This One Little Fruit Can Do Amazing Things For Your Skin (And Liver Too)
Lemony tricks and tips that will make life so much easier
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But as naturopath Karina Francois explains, there’s so much more you can do with this versatile fruit than simply adding a slice to your favourite drink or food.
From health and beauty to cleaning and deodorising, if you’re not taking advantage of all the amazing benefits this citrus fruit has to offer, you’re missing out. So when life gives you lemons, Karina says it’s time to get hacking. Here are a few of her favourite tips.
Rid your body of toxins
Alkaline diets have become a popular trend in recent years – and for good reason. The idea is that, over time, eating too many acidic foods can build up in your body, causing unwanted side effects such as acid reflux and upset stomach – damaging your health. Happily, you can make your body more alkaline by drinking lemon water.
“Start your day with a glass of hot water with the juice of half a freshly-squeezed lemon. Alternatively, put lemon juice into your green tea,” Karina advises. While lemons may seem acidic, they are an incredibly alkaline food. That said, lemon juice can put you at risk of tooth erosion. “To avoid this, brush your teeth afterwards to reduce the enamel wear on your teeth,” she says.
Make your skin glow
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid, which are essential for good skin health, an Oregon State University study reveals. In addition to being an effective way to help brighten and lighten your skin, vitamin C also helps to repair collagen, which gives your skin its strength, structure and plumpness.
Lemons also contain powerful antioxidants, which are essential for fighting free radicals – the primary cause of ageing. This causes the breakdown of tissues in your body, increasing the likelihood of fine lines and wrinkles. “Dab lemon juice on blemishes or liver spots on your face. Let it dry and then rinse it off. It’s the alpha hydroxy acid in citric acid that gives lemons their brightening effect,” she says.
Ease sinus congestion
At the first sign of nasal congestion, Karina says to reach for the lemon tree. “The lemon juice helps to thin thick, sticky mucous in your nasal passages." What’s more, studies suggest the high levels of vitamin C in Lemon juice can also boost immunity and thwart cold and flu viruses.
A Harvard Medical School study revealed that while vitamin C does have moderate immune-boosting properties, in order to get the most benefit, you need to consume it every day and not just at the start of cold symptoms.
Support healthy digestion
Drinking lemon water on a regular basis can also cleanse your body and ease digestion. According to research published in the Journal of Endourology, the high levels of citric acid in lemons enhance your body’s natural ability to flush out unwanted toxins. This helps your body digest foods more efficiently and supports metabolism.
Karina says the bitterness of lemons can also stimulate the digestive process by helping increase the amount of digestive secretions in your tummy. This helps to break down meals more efficiently. “Anything that tastes bitter on the tongue triggers your liver to flush and cleanse the bowel,” she says. Citric acid also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels, improving energy levels.
Clean tough kitchen grease
Lemons are fantastic for cleaning and deodorising the home. “You can use lemon juice in water as you would a deodoriser in the toilet, or to sterilise and clean the home,” Karina explains. “While it works effectively on its own, try adding bicarbonate of soda for a super easy way to clean, deodorise and degrease baths and showers.” Alternatively, use lemons to degrease your microwave.
To do this, cut a lemon in half, juice it, and add the skin and juice to a microwave safe bowl with a cup of water. Put the bowl in the microwave for two to three minutes. When it’s done, leave the container in the microwave for five minutes so the steam can get to work on the built up grease and grime. Then, remove the bowl and wipe the inside with a clean cloth.
Feature image: Getty.