When Life Gives You Lemons
Make these citrus fruits a part of your routine to add zing and health to your life
My father, who was a doctor, always insisted that we eat fresh lemon every day—either as nimbu pani, or squeezed over something on our plate during meals. He said this would keep us “fighting fit and our body’s defences fortified”.
This is as true today as it was then—perhaps even more so. Our bodies endure daily onslaught from a host of toxins—pesticide residue in food, pollution in the air and water and skyrocketing stress levels. Combat their ravaging effects by including lemons and their small, green cousins—limes—in your daily diet for great nutritional value as well as refreshing flavour and fragrance.
Like all citrus fruits, limes and lemons are packed with vitamin C, which boosts immunity, defends the body against infections and protects you from respiratory health problems such as colds and wheezing. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron and even strengthens bones and teeth. These piquant fruits contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a great source of dietary fibre as well.
For maximum benefit, consume as fresh as possible and within minutes of being squeezed because vitamin C gets depleted on exposure to air.
PICK THEM BETTER
- Fresher produce usually has a shinier, plumper skin. When it is older, it tends to dehydrate and lose some of its taut texture and sheen.
- Another way to test for freshness is by scratching the skin and smelling it immediately. You should get a burst of citrus fragrance.
- For lemons that are a few days old at home, immerse in tap water for 20 minutes (or less, if not so dry). They will plump up and give you more juice.
Adapted from Prevention India © February 2009 Living Media India Limited.