FEA­TURED NU­TRI­ENT: Lemon

Better Nutrition - - HEALTHY DISH -

The poor un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated lemon. Like co­me­dian Rod­ney Danger­field, it “just don’t get no re­spect.” Usu­ally rel­e­gated to the po­si­tion of gar­nish or zest, it rarely gets the at­ten­tion it de­serves as a gen­uinely healthy food on its own. Maybe it’s time that it did.

Singing teach­ers have long known about the anec­do­tal ben­e­fits of lemon. When I was work­ing in mu­si­cal the­ater, there wasn’t a singer I knew whose teacher hadn’t pre­scribed hot wa­ter and lemon, first thing in the morn­ing, for its sooth­ing ef­fect on vo­cal cords. Nu­tri­tion­ists in the natur­o­pathic tra­di­tion— like my friend Ann Louise Git­tle­man, PhD— rec­om­mend daily in­take of lemon juice to stim­u­late di­ges­tive juices.

Like other citrus fruits, lemons are a great source of vi­ta­min C, a pow­er­ful antioxidant and anti- in­flam­ma­tory agent. Lemons also con­tain two other com­pounds— a group of chem­i­cals called limonoids, and specif­i­cally a com­pound called limonene— both of which have doc­u­mented an­ti­cancer prop­er­ties.

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