Lemon is a healthy fruit.  But don’t drink processed lemonade with all its artificial flavours, eat real lemons instead. Here are 9 ways lemons benefit your health, excerpted from University Health News.

1.  Good for the digestive system.  Lemons contain a nutrient in their peels and oils called d-limonene, which can relieve symptoms of indigestion and GERD.

2. Good for your heart. They contain pectin, which positively benefits your cholesterol levels.  And they’re rich in Vitamin C, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lemons also have potassium which can help to relieve tension in the walls of your blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

3. May lower your risk of cancer.  A flavonoid in lemon called naringenin, as well as the d-limonene in its peel and oil have cancer prevention properties. Lemon pulp and juice also contain high amounts of beta-cryptoxanthin and hesperidin, plant compounds found to prevent malignant tumours from forming in rodents.

4. Protect against anaemia. Its high Vitamin C content helps increase the amount of iron your body is able to absorb.

5. Prevent kidney stones. Citric acid in fruits like lemon, lime, melon, and orange may prevent kidney stones from forming.

6. Help control weight. This is achieved through plant compounds within the fruit. In a study, mice simultaneously fed a fattening diet and polyphenols extracted from the peel of lemons gained less weight and body fat.

7. Fight wrinkles. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, which has a positive effect on the production of collagen, a protein that helps prevent skin from wrinkling and is often broken down by exposure to the sun and pollution.

8. Protect & boost your immune system.  Warm honey-lemon water is the go-to drink when we’re sick – the Vitamin C in lemons can boost your immune system, thus reducing the duration of your cold. Studies have shown that lemons can have the same effects on influenza as well.

9. May help relieve cold-induced asthma. Studies show that those who consume higher amounts of Vitamin C have a lower risk of developing asthma. A study published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology found that participants whose asthma attacks were triggered by a respiratory infection were able to decrease the occurrence of an asthma attack by 78% by taking 1 gram of Vitamin C a day.

High in citric acid, lemon juice is also one of the best natural cleaners due to its low pH and antibacterial properties.  Any wonder why it is commonly added to furniture polish?