This post is also available in: Español Italiano Français Deutsch


Where does lemon come from?

In Chinese texts, the word “lemon” appears for the first time. The first reference is dated 1175, and a comprehensive description may be found in a text from 1178. These occurrences, together with other factors observed by historians, imply that the lemon was most likely brought to China between the 10th and the 12th centuries. Although no archaeological evidence exists to pinpoint its exact location, scholars assume it originated in the eastern Himalayan area of southern China, notably Upper Burma.

The lemon was probably grown by the Greeks and Romans, and maybe even the Egyptians, although there are few signs of this culture today, save in mosaics. It might possibly be the citron (Citrus medica), which has long been renowned for its therapeutic virtues in both the east and the west. The lemon may have vanished from southern Europe a few times due to invasions and environmental shifts, only to reappearance later. The Arabs seized control of commerce after the barbarian invasions (350–400 AD).

The Arabs acquired control of the commercial routes. They plan to spread the lemon throughout North Africa, Africa, and Spain, as well as throughout the Mediterranean basin, except the Italian and French shores.
Finally, during the Crusades in the Middle East, Western, Eastern, and Northern Europeans would come across citrus fruits and develop a liking for them, bringing them back to their respective nations. The first greenhouses, known as orangeries, will emerge from there, where people would produce orange trees and lemon trees, followed by other types of tropical vegetation.

Lemon was initially referred to as “limon,” a phrase derived from the Italian limone, which in turn was derived from the Arabian-Persian limûn. In 1351, the term “citron” first appeared in French. The name “citron,” which first appeared in 1398, is derived from the Latin citrus. In french and auther languages, he progressively supplanted “limon” in the common language.

The word “lime” is derived from the Provençal limo. It first debuted in the language in 1555, whereas “lime” first emerged in 1782. Depending on the locale and type, this fruit has been given a variety of vernacular names (lemon gallet, corn bou, citrus-lime, lemon-lime, lime, Persian lime, Italian lime, sweet lime, sour lime). The fruit they are referring to is usually Citrus aurantifolia, often known as real lime or lime. It is also related to Citrus limon (lemon), Citrus reticulata (mandarin), and Citrus hystrix, popularly known as kaffir lime or kaffir lime, a bumpy-skinned fruit. In Thai cuisine, the leaves of the tree, as well as the zest and sometimes the juice of the fruit, are employed.

Lime refers to the bitter, sour fruit of many lime varieties. Lime, on the other hand, refers to a citrus cultivar with a moderate flavor.
The first documented reference of lime comes from an Arab source in the thirteenth century. As with lemon cultivation, it was most likely Arabs that introduced it to India, Persia, Palestine, Egypt, and Europe at the time. The lime tree is native to the Indian archipelago, where it may be seen growing wild. Although it has some culinary similarities to lemon, it is a completely separate botanical species (Citrus aurantifolia). Furthermore, it thrives at warmer temperatures.

What's the difference between a lemon and a lime?

Christopher Columbus likely brought lemon and lime to the New World during his second journey in 1493, when he arrived in Isabella (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) to establish the first permanent settlement there. The fruits will swiftly reach Central America from there. The Portuguese were also establishing the first citrus trees in Brazil at the same period. These trees had spread over South America by the mid-16th century. Large orchards were then developed almost without human interference, reseeding themselves at will.
The first citrus fruits – lemons, limes, and oranges – were introduced in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, at the end of the 16th century. Their culture would eventually expand throughout the Southeast, as well as to California, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Lemon and lime are now grown all over the world in the tropics and subtropics.

Nutritional and caloric values ​​of lemon

The rind of a true lemon is yellow. The fruit we name “lime” is not a lemon variant, but rather a very similar citrus fruit: the lime, the fruit of the lime tree.
Lemon, like all citrus fruits, has a high vitamin C content, which is especially well retained by its peel. Its juice is high in vitamin C: one fruit (50 ml) provides one-third of our daily vitamin C requirements. It also contains group B vitamins, minerals, and trace elements such as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
Lemon is a low-energy fruit since it is 90% water and has a low carbohydrate content. Its acidic taste is caused by organic acids (citric acid in particular).
Finally, it includes flavonoids, which are antioxidant substances that help protect our cells from free radical-induced premature aging.

Nutritional and caloric values ​​of lemon
For 100 g of fresh lemon:

Name of constituentsUnityAverage content
Dietary fiberg2.8
Saturated FA(fat acid)g
Monounsaturated FAg
Polyunsaturated FAsg
Total ironmg0.06
Beta caroteneµg3
Vitamin Dµg0
Vitamin E activity (alpha-tocopherol)mg0.15
Vitamin Cmg53
Vitamin B1 or Thiaminemg0.04
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavinmg0.02
Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacinmg0.30167
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acidmg0.19
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxinemg0.08
Vitamin B9 or Total Folateµg11
Vitamin B12 or Cobalaminsµg

The characteristics and health advantages of lemon

Lemon is available all year, although it is most delicious between June and September.
Several studies have found that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease, some malignancies, and other chronic diseases. Their high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content, as well as fiber content, would have an important protective function.
Consumption of citrus fruits, particularly lemon, has also been associated to the protection of some malignancies, including cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach cancer, and colon cancer.
Several epidemiological studies, on the other hand, have found that consuming flavonoids from citrus fruits on a regular basis is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavonoids help to promote coronary vasodilation, minimize platelet aggregation, and prevent “bad” cholesterol from being oxidized (LDL).

Lemon is a great health food because of its unique composition and high level of antioxidant molecules. Of course, this must be done on a regular basis and as part of a diverse and balanced diet.

A weight-loss ally

Many weight-loss programs include lemon and lemon juice as a weight-loss aid. Vitamin C levels in obese persons are lower than in non-obese people, and low vitamin C levels have been related to the buildup of belly fat. When compared to those who don't get enough vitamin C, people who get enough oxidize 30 percent more body fat after a moderate workout session.
In summary, poor vitamin C consumption would act as a roadblock to weight loss in obese patients. To far, however, no controlled clinical investigation has been conducted to explicitly investigate the influence of lemon intake on weight reduction. As a result, further research will be required to validate their potential impacts.

Cancer and lemons

Citrus fruit intake has been associated to the protection of several cancers, including esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, mouth cancer, and pharyngeal cancer, according to several studies. According to one of these research, consuming citrus fruits in moderation (between 1 and 4 servings per week) reduces the incidence of malignancies of the digestive tract and upper respiratory system. The research regarding pancreatic and prostate cancer are still inconclusive.
According to one study, regular eating of citrus fruits mixed with a high consumption of green tea (1 cup or more per day) is linked to a lower cancer incidence.
Furthermore, flavonoids, antioxidant substances present in citrus fruits, have been demonstrated to reduce the formation of metastases and limit the proliferation of various cancer cell lines. These characteristics might be utilized to design anti-tumor treatments. In vitro and in animal models, other chemicals found in citrus fruits (limonoids) have been proven to have anticancer properties. They have the potential to reduce cancer cell growth in the breast, stomach, lungs, mouth, and colon.

Cardiovascular health

Several epidemiological studies have found that consuming flavonoids from citrus fruits on a regular basis is connected with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavonoids are hypothesized to aid in coronary vasodilation, platelet aggregation, and the prevention of “bad” cholesterol oxidation (LDL).

Anti-inflammatory properties

Citrus flavonoids offer anti-inflammatory effects, according to several research. They would prevent the creation and action of inflammatory mediators (arachidonic acid derivatives, prostaglandins E2, F2 and thromboxanes A2).
A high intake of fruits and vegetables has been demonstrated in several prospective and epidemiological studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some malignancies, and other chronic illnesses.

Cholesterol-lowering effect

Citrus fruits and liquids include flavonoids and limonoids, which may have a significant cholesterol-lowering potential. Some of them have been found in animal experiments to decrease blood cholesterol. These investigations, however, did not use chemicals derived directly from lemon or lime. Before their therapeutic effectiveness can be verified, the bioavailability of chemicals from citrus fruits and their absorption pathways must be studied in humans.

Other health advantages

Among the other effects reported, two limonoids found in citrus fruits (limonine and nomiline) inhibited the reproduction of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as well as the activity of the viral protease. Furthermore, certain lemon limonoids are active against some pathogenic fungus. Other limonoids and proteins are considered to help animals' immune systems. These findings are encouraging, but they have not been subjected to controlled clinical trials. As a result, it is currently difficult to apply these effects to people.

Lemon's therapeutic properties were well recognized in Antiquity. Virgil credited the lemon's protecting qualities against the “cruel stepmothers” who “poisoned a drink,” and Nero swallowed a large amount of it to avoid poisoning.
Even while it has been shown that the lemon will not help you if you eat cyanide, this helpful fruit has many other benefits.

Antioxidant properties of lemon.

Lemon is high in antioxidants. This implies it helps to slow down oxidation, a chemical mechanism that causes cells to break down. As a result, it aids in the prevention of:
Cancers; physical aging; cataracts and other visual problems
Furthermore, its juice provides a boost in the event of exhaustion or a cold.
Lemon has a high concentration of vitamin C and flavonoids.
Lemon is most known for its vitamin C and flavonoids content, two natural antioxidants that:
aid in the prevention of scurvy; protect capillary capillaries; aid in the manufacture of collagen, a material that strengthens bones, tendons, and connective tissues, which protect other bodily tissues; aid in the relief of stress.
Different forms of flavonoids may be found in lemon and lime. These antioxidant molecules help to neutralize free radicals in the body, which helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Eriocitrin and hesperetin are the major flavonoids found in lemon and lime. Animal studies have demonstrated that eriocitrin and hesperetin, which are derived from the peel (skin) of lemons or their juice, can reduce or prevent oxidative stress-related damage. Eriocitrin has also been shown to trigger apoptosis in leukemic cells. The white area of the lemon peel contains the highest concentration of these two flavonoids.
Nobiletin, another kind of flavonoid found in citrus fruits, is thought to have antiangiogenic characteristics. It would aid in the slowing of tumor and metastasis growth. Finally, according to a study conducted on pancreatic cells, the capacity of lime to suppress the multiplication of malignant cells is related to its flavonoid and limonoids concentration.
Limonoids: The two most important limonoids found in citrus fruits are limonine and nomiline. They are mostly found in the seeds, although they can also be found in the juice. Limonoids have antioxidant properties. They may also cause apoptosis in malignant neuroblast cells (embryonic nerve cells, which then differentiate into neurons). According to research, they may be able to prevent some forms of cancer in animals. For example, obacunone, a limonoid, has been proven to be useful in lowering the incidence of colon cancers as well as the number of tumors in the mouth. Humans experience a similar impact.
The synergistic effect of numerous limonoids in combination with one another or with other substances (such as flavonoids) may improve their anti-cancer activity.

Vitamins PP and lemon

Lemon is also high in PP vitamins, which aid in the following:
the creation of red blood cells; the synthesis of neurotransmitters; chemical substances that influence: the protection of neurons, and, less frequently, the protection of other cells, particularly muscle cells; cell oxygenation

Citric acid and lemon

Citric acid is abundant in lemons, an acidic chemical that gets its name from the fruit from which it is derived:
Citric acid has anticoagulant characteristics, which means it can help prevent blood clots from developing.
It also aids in the prevention of urinary stones.
It's also worth noting that lemon aids with blood sugar regulation. As a result, it is an excellent ally for diabetics.

Calcium and lemon

Contrary to popular belief, lemon's acidity does not demineralize the body:
Lemon, on the other hand, aids the body's transformation and assimilation of calcium.
Calcium, in fact, requires acidity to be digested. Lemon contains citric acid, which aids the body's retention of calcium.

Lemon essential oil

Citrus fruit peel contains essential oils that can be extracted using pressure or distillation. They've always been utilized in perfumes and the production of pesticides for home gardens.
They are now utilized in a variety of different items, including paints, dyes, solvents, deodorants, and pesticides against fleas in pets and ants. They are also present in a variety of cleansers, dish and laundry soaps, and disinfectants (oils with germicidal properties).
We're exploring for alternative uses for these oils in industry and at home. They are more ecologically friendly than their chemical counterparts, and they are made from food sector waste, specifically juice processing factories.
The essential oil derived from the zest of citrus fruits has a number of benefits as well:
She is unwinding.
It aids in the reduction of stress.
It helps to control intestinal issues.
It is used to flavor a variety of salty and sweet meals, including marinades, fish and meat seasonings, sweets, confectionary, lemonade, and lemonade.
It's also utilized in cosmetics and perfumes.
Lemon essential oil brightens the complexion, but be cautious not to expose yourself to the sun after using it, because you may get brown spots!

How do you select the best lemon?

Lemon has the advantage of being easy to incorporate into one's regular diet. Consider using a squeeze of lemon in sauces, on fried vegetables after cooking, on fish, in fruit and vegetable juices, on fruit salads, and so on to reap its numerous health advantages. It is best not to boil the lemon in order to avoid a loss of vitamin C, which is particularly heat sensitive.
Lemon is a citrus fruit that grows on the lemon tree, which is native to Asia and has been cultivated since the Middle Ages. A mature lemon weighs between 150 and 200g on average and has a thick dark yellow skin, which can be somewhat orange in some kinds.
Lemons and limes with the best skin are thin and lustrous, never bumpy. The fruits should be substantial and hefty to hold.
Fresh, dried, or frozen kaffir lime leaves (the lime tree of the Citrus hystrix species) may be obtained at oriental grocery stores. Dried leaves lose their scent rapidly and have less culinary appeal than fresh and frozen leaves. We occasionally come across the fruit of kaffir lime, a lime with rough skin.
Preservation of lemons
Fresh lemons may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, whereas limes can only be kept for a few days since they dry out faster. Lemons and limes will last longer if they are stored in a jar of water in the refrigerator or simply in a firmly closed container.
If you have a lot of these fruits, press them and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray.
Lemons and limes caramelized Split the limes or lemons in four lengthwise, keeping one end intact, and fill them with coarse salt (approximately 125 mL – 12 cup for 4 lemons), compress them tightly in a mason jar, and top with lemon (or lime) juice. Allow to macerate for about a week before refrigerating. Candied fruits will easily last 6 months, if not longer; dehydrated bark. They stay in a spice jar for a very long period when dried at room temperature. They will lose part of their taste when dried, but they will still add flavor to a meal. Due to the bitterness of the white portion, we can only dry the zest, which we will take using a vegetable peeler or a zester.

Lemon Preparation

The acidic flavor of lemon and lime activates taste buds, which aids digestion. They are high in vitamin C and contain a variety of chemicals that are thought to prevent cancer.
Cooking with lemon juice
When citrus fruits are at room temperature, they become more juicier. As a result, it is preferable to take them out of the refrigerator a few hours before eating them. Roll the fruit with your fingers on a work surface before putting it through a juicer to extract as much juice as possible. Then it's only a matter of integrating it:
Ice cream, sorbets, and granita;
In ice cream, pies, and cakes
In place of the vinegar in the dressing;
In lemonade, hot or iced tea, or herbal teas;
Fish and seafood that has been filleted;
On raw oysters, to improve the flavor while also killing the bulk of germs that may be present;
Deglazing a pan;
To create homemade sour cream, mix crème fraîche with a little lemon juice, put aside, and drain.
We drink beer in Mexico with a splash of lemon or lime juice.
Hotel manager's butter. Cream the butter, then add salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and a few drops of lemon juice while still beating. Use this sauce to coat grilled meat.
Lime juice is more flavorful in Mexican salsa than lemon juice. Combine equal parts sweet onion, cilantro leaves, and chopped tomatillos to make salsa cruda. Depending on the number of veggies, add a minced jalapeño pepper and the juice of one or two limes.
In Japan, lemon juice, soy sauce, dashi, and spring onions are combined to make Ponzu sauce, which is served with grilled meat meals.
Prepare the fish in a Peruvian ceviche by simply steeping it in lemon or lime juice. The acidic fluid “cooks” the fish, allowing it to be consumed without further preparation.
Lemon zest should be cooked.
Dare to use lime or lemon zest (the outer layer of the rind) in mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Gremolata is a fragrant Italian mixture of orange and lemon zest, finely minced garlic, and parsley. It is served with an osso-buco, a leg of veal, or any other braised meat.
Lemon peel is chopped into thin strips in Japan and served at the end of salads, grilled veggies or tofu, scrambled eggs, or soups.
Lemon pulp preparation :
Because lemon and lime pulp is extremely sour, it is rarely consumed. Except for candied lemons, which are a mainstay in North African cuisine. The chicken with olives and candied lemons, cooked in a tagine, is a staple of this cuisine. The pulp and zest can also be served with rice, fish, or lamb.

Lemon, what are the risks?

People with gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic esophagitis, or an acute hiatus hernia should avoid lemons and lemon juice. This fruit can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause epigastric burns.
Certain antacid drugs should not be taken along with lemon or lemon juice. Antiacids and lemon or lemon juice should be taken three hours apart as a precaution.
Although beneficial to one's general health, lemon is extremely acidic, making it difficult for some people to handle. Especially when ingested in big quantities and/or in pure form. As a result, caution is advised in some situations.
If you're taking an antacid, use caution.
Lemon or lime juice, as well as their liquids, should be avoided when using antacid drugs. Several citrus fruits, in fact, enhance the absorption of aluminum in antacids. It is preferable to take antacids with citrus fruits or juice three hours apart.
In the event of GERD and heartburn, moderate intake is recommended.
People with gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic esophagitis, or a hiatus hernia should avoid lemon, lime, and their juices (in the acute phase of these conditions). These foods can irritate the esophageal lining and produce epigastric burns.