Lemon fruit is found to be available year round and in all places. Its price is not very high. And the generous health benefits that the fruit offers are immense. For example, if you intend to reduce your body weight, it is recommended to drink its juice squeezed and mixed with warm water. It will facilitate removal of waste from the body and strengthen the digestive power. And gradually the body weight will come down. “It not only solves the digestive problem but also helps to cure many other problems related to skin and hair. Dr Dharmarajan, a diabetologist, states that it also helps to keep the body glucose level under control”.
“Lemon contains high levels of vitamin C, fiber and potassium. The antioxidants found in it improve metabolism and keep us energetic and fresh. If it is consumed before doing any kind of exercises it removes the tiredness and weariness that occur due to exercises.
Recent research findings show that ‘the risk of getting affected with diabetes is very low if one’s body has adequate amount of vitamin C’. Besides, there are other research reports that state that ‘the chances of getting diabetes can be minimized if one eats more amount of vegetables and fruits’. Anti-diabetes drugs like Metformin, if taken along with Vitamin C rich food products, one can keep Type 2 diabetes under control’. In a clinical trial the diabetic patients were given Metoformin along with vitamin C tables for twelve weeks. It was found out in the trial that the glucose and HbA1C levels in the trial subjects on fasting and post-prandial period were lesser than the untreated diabetic patients. Such an extent of rich benefits is found in the lemons that are available locally.
A single lemon fruit will provide vitamin C, half of what is needed for a person in a day. The American Diabetes Association states that ‘the vitamin C, fibers, potassium and folates found in lemon fruits not only benefits the diabetics but also for those who wish to prevent diabetes’.
If vitamin C is consumed as tablets there is a possibility of over dosing leading to side effects. When vitamin C is available naturally why do we opt for synthetic tablets? When we consume lemon we tend to take only little due to its sour taste. Therefore, we need not worry about consuming it in excess. Vitamin C is a very good anti oxidant. So it helps us avoiding cardiovascular diseases and strokes happening due to diabetic condition.
In a lemon fruit there is an average of 2.4 g of fiber content. It fulfills 9.6% fiber need of a person in a day. Eating fiber rich food items will reduce the levels of blood glucose and triglycerides. It will also reduce the level of insulin need. The role of fiber content is important in reducing body weight and also in maintaining the right levels of glucose in the blood. It will also reduce the obsession of eating foods frequently. The potassium found in lemon is a good friend of heart. It helps reducing blood pressure and prevent from strokes and heart attacks. It will also help preventing atherosclerosis of blood vessels due to accumulation of calcium. Currently, people eat more processed food items and this accumulates more sodium in the blood. The potassium rich in lemon helps solve this problem too.
Those who are diabetic should maintain their digestive system properly. If the glucose levels are not maintained under control it will affect other organs including the digestive tract. This will lead to irritation of stomach walls due to acid reflux. And due to the irritation the time required for digestion and also the time for the food moving from stomach to intestine will increase. Though there are medicines to cure this condition lemon will be a better alternative. As the lemon fruits contain less calories and fat it is a blessing for diabetics. A lemon fruit has 17-24 calories and its juice has only 11 calories. Therefore lemon fruit can be used generous in the form of fruit or juice. It can be used as a taste enhancer for salads and non vegetarian foods. Fried or steamed vegetables can be added with lemon juice. Some will be allergic to lemon and it is better to consult a doctor while using it.
Anything in excess will cause harm. Therefore it is better to have lemon moderately. There is a possibility to have acidity or burning sensation of the esophagus if it is used in excess. Some will have citrus allergy and they should exercise caution while using it or not using it. As it contains citric acid it will damage the tooth enamel and therefore it is advised to gargle with water after drinking lemon juice. The vitamin C found in lemon will also help in absorbing iron in the body. Therefore those who have excess of iron in the body should avoid taking lemon. Those who are diabetic should not stop taking anti diabetic medicine thinking that lemon itself will help controlling diabetic condition due to its beneficial features. It is better to have lemon along with the anti diabetic drugs prescribed by the doctors. Natural medicine is the best medicine. Let us welcome lemon!
(This article written in Tamil by R Kavya has been transcreated in English by V Amalan Stanley)