I never thought much about lemons. If I’m being honest, I thought they were a bit useless. You couldn’t bite into them like a juicy apple because it would erode the enamel on your teeth. You couldn’t savor them in your mouth like a sweet strawberry because they were too sour to chew. Nor could you blend them up to make a creamy smoothie like with a banana. When I was a kid, I saw one use for lemons: on the rim of those big plastic water cup at chain restaurants, but even those lemons were a waste of space in my life because my dad always said, “Don’t eat the lemons on the side of your water cup because whoever cut them probably didn't wash their hands!”
My dad was right about many things when it came to the world of health, but at times he was also a walking contradictory because why on earth were we still eating at O'Charley’s, Applebee’s, and Red Robin? I would never set foot in these establishments today because their food is loaded with chemicals, but, as I kid I couldn’t get enough of these dining establishments. I thought the Oreo blast at AbbleeBees was sensational. Don't even get me started on the buttery rolls at O'Charley’s. Should I even tell you about the skinny fries at Red Robin? I was definitely on my way to being a very unhealthy human, but then I came face to face with the world of health. The more I learned about nutrition, the less I could bring myself to eat at these chain restaurants, and the more I ate food with actual nutrients, the worse their food tasted.
My final day eating at these sort of establishments was when I ordered a turkey sandwich with a side of fruit at Applebees. When they served me my meal, my greasy sandwich came with a bowl of rock hard, frozen strawberries with icicles on the side. When I told the waiter I couldn’t bite into my strawberry because it was frozen, she said, “Guess I didn’t nuck them in the microwave long enough.” Right then, I wasn't sure what was worse: The fact that I was served icicle strawberries or that the server had admitted to microwaving my “fresh” fruit.
All this to say, I still abide by what my father said: avoid the lemons on your water cup at restaurants! However, what I don’t stray away from anymore is lemons because lemons are an incredible piece of fruit. Today I’m going to give you 5 solid reasons why you should be incorporating lemons more into your life.
1) Lemons Are Vital to Becoming A Good Cook
You may not be able to bite into a lemon, like an apple, but these guys are perhaps the most important ingredient when it comes to making salad dressings, marinades, sauces, cocktails and baked goods. Without lemons we would have a lot of dry meat and a lot of sad salads out there. If you’re interested in becoming a great cooking, you must always have some lemons in your fruit bowl at home. They are a key ingredient in cooking. If anybody tells you otherwise, then they’re probably still eating TV dinners or worse – Kid Cuisines! Do you remember those portable plastic blue trays with the duck on the side? These "kid friendly' frozen dinners were the worst. I mean, they came with a frozen brownie for desert. Gross. If you want to learn how to cook up some sensational recipes then one must always have some lemons on hand.
2) Lemons Are Full of Vitamins
Lemons are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. If these words mean nothing to you, let me explain. Antioxidants are great because they boost your immune system and fight heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is amazing because it keeps fights off colds, and makes your skin look like a glowing goddess. I’m serious! According to a study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a high intake of vitamin C combats wrinkles and stops dry skin, two physical traits that age you rapidly. People, can we give it up for lemons already?
3) Lemons Prevent Kidney Stones
Guess who had a bunch of kidney stones growing up? My dad. Guess who didn’t drink lemon with his water? My dad. Guess who drinks lemon water religiously everyday now? My dad. My goodness, you just learned a lot about my father, but he really had some awful kidney stones grown up. If you’re prone to kidney stones or they run in your family, start incorporating lemons in your diet asap! The University of Wisconsin Health recently determined that the citric acid in lemons stops kidney stone formation. It also breaks up small stones that are beginning to form, and fun fact alert: Lemons contain more acid than any other fruit!
4) Lemons Stop Cancer!
This reason totally gets an exclamation point at the end because this is insanely incredible! You see, lemons are a highly alkaline food, and, over the years, multiple studies have determined that cancer can’t thrive in an alkaline environment. Therefore lemons deter cancer from being able to grow inside the body. Also, lemons clean your liver. They do this by stimulating the liver to release toxins, and a healthy liver is vital to fight of cancer cells. Just to be clear, I’m not saying lemons will cure cancer, but the research doesn’t lie, and study after study has proven that lemons have aided in being able to fight it off.
5) Lemons Boost Your Mental Health
Oh, mental health, the subject I will forever be fascinated by - being the daughter of a schizophrenic mother will certainly do this to you, and right now I’m on a lemon kick because lemons have been known to stop depression and anxiety! Say what? Depression and anxiety are often the result of low levels of potassium in the blood. Our nervous system needs a sufficient amount of potassium to ensure sustainable signals to the heart, and – here we go again – lemons have a high content of potassium which aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system, which combats the onset of depression and anxiety.
Today I challenge you to cook more with lemons AND drink a glass of lemon water daily. Lemons have so much more potential then being used for a sugary cup of lemonade. This bright yellow fruit has healing powers. I encourage you to take full advantage of this bitter-sweet, vivacious fruit that can heal help heal your mental health and the onset of fatal illnesses.