Lemons originated in India and are part of the citrus family. Lemons most likely were introduced to the United States by Catholic Missionaries when they planted them in California and Arizona. However, lemons may have been introduced by Columbus at St. Augustine, Florida before then.
There are two main varieties of lemons acid and sweet. The acid lemons include: Lisbon and Eureka. The sweet lemons include: Meyer and Ponderosa. Commercially grown lemon trees can reach heights of up to 20 feet. Lemons are very sensitive to cold and must be grown in areas that are not prone to frost. They also require full sunlight.
Lemons are not very particular in the type of soil that they are grown in. Many lemon trees are actually built on the sour orange root stock to make them hardier. Typically a lemon tree is not grown from seed in the home garden instead a tree will be bought from a nursery. Lemons may be grown in containers as well as in the ground. Lemon trees do not require pruning other than if cold damage is present.
Nutritional Values of Lemons
Serving size 1/2 cup, sectioned, peeled (106g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value
Calories from Fat 5g
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 90%
Health Benefits of Lemons
Lemons are very high in Vitamin C with a half a cup of juice containing 100% of the RDA. The Vitamin C in lemons is in the form of citric acid which has been shown to help improve the absorption of calcium by the digestive system.
Lemons also contain unique flavinoids and are high in antioxidants which can fight free radicals and cancer cells. The antioxidants in lemons also help with providing vascular protection and boosting the immune system.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Lemons
When choosing a lemon it is important to look for fruits which are firm and bright in color. Lemons that have a fine texture and feel heavy for their size typically produce the most juice.
A medium sized lemon produces approximately 3 tablespoons of juice and 3 tablespoons of grated zest. Both of which can be frozen for future use. In order to get the most juice from your lemons microwave them for about 15 seconds or roll it against a hard surface before juicing.
A fresh lemon should last about 2 weeks at room temperature; however, when stored in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator a lemon can last up to 6 weeks.
Lemons have a multitude of purposes. They are a great flavoring agent. They are beautiful to use as an edible garnish. They also are useful as natural cleaning purposes.
Lemon Concerns and Cautions
Because of the exceptionally high content of Vitamin C in lemons it is important to monitor your daily consumption of Vitamin C in order to avoid intestinal discomfort and diarrhea.
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