduce the formation of kidney stones and gallstones. Both lemon and lime raise the pH of urine, which lowers the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation. They also help regulate digestion and promote a healthy liver.
Luckily, they taste great, too! Lemons and limes can really bring your favorite foods and beverages to life, while giving your body a flavorful burst of nutrients. A few drops of either can also keep your smoothies fresh overnight so you can wake up to the same colors you blended the night before. And best of all, there are countless ways to include fresh lemons and limes in your diet – you can make a vinaigrette, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of grilled seafood and, of course, add it to your favorite nutritious NutriBlast smoothies!
Jeannene Davis graduated from The University of Texas Houston Health Science Center with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics and followed the degree with a Certification in Adult Weight Management and Diabetes Education. She provides in-house support to physician offices and large scale support to corporations and small businesses to ensure their employees have the most current information about nutrition and wellness.
She's worked in hospitals, outpatient radiation clinics, gene therapy centers, and even insurance companies, focusing on health and wellness, diabetes, and herb and supplement education, as well as renal nutrition support to pre-dialysis, dialysis, and renal transplant patients for a variety of companies since 1993.