Drink Lemon Tea, Stay Refreshed
Tea is a good calorie-free substitute for sugary beverages, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. If you add a squirt of lemon juice to your tea, it will not only enhance its flavor but will also provide multiple health benefits. For example, if you are experiencing nasal congestion, drinking lemon tea can help to decongest your blocked nose, reports the University Health Service of Rochester University.
Vitamin C Benefits
One fluid ounce of lemon juice contains 12 milligrams of vitamin C. Water-soluble, vitamin C helps fight free radicals -- rogue molecules that damage your DNA. Free radicals may contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease, notes University of Maryland Medical Center. By counteracting the negative effects of free radicals, vitamin C helps decrease the risk of developing cataracts by 80 percent, according to the book "The Secret Benefits of Lemon and Honey: Secret Guides.” In addition to healing wounds, vitamin C helps maintain and repair your teeth and bones. Moreover, your body requires this antioxidant to form collagen, a protein used to build skin, blood vessels, cartilage and tendons.
Citrus fruits, such as lemon, are one of the primary dietary sources of quercetin. A flavonoid, quercetin protects the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from the damaging effects of free radicals. In addition, quercetin has an anti-inflammatory effect, as it helps stabilize the cells that release histamine in your body. Histamines are chemicals that trigger allergic reactions. According to the American Cancer Society, quercetin can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and can help promote apoptosis, a type of cell death. Animal studies have shown that quercetin may exhibit a protective effect against certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer.
Blood Sugar Control
High blood sugar occurs when your body produces inadequate amounts of insulin or when it cannot utilize insulin properly. Hesperidin, a compound in lemons, can modify the function of enzymes that affect your blood sugar levels, according to a study published in the January 2010 issue of the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.” This not only shields your body from the early stages of diabetes but also helps avert diabetes complications if you already have high blood sugar. Additionally, hesperidin has cholesterol-lowering effects.
A study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” in April 2005 revealed that lemons contain compounds called limonoids that have the potential to impede the growth and development of cancer cells. Not only did limonoids decelerate the growth rate of cancer cells, but they also enhanced cancer cell death when tested against human cancer cells. The study further states that these anti-cancer agents have free-radical scavenging activities.