201311-bite-meThe sight of lemons for many people comes along with its obvious sour taste that most are unwilling to consume. But that not withstanding these small fruits from the citrus family come loaded with many health benefits. Fresh lemons are readily available all year round in markets, supermarkets and grocery stores. Like other citrus fruits, the inner flesh of lemons is enclosed in segments with the average lemon having eight to ten segments. Their juice has five to six percent citric acid, which gives it the sour taste. Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, which is necessary for growth and repair of tissues in the body.

Lemons contain citric acid and bioflavonoid that help promote immunity and fight disease and infection. For example, they are great for the prevention of scurvy, a disease that causes one to have bleeding gums, aching joints and even loose teeth. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body, helps in blood purification and also controls bleeding. It also helps in clearing of a sore throat.

It helps build strong bones in the growing child when consumed in pregnancy. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks such lemonade which is made by squeezing out the juice in lemon then adding water and sugar to taste. You can also add a little lemon juice to foods or add lemon paste while cooking to bring out the full flavour of the food.

You can use lemons to get rid of ants in the kitchen. Simply squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks which ants use to get into the kitchen and then scatter small slices of the peel around the outdoor entrance. This will make the ants disappear. While buying a lemon choose a thin-skinned one since it has more flesh compared to the thick-skinned ones. It should be fully yellow as those that have green tinges are more acidic. Lemons can be stored in a dry place away from sunlight or in a refrigerator. They can stay fresh for one week outside the fridge and four weeks in the fridge.

Published in November 2013