Lemon juice from fresh lemons or bought bottled in the store are all popular choices for adding zest to foods, drinks, marinades, sauces and baked goods. Lemon juice is typically consumed in small quantities but nutritionally every little bit helps! Adding a few wedges of lemon to your water daily can give you an added benefit of vitamin C and some small amounts of other nutrients. Lemons grow in warm climates and can be purchased at almost all grocery stores.
Nutritional Value of Lemon Juice
Although you might not drink a whole cup in a single day, if you are making lemonade or adding it in small parts to cocktails, water, fruit salads or salad dressings, a little bit can add up!
1 cup lemon juice
Carbohydrates: 21g / 7% DV
Fiber: 1g / 4%
Vitamin C: 112mg / 187% DV
Potassium: 303mg / 9% DV
Folate: 31.7mcg / 8% DV
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient. In one cup of lemon juice, you have over 180% of your daily needs for vitamin C. Here are some of the ways vitamin C works in the body:
- Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to slow damage caused by free radicals, free radicals can lead to cellular damage and even cancer
- Helps protect you from getting infections by boosting immunity
- Consuming iron-rich foods with high vitamin C foods increases absorption from plant sources of food. Folate is also better absorbed with vitamin C. If you are at risk of a folate or iron deficiency, start adding a vitamin-rich food to your meal
- Helps keep gums health and improves the rate of healing for cuts and wounds
- Protects you from bruising by helping blood vessels and capillary walls stay firm
- Works to produce collagen, which is a connective tissue that holds together muscles, tissues and bones
- Although vitamin C will not "cure" a cold, it does play an important role in fighting infections by helping signal for antibodies
- Extra vitamin C may have a small antihistamine effect, which may in turn shorten the length of sick time and make the symptoms milder
Things to Do With Lemon Juice
- Add it to water with a splash of your favorite fruit juice then freeze to make popsicles
- Make your own sour mix for alcoholic beverages
- Freeze fresh lemon juice on ice cube trays for later use or a nice addition to beverages
- Although known for keeping fresh cut fruits from browning, spritzing vegetables like cauliflower can also help to maintain its appearance
- Add some lemon water to a bowl of water then let your limp lettuce heads soak for 1 hour in the refrigerator and see them return to crispness!
Emily DeLacey MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and currently working in Jamaica as a HIV/ AIDS Prevention Specialist. She attended Central Washington University for her Bachelor's Degree in Science and Dietetics and continued on after her internship to Kent State University for her Master's Degree in Science and Nutrition, with a focus on public health and advocacy. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi 2012-2014 working as a Community Health Advisor in a rural village, immersing in the joys of life without electricity or running water. She has been to 20+ countries and 47 of the 50 states in the US. Traveling, adventuring and experiencing new cultures has made her a passionate advocate for the equality of nutrition and wellness for all people.