Lemon, a fruit overlooked

The lemon is a fruit that is often overlooked, accustomed as we are to serving it as a garnish or using just a squirt of lemon to add flavour to a recipe or a sauce. Little known to most of us, the lemon can be one of the most potent sources of minerals and vitamins, healthy raw sugars, and helps balance acidity in the body so that your immune system and your healthy inner flora can thrive.

Vitamins - We all know the importance of vitamins in our diet. Lemons are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin C - enough to boost your immune system or help fight off a cold (there's a reason that lemon juice in hot water is recommended to soothe a niggling sore throat!).

Sugars - the sugars in a lemon are natural, unrefined, unprocessed, and easily absorbed to nourish our bodies - a far cry from refined white sugar!

Acid-Alkali pH Balance - Your body thrives on a delicate balance of acid and alkali. Each organ and tissue of the human body has a particular acid-alkali balance (called the "pH") at which it functions best. The conventional Western diet, rich in sugar, grain products, and processed foods affects our pH balance and can leave the body acidic - to an extent that viruses, bacteria, are able to take up residence. Your immune system works optimally at an intermediate pH, and can't combat viruses on "their own turf," at acidic pH. Certain foods can help us restore balance and bring our pH in a more alkali direction. One of these foods is the lemon. Despite its acidic nature, the impact it has on the body once ingested is to increase the alkali balance, bringing us into better health and restoring your immune system's ability to function.

Cleansing - Universal within concepts of natural health is the principal that just as we wash the outsides of our bodies, we also need internal cleansing. Many colon, liver, and candida cleanses use lemons. They are a mild, natural way to purify the body. Even if you don't intend to do a full cleanse, lemons will help remove whatever toxins are ready to be flushed out, in a gentle, supportive way.

Want to use more lemon, but you aren't sure how? I recommend a cool glass of (honey- or maple-sweetened) lemonade, or adding half a lemon to your morning yogurt or tonight's curry - your body will thank you for it!