Lemon peel benefits
The lemon is one of the healthiest fruits in the world.Lemon peel (the white, spongy fibre layer, botanically also called mesocarp) contains a particularly large amount of its valuable vital substances. Unfortunately, it is very rarely eaten. Sometimes the yellow outer layer is used in baking or cooking, but the white part of the peel, which is full of healthy ingredients, usually ends up in the bin. However, it is precisely these white fibres that contain a lot of very valuable vital and bitter substances. This is why at Synergo we use organically grown and gently freeze-dried lemon peel powder in our products. The following health benefits are credited to the many good substances contained in lemon peel:
Gut health, detoxification and weight loss support
The white part of lemon peel contains an enormous amount of pectins. Pectins are a type of polysaccharides belonging to the group of prebiotic fibres. They strengthen the intestinal mucosa, help with diarrhea, counteract cravings and contribute to the detoxification of heavy metals such as cadmium and arsenic.
Improved iron absorption and strengthening of the immune system
Lemon peel also contains about twice as much vitamin C compared to lemon juice. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, thereby preventing iron deficiency. Iron is very important for our body because it is needed to transport oxygen in our blood, which is extremely important for a strong immune system.
In addition to lots of vitamin C which in itself is an antioxidant, lemon peel contains a number of extremely healthy phytochemicals, especially polyphenols such as the flavonoids naringenin and hesperetin. Taken together, these have a strong antioxidant effect and protect the body from mutagenic and carcinogenic substances, support cell renewal, strengthen the body’s immune system and thus prevent infections and inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation are at the root of most chronic conditions. This means that these anti-inflammatory substances can help protect against chronic diseases. And that’s not all: lemon peel also contains D-limonene – a terpene that demonstrated in clinical studies to have an anti-cancer effect in patients with pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer: D-limonene stimulates the signaling pathways within cancer cells and changes them in a way that prevents cancer cells from multiplying and causes their death (aka apoptosis).
Artery cleansing effect promotes cardiovascular function
A high blood sugar level damages our blood vessels. The flavonoids contained in lemon peel can keep blood sugar at a healthy level and counteract calcification of blood vessels. Furthermore, the flavonoids in the citrus fruit have a blood-thinning effect, promote blood circulation and relax the blood vessels. The flavonoids along with vitamin C and pectin in lemon peel also help lower blood cholesterol levels. All these effect mechanisms promote the health of our cardiovascular system.
Protection from oral and skin diseases
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to inflamed and bleeding gums, loosening of teeth and tooth loss and reduces the ability to form collagen – collagen is structure-forming and extremely important for healthy skin and healthy mucous membranes, including the oral mucosa. The vitamin C in the lemon peel can prevent a deficiency. The antibacterial properties of vitamin C also prevent the growth of germs that cause oral diseases.
Interesting facts about lemons
Lemons originate from the north-east of India. They belong to the rue family (Rutaceae) and grow on small trees that bear fragrant white flowers during the growing season.
How the lemon conquered the world
Long before our era, the lemon was known in the Chinese Empire and, with the increase in trade, soon spread to Arabia and Persia. It reached the Mediterranean between the 10th and 13th centuries, Europe during the 15th century and Christopher Columbus brought it to America in 1492. In the 17th century, owning a lemon tree was considered a sign of wealth. Aristocrats used the lemon tree to publicly show their status.
The lemon protected sailors from scurvy
At the end of the 18th century, the consumption of lemons or limes even became mandatory on ships because it had been discovered and proven that their high vitamin C content prevented a vitamin C deficiency. The vitamin C from lemons and limes thus prevented scurvy in sailors which was a very common disease among them due to the lack of fresh foods available on the high seas. Still today, the British Navy requires ships to carry lemons.
A lemon tree bears fruit year-round, can live up to 100 years, and can produce 500 to 600 pounds of lemons per year under ideal conditions. Today, China is the world leader in lemon production, with an output of over two million tons per year.
The US even celebrates a National Lemon Juice Day on August 29 every year. Unfortunately, little is known about its origins.