Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Yesterday I shared a post about an adrenal fatigue busting, immune boosting drink that we love in our house… and the recipe calls for both lemons and lemon essential oil. I received some messages from people asking why use both? Let me share with you why!
Lemons are packed with a potent nutritional profile and are a low-glycemic fruit. The fruit contains citric acid, which is a natural preservative and makes up 8 percent of the lemon. Lemons are also excellent sources of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which is a potent water-soluble antioxidant.
Lemon juice is acidic (which dentists don’t like as it can affect our teeth enamel) but when consumed actually has an alkalizing effect when metabolized in your body. I love this about lemon juice!
Lemons also have phenomenal antioxidant properties due to unique flavonoid compounds. In a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, lemons, as well as other citrus fruits, contain a dominant flavonoid class called flavanones, such as hesperidin and eriocitrin. These nutrients are found to have anti-inflammatory and free-radical quenching properties.
Lemons contain other antioxidants, such as alpha- and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. Other nutrients found in lemon juice are vitamin A, potassium, folate, B vitamins, pectin (a type of fibre), calcium, iron and copper.
There is no refuting the health benefits of lemon juice and that’s why I love it in this recipe… but what about lemon essential oil?
Lemon essential oil is the volatile oil that is extracted by cold pressing the rind of the lemon. Lemon essential oil is rich in D-limonene, a monoterpene with research suggesting its benefit in boosting immunity, supporting gallbladder health, indigestion relief, assisting with insulin resistance, aiding in weight loss and more.
Essential oils are also highly concentrated, so even if you chose to puree your lemon rind to get the beneficial higher doses of d-limonene, you would need a large amount of lemon rinds to match the quantity found in just 2 drops of lemon essential oil.
So there you go. That’s the reason I add lemon essential oil to my lemon juice. It’s not a sales pitch. It's chemistry.
The other bit of my recipe that seemed to concern people was the suggestion to leave as much of the pith on the lemon as possible. The pith is a fantastic source of bioflavonoids – like hesperidin, rutin and naringenin – as well as vitamin C. Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants, help the body repair DNA damage, balance blood sugar, reduce bone loss as well as boosting your immune capacity. Vitamin C also works more effectively when combined with bioflavonoids. Yes, pith can be a little bitter but it works an absolute treat with the flavour profile of this drink!
So before you knock it, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!!
Sandra x PS - if this post has got you curious as to the recipe that sparked the conspiracy theorists attention you can find it here!