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From nutritious to low calorie, lemons are worth their weight in gold

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The produce section in grocery stores is a proverbial gold mine for health and wellness gurus. It should be the primary destination for anyone who aspires to eat healthy, prior to frequenting any eatery or fast food joint. Some fruits can assist in weight management by replacing high-calorie dressings and sauces in just about any dish you can think of. One of the most popular options is lemons.

Lemons, like other citrus fruits, are packed with nutritional benefits too good to ignore. Check them out:

* Vitamin C: This essential antioxidant helps to fight off infections, absorb iron, and helps to repair bones, cartilage, skin, and teeth.

* Potassium: This essential mineral is important for proper hydration and muscular function. One lemon provides about 80 milligrams of potassium.

* Low calorie: A medium-sized lemon contains all of 17 calories.

* Fiber: A particular type of fruit fiber, pectin, has been shown in some studies to create a feeling of fullness long enough to last until the next meal of the day.

* Antioxidants: These natural plant-based compounds have been shown to be a strong defense against some forms of cancer.

* Citric acid: A natural inhibitor of urinary crystals, citric acid helps to reduce the saturation of crystals in the urine and effectively manage calcium urolithiasis (urinary stones). Lemon juice contains 1.44 g/oz of citric acid. Store bought lemonade contains anywhere from 0.03-0.22 g/oz.

Lemons are so nutritious that speculation has arisen based on the theory that drinking hot water and lemon can somehow magically lead to weight loss, improved digestion, and improved blood sugar absorption. Many nutrition experts have shot down these claims as they have not been scientifically proven to date. Hot water and lemon does, however, provide a healthier alternative than highly ‘sugarized’ drinks such as sodas and processed juices.

Fresh lemon juice is an ideal low-calorie way to flavor drinks and dishes. Squeeze some lemon over salads, pastas, cooked vegetables, and even add some to recipes. One fluid ounce has just 8 calories.

You can keep your own lemon stash in your refrigerator. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Invest in your health by introducing some lemon to some of your favorite foods.

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