Usually, when employing lemons, we extract the juice and discard the remaining parts of the lemon. However, you are actually discarding the most nutritious parts of the lemon, which are the peel, the seeds, and the white pith. These parts actually contain at least 5-10x more nutrients than the juice itself.
Nutrients in lemon peels are more concentrated, including things like potassium, copper, b-vitamins, magnesium, vitamin E, flavonoids. Lemon peels are also loaded with the genuine real Vitamin C complex found in nature. Store-bought Vitamin C supplements (ascorbic acid) only contain 5% of the real Vitamin C complex, so it’s important to get this from whole foods.
In this article, we will dive into the biochemistry of lemon peels, how to consume them, and the amazing health benefits of doing so. Just a quick reminder, this article is for educational purposes only, so do speak to your doctor if you have any medical concerns.
1. Protecting Blood Vessels
Lemon peels contain citrus flavonoids which were labelled “Vitamin P” when they were discovered in the 1930s. Vitamin P stands for permeability. Essentially, these work as a part of the Vitamin C complex to prevent bleeding in the smaller and larger blood vessels of the body such as the eyes, the arteries, the veins, the heart, etc. Flavonoids from lemon peels prevent blood from leaking and causing problems such as hemorrhoids, eye disorders, nosebleeds, spider veins, varicose veins, etc. You can’t get these citrus flavonoids by taking a Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplement or by drinking bottled lemon juice; you must get it from your food.
2. Preserving Collagen
As we age, the collagen in our joints, skin, hair, eyes, bones, etc., begins to break down as we become weaker. The Real Vitamin C complex found in whole lemons includes copper (tyrosinase), an element heavily involved with collagen synthesis. Eating/drinking whole lemons with the peel and pith helps to boost collagen production and prevent collagen loss as we age, helping to prevent sagging skin, wrinkles, arthritis, and vision loss. D-limonene, found in lemon peels, has been shown to help prevent cartilage breaking down in the joints in arthritis patients.
3. Cleaning The Liver
Lemon peels are also extremely bitter and help to clean the liver by stimulating the production of bile and glutathione. Bile helps to detoxify poisons and harmful substances from your body, while glutathione prevents oxidation and free radical damage, which often occurs as your liver is filtering out waste in the blood. Drinking lemon juice alone can be beneficial for the liver, but when you combine it with the peel, pith, and seeds, you get a much stronger effect, especially when you are trying to lose weight and strip fat away from your liver.
4. Cleansing Kidneys
Many people are prone to developing kidney stones, which are formed from oxalates in nuts, vegetables, and legumes. Consuming whole lemon water, however, with blended peels, supplies citrates which bind to these oxalates and dissolve kidney stones, before or after they exist. In addition, citrates help to improve kidney function in detoxifying uric acid, which can lower the risk of developing uric acid stones or even gout. Citrates are also used by your mitochondria to help generate energy in your body by supporting the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Lemon peels have also been shown in studies to help prevent cells from becoming cancerous and spreading through the body. An oil called D-limonene found in the peel helps to inhibit tumor growth and promote flavonoids also help to improve oxygen levels throughout the body, which can also help to prevent DNA damage that may have led to cancer.
6. Immune Boosting
Drinking whole lemon juice blended in water can help to strengthen your immune system and make your body more resistant to viruses, bacterial infections, and other pathogens. Many people consume this liquid in the winter to keep themselves free of infections. The natural Vitamin C helps to speed up white blood cell activity and help your body produce interferon, a chemical that kills pathogens.
I could talk all day about the benefits of whole lemons, but as they are so extensive, I’d like to quickly explore some of the other benefits here.
Additional benefits of lemon peels
• Improve Cholesterol Levels by its effect of improving liver health
• Support Weight Loss by reducing insulin resistance
• Heal Urinary Tract and help to clear up infections in the bladder or urinary system
• Reverse Type 2 Diabetes again with its ability to improve insulin resistance
• Prevent Blood Clots: it can help to prevent venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, and blood clots
• Neuroprotective: the antioxidants are very protective of brain cells
Method #1: Whole lemon water recipe (peel on)
• 1 Organic Lemon
• 1 Cup Berries
• 20 Drops Liquid Stevia
• 2 Cups Water
Add all of these ingredients to a powerful blender and process. Include the whole lemon, with seeds, peel, and pith. Drink this mixture every single day in the morning on an empty stomach to supercharge your health. You’ll soon begin to notice improvements in your health. To make this into a natural energy drink, you may also add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to improve its effectiveness.
Method #2: Zesting lemons
Lemon Zest: Use a grater to shave the zesty peel of the lemon over your salads, in a smoothie, or yogurt to get the rich essential oils into your diet.
Method #3: Lemon peel vinegar
Another way to use lemon peels is by slicing whole lemons very thinly, keeping the peel on, pickling them in apple cider vinegar. Store these for 1-2 months before serving over a delicious salad with extra virgin olive oil. This will preserve the ingredients, making them easier to absorb.
Whenever you use whole lemons, it’s very important that you purchase unwaxed lemons, and organic where possible. If you prefer the taste of limes, you can also use these as they are virtually the same in terms of nutritional value.