Lemon is that one fruit that is so naturally blessed with natural healing and soothing properties, that not even a single portion of it is worthless. Many a time, we tend to try out different remedies and treatments in order to cure various health related issues that tend to bother us, but then it so happens, that after trying and testing all the possible options, spending our time and money looking for effective results, we find the ultimate solution in something that is always around us, may be in our garden, or our kitchen. Lemon is that one solution to many of our health concerns. The benefits of lemon are not hidden from us, right from having a warm glass of lemon water in the morning - to squeezing it up on our favorite dish in the afternoon - to a refreshing cup of lemon tea in the evening, the consumption of lemon not only stimulates the taste buds, but it also stimulates good health. Not only this, the topical application of lemon has also proved highly beneficial for the skin and hair. Generally, whenever we speak of the lemon health benefits, we refer to the lemon juice benefits. However, you will be surprised to know that the beautiful yellow colored lemon peel, that we tend to throw away in the garbage can, is actually blessed with various healing properties. It contains certain enzymes which can help you live a much healthier life.
Health Benefits of Lemon Peel
Scientifically known as the citrus limonum, the lemon peel, be it in its fresh or dried form, is used for various cosmetic, cooking, and medicinal purposes. Its consumption and topical application has proved to be a blessing to many suffering from ailments like heart issues, acne, cholesterol, scurvy, and many more. It consists of essential enzymes, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin P, calcium, potassium, fiber, limonene, citric acid, polyphenol flavonoids, and salvestrol Q40, which makes this fruit rind a must for a healthy body and mind. Not only this, the citrus aroma of the lemon peel makes it an excellent ingredient for essential oils used to enhance moods. Listed below are some of the major uses and benefits of the lemon rind.
Decreases Cholesterol Levels
Consumption of lemon peels helps in decreasing the cholesterol levels in the body, which in turn helps in promoting a better heart health. The potassium present in the peel actually helps in maintaining the blood pressure. The polyphenol flavonoids lowers the LDL cholesterol, which are the bad cholesterol. The vitamin C and vitamin P also help in clearing up the blood vessels, thereby preventing or minimizing the risks of developing the interrelated conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetic heart disease.
Helps in Fighting Cancer
As mentioned earlier, lemon peel consists of components known as salvestrol Q40 and limonene, which are known to fight against cancerous cells in the body. Also, the flavonoids present in the peel are known to be effective when it comes to curbing the division of cancerous cells. Therefore, consumption of lemon peel is known to be a preventive measure against development of various types of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer. A study revealed that consumption of hot tea with lemon peel has proved to be beneficial in preventing the development of cancer cells.
Improves Bone Health
Strong and healthy bones need a good amount of calcium, and lemon rind consists of calcium as well as vitamin C. Consumption of lemon peel has actually proved to be helpful in preventing various disorders like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures in the bone, inflammatory polyarthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Boosts Stronger Immunity and Digestion
The bottom line of maintaining a healthy body and protecting oneself from infections and ailments is to develop a strong immune system, and yes, consuming lemon peel can definitely help you do that! A strong immune system is the one that can effectively resist infections, and the essential nutrients present in the yellow peel, especially vitamin C, makes it possible for the body to resist such infections and subsequent ailments. Which is why, consuming lemon rind is also considered to be effective for treating cold, flu, sore throat, and infections of similar nature. Not only this, lemon when consumed with lemon peel is also useful for boosting a healthy digestive system because it consists of dietary fiber which boosts healthy bowel movements.
Great for Oral Health and Hygiene
Vitamin C deficiency is known to arise various dental and gum problems like scurvy, bleeding gums, and gingivitis. Lemon peel is rich in citric acid which prevents such teeth and gums related problems. Which is why, instead of throwing the peel away, you can always eat it up. As a matter of fact, in the earlier days, sailors used to carry lemons with them on long voyages so that they don't end up getting scurvy because of vitamin C deficiency.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals are the unpaired electrons present in the cells of the body. These radicals are responsible for occurrence of certain types of cancers, heart issues, aging, swelling, and autoimmune diseases. The vitamin C present in this fruit peel plays a very important role in neutralizing the free radicals, thereby preventing the health concerns mentioned above. On the other hand, free radicals can also be associated with damaging blood vessels, which is why you can also consider vitamin C present in the lemon to be responsible for maintaining a healthy blood circulation.
Lemon Rind and Healthy Skin
Most of the skin problems like wrinkles, pigmentation, acne, dark spots, etc., are considered to be the prominent signs of aging, and yes, free radicals play a very important role in that. Lemon peel is a natural source of vitamin C and citric acid, which helps in purifying the blood vessels in the body and eliminating all the impurities present in the skin cells. This actually promotes a healthy skin. Lemon peel is also great for acne and pimples because it contains antioxidants which detoxifies the skin to a great extent. The market contains various lemon peel powders for face which can prove to be very beneficial, however, consumption of the peel would be the best option. Following is a method which can be used for topical application:
Take the lemon and cut it into 2 - 4 pieces and squeeze its juices in a bowl. After that, cut the lemon peel into small pieces and mix it with the juice. Store the mixture in a bottle and keep it in a cool and dry place. Apply this mixture the next morning on your face. If you want, you can also mix a teaspoon of honey with it. Leave the solution on your face for about 5 - 6 minutes and rinse with plain or rose water. Do not apply anything on the face for the next 30 minutes. This remedy is known to be extremely beneficial in treating skin related problems, especially acne.
Boosts Metabolism and Promotes Weight loss
Lemon peel consists of a component known as pectin, which helps in weight loss. Pectin actually has properties that converts it in the form of a jelly, thereby preventing your body to absorb too much of sugar, which in turn, helps in maintaining your weight. So, the next time you have warm water with lime juice, don't forget to eat the peel.
Other Benefits to Avail
The benefits of consuming lemon peel are not just confined to what has been mentioned above. Lemon peel also contains various essential nutrients which can promote nail growth, cleanse the liver, improve the blood circulation, help in dealing with ear infections, capillary fragility, varicose veins, muscle contractions, strokes, etc.
Word of Caution
I have informed about all the possible benefits of consuming lemon peel. Though there is no harm in the same, however, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before going ahead with it. These are mentioned as follows.
It is very important to wash the peel of the lemon before consuming it. This is because while growing the fruits, various pesticides and insecticides are sprayed which may reside on the peel. On the other hand, while these lemons are shipped to other areas, a special wax coating is used to prevent the peel from getting damaged. This wax can be prepared using insect, plant, or animal based composition. Therefore, it is best to consume lemon peels that are grown in your backyard, or that are grown organically.
Another concern which arises when it comes to consuming lemon peel is the significant amount of oxalates that are present in them. Oxalates are found in human beings and animals as well. Studies show that when the body tends to have a high concentration of this substance, then it may lead to problems associated with crystallization, like stones in the kidney and gallbladder. Which is why, people who are already dealing with these problems should avoid its consumption.
In order to avail the health benefits of lemon peel, it is important to include it as a significant part of your daily diet. Every 100 grams of lemon peel contains about 160 milligrams of potassium, 134 milligrams of calcium, 129 milligrams of vitamin C, and about 10.6 grams of fiber. Apart from that it also contains more than 44 kinds flavone glycosides, and other plant acids and nutrients that makes it as valuable as it is today. Studies have also associated the use of lemon peels for controlling hemorrhage as well. It is also considered to be safe to consume even during pregnancy or nursing. However, because pregnancy is a very crucial condition, it is always best to consult with your family physician regarding the same. So take a sip of lemon tea, or have a refreshing lemonade, and say cheers to a healthy life..., I hope you are not throwing away the lemon peel, are you?