The lemon, scientific name Citrus limoni, is a plant of the Rutaceae family, the same as tangerine, orange and bergamot. The term lemon also refers to the fruit of this plant, of a beautiful intense yellow color and characterized by a rounded shape. Lemon is known and appreciated for its juice, drunk as a purifying and refreshing drink, used to dress salads or to marinate fish, meat or even fruit. But science is also interested in another part of the lemon, less used except for giving flavor to sweets, the peel.
Properties of lemon peel
Lemon peel contains more vitamin C than its pulp, it also contains more antioxidant substances such as hesperidin, naringin and eriocitrin which are concentrated mainly in the peel of this fruit (Fukuchi et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr, Nov 2008 - Elkhatim et al, Food Sci Nutr, Jul 2018). These substances are considered to be very important as they are able to counteract problems related to incorrect lifestyles, such as, for example, obesity, hypertension, some forms of cancer or type 2 diabetes. In fact, as reported by scientific researches, hesperidin and naringin are able to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting their production at the liver level. These same substances are useful to counteract high blood sugar levels in case of type 2 diabetes. But in general, all flavonoids of lemon peel are useful to fight overweight and obesity and demonstrate hypotensive action by reducing blood pressure in the case of high values of it (Kato et al, J Nutr Metab, Apr 2014). Lemon peel also contains another antioxidant, d-limonene, a substance belonging to the terpenes family. D-limonene gives the fruit a pleasant and fresh scent and, based on scientific studies, shows interesting effects on health. In fact, it can counteract the formation of bladder stones, relieves heartburn and gastric reflux and protects the skin from the formation of certain types of tumors (Sun, Alternative Medicine review, 2007 - Hakim IA et al, Nutr Cancer, 2000).
How to take lemon peel
For these reasons, don’t throw away the lemon peel but you can add it grated on fruit salads, in the breakfast yogurt, in sauces or in smoothies and juices. Alternatively, when preparing green tea, why not put a little lemon peel together with the tea leaves? Instead, for a healthy and delicious recipe, in the Healthy Food section you can find the recipe Khorasan pasta with zucchini and lemon flavor, a unique fragrance and a delicious taste given by the final touch of grated lemon peel! However, when using lemon peel, it is important to always choose organic lemons and rinse the fruit well before using it.