Monday, October 8, 2012

Lemons: Lovely Little Lifesavers!

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I was the kid rockin' the lemonade stand on my parent's driveway each summer. Like my father, I had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak and selling lemonade was the only viable option for avoiding any child labor disputes. My mom made a mean lemonade (Crystal Light, I think?) and I usually contributed a colorful handmade sign on poster board (I was the artist in the family, after all). The teamwork usually resulted in a million-billion-trillion dollars. No, scratch that. It was usually a million-billion-trillion pennies. Ahh... young entrepreneurship at its finest.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I was onto something! Lemons are fantastic for you, meaning I was pretty fantastic for offering lemonade at such a bargain price to the UPS delivery guy, the mailman, the exterminator and all the other suckers who lived in our neighborhood and found my mini-business amusing. Lemons...

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FIGHT INFECTION AND BOOST IMMUNITY - Lemons are packed with vitamin C and flavonoids, which both work to fight infection and boost your immune system.

DETOX YOUR LIVER - Lemon acts as a stimulant and helps liquify the bile and dissolve other poisons in the liver.

HELP WITH WASTE ELIMINATION - Lemons act as a natural, mild laxative, helping to keep you regular.

FIGHT CANCER - There are 22 cancer-fighting compounds found in lemons. These compounds have been studied for their seeming ability to slow or stop the growth of cancer tumors.

DESTROY BACTERIA - Lemons are naturally antibacterial and can help destroy the bacteria that causes disease.

IMPROVE OXYGEN LEVELS - Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the top of Mt. Everest, credits his success to lemons. Yes, it's true! Lemons help regulate your carbohydrate levels, which in turn affect your blood oxygen levels. If you're having difficulty breathing (during workouts or at high altitudes), grab a lemon!

This is just a short glimpse of what lemons can do for you. They are nutrition powerhouses, and they're not hard to work into your diet. After grocery shopping, squeeze a few fresh lemons into a small tupperware container and keep in the fridge for easily spicing up your water throughout the day or adding to your salad or fish. Also, try making a morning cocktail of warm water, lemon and honey. This tasty concoction detoxes the liver and jump starts the body.

Here are some recipes that use lemon in very creative ways...

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