FEATURED NUTRIENT: Lemon
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.