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The lemon is high in vitamin C, fiber and various beneficial plant compounds. These nutrients are responsible for the health benefits of lemons. In fact, lemons may support heart health, weight control, digestive health and more.
This article lists six health benefits of lemons that are backed by science:
1. Support Heart Health
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C.
One lemon provides about 30.7 mg of vitamin C, which is 51 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI).
Bottom Line: Lemons are high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds that have been shown to lower cholesterol.
2. Help Control Weight
Lemons are often promoted as a weight loss food and there are a few theories as to why this is.
One common theory is that the soluble pectin fiber in them expands in your stomach, helping you feel full for longer.
That said, not many people eat lemons whole. And because lemon juice contains no pectin, lemon juice drinks will not promote fullness in the same way.
Another theory claims that drinking hot water with lemon will help you lose weight.
Other theories suggest that the plant compounds in lemons may help with weight loss.
In one study, mice on a fattening diet were given lemon polyphenols extracted from the peel. They gained less weight and less body fat than other mice (14).
These are interesting findings. However, at the moment no studies have confirmed the weight loss effects of lemon compounds in humans.
Bottom Line: Animal studies show that lemon extract and plant compounds may promote weight loss, but the effects in humans are unknown.
3. Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are small lumps that form when waste products crystallize and build up in the kidneys.
They are quite common and people who get them often get them repeatedly.
Bottom Line: Lemon juice may help prevent kidney stones from re-forming. However, more quality research is needed.
4. Protect Against Anemia
Iron from meat, chicken and fish (known as heme-iron) is very easily absorbed in your gut. Iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) is not as well absorbed, but this can be improved by the intake of vitamin C and citric acid.
Because lemons contain both vitamin C and citric acid, they may protect against anemia by ensuring you absorb as much iron as possible from your diet.
Bottom Line: Lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid, which help you absorb non-heme iron from plants. This may help prevent anemia.
5. Reduce Cancer Risk
In test tubes, many compounds from lemons have killed cancer cells. However, many things can kill cancer in a test tube, and that doesn't mean they will work the same way in the human body (32, 33, 34).
Another study used pulp from mandarins that contained the plant compounds b-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, which are both also found in lemons.
The study found that the compounds prevented malignant tumors from developing in the tongues, lungs and colons of rodents (40).
However, it should be noted that the research team used a very potent dose of the chemicals—far more than you would get by eating lemons or oranges.
So far, it seems that plant compounds from lemons and other citrus fruits have the potential to prevent the progression of cancer.
That being said, no quality evidence shows that lemons can fight cancer in humans.
Bottom Line: Some plant chemicals from lemons have been shown to prevent cancer in animal studies. However, human studies are needed.
6. Improve Digestive Health
The main fiber in lemons is pectin, a form of soluble fiber that is linked to all sorts of health benefits.
However, to get the benefits of fiber from lemons, you need to eat a lot of them, including their pulp and skin.
People who drink the juice from lemons, without consuming the skin and pulp, will miss out on benefits of the fiber.
Bottom Line: The soluble fiber in lemons could help improve digestive health. However, you need to eat the pulp of the lemon, not just the juice.
Take Home Message
Lemons contain a high amount of vitamin C, soluble fiber and plant compounds that give them a number of health benefits.
Potentially, lemons may help with weight loss and provide protection against heart disease, anemia, kidney stones, digestive issues and cancer.
Not only are lemons a very healthy fruit, but they also have a distinct, pleasurable taste and smell that make them a great addition to foods and drinks.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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