National Lemon Day: 4 reasons for type 2’s to love lemon

Although it’s made up of 89% water, the world's favorite citrus continues to impress us with its health benefits and universal uses.  From helping ...

Although it’s made up of 89% water, the world's favorite citrus continues to impress us with its health benefits and universal uses.  From helping with hydration, to preventing oxidation there is no need to turn lemons into lemonade - they are just as good as it gets all by themselves, no sugar added. On August 29th, we celebrate national lemon day and how lemon is good for type 2 nutrition. 

Fiber - Lemon Aids Digestion

Many people don’t drink enough water daily, adding lemon to your water and putting it into your routine can help you in many ways and serve as a delicious reminder to drink your water. Acid helps break down food. That’s why there’s so much of it in our stomachs. The acid in lemons may be especially helpful in supplementing stomach acid levels, which tend to decline as we age.  

They also have soluble fibers - Soluble fiber draws water into your gut, which softens your stools and supports regular bowel movements. These soluble fibers help the health of your gut and slow the digestion of sugars and starches. This also helps reduce your blood sugar levels. 

Vitamin C - Lemon and Immunity

Lemons have Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, X-rays or other sources. Free radicals might play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Diabetes NSW & ACT reports, A new study from Deakin University has found that taking 500mg of vitamin C twice daily can help those with type 2 diabetes by lowering elevated blood sugar levels across the day and minimising spikes in blood sugar after meals.

While medical research shows that, “Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and the structural similarity between vitamin C and glucose makes it of interest in diabetes.2 Oxidative stress can lead to disturbed glucose metabolism and hyperglycemia.3 Therefore, a benefit of antioxidants to prevent diabetes or to achieve positive outcomes in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is biologically plausible.” Showing us that vitamin C intake can play a protective role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Lemon and Weight Loss

Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is a key component to our type 2 lifestyle. People with obesity are more likely to develop diabetes because there’s added pressure on the body’s ability to properly use insulin to control blood sugar.  Lemon can help us lose and maintain weight!  

But first, we should start off by noting how lemon is delicious! It adds flavor, and acidity which turns average dishes into something amazing. But also, lemons provide countless opportunities to cut calories each day! Having a calorie deficit is what we need to lose weight, and respectively, balancing what we eat with what we burn will help us maintain. 

Lemon can be used to create your own healthy dressings or sauces on salads, fish, poultry, helping you to cut hundreds of calories out of your diet. Think about the calories we add on our beverages alone. Substitute that morning class of orange juice with a glass of calorie free lemon water or lemon tea. 

Additionally, lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.  The fiber expands in your stomach which makes you feel more physically full for longer. 

Kidney Stones and Lemon

Studies show that having type 2 diabetes more than doubles your chances of having kidney stones. Research also suggests that using insulin to treat your type 2 diabetes makes those chances even higher. Kidney stones are even more likely for people who have severe diabetes, where blood sugar levels are highest.

It’s possible that lemons could help counteract this. Lemons are very acidic, and from them being that acidic, they can prevent kidney stones because the acid increases urine volume and urine pH, which creates a less favorable environment for kidney stones to form. 

Don’t forget the peel!

Peel or zest that lemon for a variety of uses such as:

  • Apply to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance. 
  • You can use it to get the smell out of anything
  • Sanitizes and cleans your surfaces!

Overall type 2’s enjoy many benefits from moderate lemon in your daily nutrition. Just remember not to overdo it because of acidity. Due to its acidity, lemon is hard on your enamel and can cause erosion.  Therefore, it’s best to dilute it in water, sip through a straw, or enjoy it mixed with other things. Also, lemon can aggravate or cause heartburn in those with a history of acid reflux and heartburn. If you have a history of these, speak with your doctor about how to safely integrate lemon into your routine without discomfort. You do not need to drink high amounts of lemon juice to gain benefits. As with any food moderation is key and any healthy diet balance is what gives us the healthiest results. 

Lastly, in these final days of August, the anniversary month of our Facebook community “Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together”, we remind you the importance of community.  Join the Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community on Facebook and connect with thousands of other diabetics around the world.