People often look at me funny in the produce section. I can't say I blame them. I often fill my cart before I've turned the first corner! I get a lot of "what do you do with THAT?" (points at turmeric root), and "why so many lemons?" (looking at my bags of 20+ lemons).
I'll admit that I'm not your typical shopper, I tend to treat the produce section like it's my personal pharmacy, and in many ways it is. After all, I have an incurable autoimmune disease that I treat it with diet only, no meds. My turmeric and lemons are part of my prescription.
So what's the deal with all the lemons? Lemon are brilliant! Most of us know that lemons contain vitamin C and that vitamin C is an antioxidant, and that antioxidants are anti-inflammatory, so that's a good thing, especially when you have an autoimmune disease. But most folks don't know that lemons also contain potassium, calcium and B vitamins. Bonus!
But the most interesting and beneficial aspect of lemons is how they affect our blood Ph. We think of lemons as an acidic fruit, and indeed they are acidic outside of the body. But inside it's a different story. Lemons are highly alkalizing to our bodies and contribute to an alkaline blood Ph.
I'll spare you the chem lesson but suffice it to say that YOU WANT YOUR BODY TO BE ALKALINE if you want to avoid chronic disease. Lemons are nature's shiny little alkalizers, and they are easy to use throughout your day- in your morning tea or Rise & Shine Lemon Water (recipe below), in your green juice, squeezed over seafood, mixed into simple vinaigrette dressings, etc. Personally I go through at least 2-3 lemons a day without even trying.
Lemons are like magic if you're trying to detox or you're doing a cleanse. Lemon juice encourages the increased production of bile which removes toxins from your liver, the main organ addressed in cleansing. Doing a cleanse without ingesting massive amounts of lemon is like going to a Daniel Craig movie and closing your eyes every time he takes off his shirt- you're missing the main event! Daniel Craig. sigh...
Anyhoo, lemons are amazing little fruits and you should consider loading up every time you shop. So what about organic vs conventional? Organic lemons should always be used for the zest (where the pesticide residue hangs out), but if you're going for the juice then conventional is fine. I buy bags of lemons at Costco for a great price. Trader Joe's is also a great source.
Check out one of my favorite ways to use lemons, Rise & Shine Lemon Water, recipe below.
Peace, love, and lemon juice,
Rise & Shine Lemon Water
Ingredients for 1 serving:
8 ounces filtered water
1/2 lemon, juice only
2 teaspoons unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar**
Heat the water to room temperature or warmer, but not boiling. Add the juice and apple cider vinegar and stir.
**Apple cider vinegar must be organic and unfiltered. The liquid should look cloudy and there will be "gunk" floating in the bottle or accumulated on the bottom. That "gunk" is the good stuff, it's the probiotic culture that makes the vinegar so beneficial to your health. Look for the words "with the mother" on the bottle. I recommend Bragg's brand. Apple sider vinegar is very sour, so start with 1/2 teaspoon and build up. It's also very acidic, so don't ever drink it straight as it can damage your tooth enamel, always dilute it in water.
Rise & Shine Lemon Water is one of over 100 wellness recipes in The Ra Diet Cookbook: Delicious, Nutritious, Healing Recipes for Rheumatoid Arthritis & Autoimmunity, available for instant download here.