When life gives you lemons...say thankya! In the 18th century, the doctor and British naval officer James Lind found lemons to provide a rapid cure for scurvy, a prevalent disease among sailors that led to fatigue, muscle soreness and even death. As it turns out, this bitter fruit is rich in the ever-powerful vitamin C; just 5 ounces of its juice provides over 100% of one’s suggested daily value. Often, sailors went months at sea with little to no vitamin C consumption, and because humans are some of the few animals that cannot produce vitamin C within our bodies, vitamin C stores would quickly deplete and lead to acquiring the disease. Scurvy is no longer nearly as prevalent as it was in the 1700s, so why are lemons and vitamin C so important today? Here are lemon’s top 5 health benefits:
- Increases Energy: Vitamin C enhances iron absorption, the essential, oxygen-carrying component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. As the number of oxygen-rich blood cells increases, organs throughout the body receive sufficient oxygen and energy!
- Rejuvenates Skin: Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, a protein essential to healthy skin and wound healing.
- Decreases Risk of Heart Disease: Some studies have shown vitamin C consumption to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 25% and reduce the risk of stroke by 42%! The mechanism is unclear at this point, but one suggestion points to vitamin C’s antioxidant features.
- Supports Asthma Prevention: In a 2013 series of studies, the consumption of vitamin C was shown to decrease the occurrence of asthma attacks by 78% and reduce bronchial hypersensitivity to histamine by 52%. The mechanism of vitamin C’s role has yet to be discovered.
- Boosts Immune System: Though there is debate over vitamin C’s effectiveness as a cure for the common cold, it has been shown to reduce the duration of colds, potentially from its effectiveness as an antihistamine and antimicrobial agent.
Thanks to lemons, and other vitamin C-rich foods, our bodies can operate at their highest potential. So, the next time you find yourself at a juice. Nashville shop, make sure to load up on vitamin C, whether it be with our green lemonade, sing., or our citrus creation, c ya. Your body thanks ya!
-Michael Guido, Juice Ambassador, BA Biological Sciences, University of Chicago
1. Bothwell TH. Overview and mechanisms of iron regulation.
2. Shuichi Shibuya, Yusuke Ozawa, et al. Collagen peptide and vitamin C additively attenuate age-related skin atrophy in Sod1-deficient mice.
3. Myint PK, Luben RN, et al. Plasma vitamin C concentrations predict risk of incident stroke over 10y in 20,649 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer Norfolk prospective population study.
Knekt P, Ritz J, et al. Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts.
4. Harri Hemilä. Vitamin C and common cold-induced asthma: a systematic review and statistical analysis.
5. Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Varvara G, et al. Role of vitamins D, E and C in immunity and inflammation.