We’ve all heard the saying, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In fact, that phrase has been used so much that we often associate lemons with only one thing—sugary, tart water—and nothing else.
The fact is, there is a whole beautiful world beyond lemonade when it comes to lemons. Like other citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, clementines and limes, lemons are a good source of vitamin C, which has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties that protect our cells from damage to keep our bodies beautiful, inside and out.
Beyond vitamin C, lemons are a rich source of other vitamins and minerals such as potassium, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and a variety of phytochemicals.Beyond the nutritional benefits, there are a whole host of uses as well. Here are a few “beyond the lemonade” ways that lemons can help you live a healthy and beautiful life.
1Lemons prevent undesirable produce browning.
Isn’t it frustrating when you cut fresh produce, place it in the fridge and next thing you know, it has turned brown? Blame oxidation, which occurs once certain fruits and vegetables are cut and their cells are exposed to the air. The acidity of lemons is high enough that it prevents this oxidation. Adding a drizzle of lemon juice over your avocados, apples, bananas, cauliflower or peeled potatoes can prevent this browning from ruining your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables.
2They can boost your mood.
Compounds found in lemon rinds have been shown to provide a calming effect, while other studies show that lemons may stimulate the mind to remain more alert. The best ways to reap the benefits is by inhaling essential lemon oil aromas or making hot tea infused with lemon.
3Lemons can spot-treat acne.
Lemons can prevent or help get rid of acne by killing certain acne-causing bacterial species found on the skin. You can apply lemon juice topically since it’s an astringent or add lemon to a glass of water. Squeezing lemons in your water will give you all of the antioxidants discussed above, which can help to protect our cells from damage and promote beautiful, radiant skin.
4They defeat foot odor.
Several studies show that lemon juice has antibacterial properties. Anecdotally, some people find that mixing the juice from a lemon with 2 ounces of water and rinsing your feet with the solution helps eliminate foot odor.
5Lemons perk up soggy lettuce.
Have you ever reached for the lettuce in your fridge to make a nice, nutritious salad and realized that it was soggy and limp? Pep up droopy lettuce leaves with lemon juice. Soaking lettuce in a bowl of cold water and ½ cup lemon juice and then placing it the refrigerator for a bit before serving can perk up your greens. Ariana Fiorita contributed to this article.