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DSC05996Lemon refers to both a whole plant, Citrus limon, and to the fruit that it produces. Lemon nutrition has a lot to offer to the health conscious individual. Slightly less than two lemons supplies 88% of the RDA of vitamin C (that is, this quantity of lemons will on average provide 53 milligrams of vitamin C; the RDA is 60 milligrams). Lemons provide the highest amounts of citrate of any of the citrus fruits; citrate Is an important nutrient in the prevention of the formation of kidney stones (more on this below). Lemons are also a good source of potassium, folate, and antioxidant flavonoids that have a wide spectrum of beneficial biological effects. Due to the presence of the aforementioned nutrients, lemon health benefits are numerous.

Research performed by Roger L. Sur, MD, at the University of California San Diego demonstrated dramatic reductions in kidney stone formation in patients who consumed reconstituted lemon juice in water on a daily basis (four ounces of juice in two liter of water reduced average stone formation from 1.00 to 0.13 stones per patient). The vitamin C content of lemons prevents the development of a vitamin C deficiency disease known as scurvy; in addition, vitamin C, like the aforementioned flavonoids, is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants have shown a great deal of potential in the prevention and alleviation of cancer.

Vitamin C also enhances the absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract, which is an important consideration for those suffering from anemia. Potassium is crucial in the maintenance of healthy nerve and heart functioning, and folate is an especially important nutrient for pregnant women who wish to ensure healthy birth outcomes for their children. Keeping all of these considerations in mind, there’s no reason not to reach for some lemonade when you need a refreshing, healthy drink!

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