Thursday, July 12, 2012

13 Healing Powers of Lemons

If you’re not getting fresh lemons into your diet, you may want to reconsider after reading the many health benefits of lemons, lemon juice, pith (the white part), or zest (skin).

Here are 13 amazing healing powers of lemons:
  1. Bowel-Cleansing: The bitter taste of lemon gives these fruit the ability to increase peristalsis–a pumping-motion in the bowels–which helps to eliminate waste from the bowels and improve regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning.
  2. Cancer: Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including limonene—a naturally-occurring oil that slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals. Lemons also contain a substance called flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.
  3. Colds and Flu: Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work in conjunction for a serious punch against infection.
  4. Liver: Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
  5. Nutrition: Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.
  6. Balances Body Chemistry: While lemons are acidic they interact with the body’s metabolism to have an alkalizing effect on the bodily fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH.
  7. Allergies: Lemons contain the phytonutrient hesperetin which has been shown in studies to alleviate allergic symptoms.
  8. Brain and Nervous System Disorders: Containing the potent phytonutrient tangeretin in the peel, lemons have been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
  9. Eye Disorders: Rutin, found in lemons, has been shown in research to improve the symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy.
  10. Anti-Viral: In addition to being effective against cold and flu viruses, terpene limonoids found in lemons have proven anti-viral effects on other types of viruses.
  11. Diabetes: In addition to improving eye problems linked with diabetes, lemons contain hesperetin which lowers blood sugar levels (when they are high).
  12. Gall and Kidney Stones: The citric acid found in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
  13. Anti-Aging: The vitamin C found in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease.
Cook with Lemon

Pasta with Leeks and Lemon Recipe

This is the lighter side of pasta, a refreshing spring supper recipe that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied but won’t pack on the pounds.

Leeks are bursting with vitamin and mineral nourishment, so this light and lively recipe is a great way to support your body as we swing into spring.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups well-rinsed sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound dried linguine

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil and add the leeks and a little salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are coated with oil, then cover and continue to cook until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to the skillet, along with half of the reserved cooking water. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then season abundantly with black pepper. Heat gently for a few minutes, adding more cooking water if needed to thin. Add walnuts, taste and add more salt or pepper if needed, and serve immediately.

Asparagus Risotto with Lemon Recipe

A delicious — in fact, heavenly! — use for seasonal asparagus, this recipe makes a flavorful and pretty side dish that will perk up any springtime celebration.

The combination of creamy rice, tender asparagus, and tangy lemon is irresistible, like a taste of Spring sunshine!

1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt
freshly-ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 1/4 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
4 to 5 cups vegetable stock, hot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or dry jack cheese
1 tablespoon julienned lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 500F. Toss the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl until each piece is coated. Spread the asparagus evenly on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and roast until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, and saute it until it is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and saute for 5 minutes more. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until each grain begins to turn milky white, about 2 minutes. Keeping the stock hot over low heat, add it to the rice, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock and stir until the rice is tender but not mushy, a total of 18 to 20 minutes.
3. Stir in the lemon juice, minced lemon zest, and cheese. Fold in the asparagus, and remove from the heat. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl or individual plates, garnish with julienned lemon zest and parsley, and serve immediately.

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