20/11/2015

When Life Gives You Lemons!

Originating from the Himalayan foothills of North East India, Lemons belong to the citrus group described as ‘Hesperidium’ and are infact a modified berry. With it’s tough and leathery rind lemon peel contains many volatile oil glands in pits. The interior flesh is composed of segment carpels made up of numerous juicy vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells…. Ok that’s enough of all that you know what a lemon is. What I want to talk about is how they can benefit you and your health.

#1 Lemons contain just 29 calories per 100g making it one of the lowest in the citrus fruit family, as well as zero saturated fats or cholesterol yet are a great source of fibre 7% of your RDA in fact. These little beauts are also incredibly low in Glycaemic so you’ll not have to worry about them setting your blood sugar through the roof.
#2 Lemons contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, Naringin & Naringenin are flavonoid glycosides these all serve bio-active effects on your body such as detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and immune system modulation (looking after your cells).
#3 Lemons contain levels of vitamin A, required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, eyes and skin. Vitamin C, helping your body develop resistance against infectious agents, fights skin damaged caused by pollution and the sun, reduces wrinkles and improves all over skin texture. Vitamin C has a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.
4# As well as the vitamins in Lemons they also contain a healthy bundle of minerals such as iron, copper, potassium and calcium.

Peak seasons where you will find Lemons in abundance runs from April through to August but you can find fresh lemons be it at a slightly higher cost all year round in your local supermarket or farm shop. Does pre-squeezed lemon juice do the same thing? Not really.. It’s actually known to lose its vitamin C very quickly if not squeezed fresh. If fresh really isn’t an option look for metal or jar containers as these help to maintain the vitamin content. Don’t just stick to the juice either, the zest and flesh provide great flavor and the peel pack is what contains the majority of vitamin C.

How to add a little more Lemon lushness to your life:
When added to hot water for your first drink of the day on a empty stomach the citric acid will act as a tonic for your liver, stimulating the production of enzymes and increasing bile production. This will set your digestion system up on a raring start!

Try adding a slice or two of lemon into your water for a fruity infused refreshment in place of a sugar filled squash.

Lemon juice mixed with black pepper makes for a great guilt free salad and fish dressing – it can also aid in easing your after meal bloat in the same ways as cucumber, asparagus and celery.

The Harvest Kitchens Lemon Ginger Detox: boil 2.5 cups of water over a stove, add in one sliced lemon an inch sized piece of ginger (peeled and sliced) 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 2 tsps. of honey, turn the stove off and leave it too steep for 30 minutes before straining and drinking at room temperature.

Lemon poppy seed energy bites: (17g protein ea.) combine: 90g of vanilla protein powder, 50g rolled oats, 1 tbsp. poppy seeds. ½ tsp. stevia, 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest, 6tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice & 6tbsps of water. Shape the mixture into 28 small balls and seal in a Tupperware. Refrigerate until ready to eat!

Keeping your lemons fresh: get a large glass sealable cookie jar, put the lemons in, fill with water and cover. This seals the peel and keeps them fresher for longer!
The Harvest Kitchens Lemon Ginger Detox – boil 2.5 cups of water over a stove, add in one sliced lemon an inch sized piece of ginger (peeled and sliced) 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 2 tsps. of honey, turn the stove off and leave it too steep for 30 minutes before straining and drinking at room temperature.

& A Couple of Lemony beauty ideas:
Homemade sugar scrubs: mix together 2 cups of sugar, ¼ cup of coconut oil, Tbsp of lemon juice, ½ tbsp. honey, Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar and store in a pretty little mason jar (this would make such a cute little DIY gift for someone) aids in erasing blemishes, exfoliating dead skin and making your skin more vibrant!
Teeth whitening:  Squeeze half a lemon into a small bowl and combine with 1 tsp. of baking soda. Soak your toothbrush in the mixture and brush your teeth with it. It’s said that lemon can diminish gum pain, can assist in naturally aiding gum disease as well as its antibacterial whitening properties. *Only use once per week max as overuse can have adverse effects on your teeth enamel.

Lemon sugar wax: Just add 1 cup of water to two cups of sugar to a small saucepan, add in the juice of half a lemon and cook over a medium high heat until the sugar has resolved and darkened in colour. Take the mixture of the stove and allow to cool, as soon as its reached room temperatures its ready to use!




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