Here we cover lemon and diabetes. If you or your loved one with diabetes is keen to know how the lemon, lemon juice and lemon concentrate could affect blood sugar levels, this article is for you. Many other questions related to lemon and diabetes are also covered here to address the ultimate question – Is Lemon Juice good for diabetics? Is Lemon Concentrate good for diabetics?
Lemon is a fruit that is widely known for its many health benefits. Despite lemon’s sour and bitter taste, its nutritional value can’t be overemphasized.
When it comes to diabetics, it is not always a question of what is healthy or safe, instead, it is a question of what is exclusively healthy for them. This is because what is good for non-diabetics can be very bad for people with diabetes.
There has always been a question of whether lemon is good or bad or for diabetics. If you say yes to lemon, what can you say about the lemon juice and lemon concentrate which are both produced from the lemon?
So many researchers and articles have already tried to establish a definite answer, but there are still many gaps and confusions…
In this article, we will try to dissect and analyze the potential health benefit of lemon and its products on both diabetics and non-diabetics, with much concentration on diabetes itself. We will also establish whether it has a positive or negative effect on blood sugar.
Let’s start with some basics… What is a lemon?
What is Lemon?
Lemon is a popular fruit widely known for its health benefits. It has a very sour taste making it difficult to be consumed alone, rather people add it to their food or drinks in small quantities.
It is a source of good flavor to baked goods, salad dressing, marinades, drinks, and desserts.
Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, and one 58 grams of lemon can provide over 30 milligrams of vitamin C.
Lemons are used in the prevention or treatment of scurvy, which is a very bad condition popular among sailors.
They are also rich in nutrients and contain vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium.
The content of one raw lemon after it has been peeled includes:
What is Lemon Juice?
Lemon juice is the juice extracted by crushing the pulp of lemon fruit. It is extensively used in a drink called Lemonade
which is made by using lemon juice, water and sugar.
Lemon juice is normally used for various culinary and non-culinary purposes. Lemon juices, asides its nutritional roles, have been widely employed as a cleaning agent.
Normally, lemon juice is extensively recommended in cases of dehydration, weakness or dizziness. It can also be used to prevent several infections and also helps to cure flu and cold.
It is also believed that it helps in losing weight. Lemon juice is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps in preventing many diseases.
Vitamin C helps bone formation, connective tissue repair, and gum health. It helps the immune system fight infections and protects against free radical damage of cells.
One tablespoon of lemon juice contains
- 3 calories
- 0 grams proteins
- 0 grams fat
- 1 gram carbohydrate
- 0 grams fiber and
- 0 gram sugar.
What is Concentrated Lemon Juice?
Concentrated lemon juice, just like normal lemon juice, is extracted from the fruit. In concentrated lemon juice, their content is evaporated after extracting it from the real fruit, and subsequently, it is dried up to make a powder.
Extracting the water reduces bacteria growth, which makes it last longer than the normal lemon juice.
The powder is further liquefied during the time for use by injecting with water. Some other preservatives and food colors may be added.
This means that concentrated lemon juice is a pure juice that is in a concentrated form. However, concentrated lemon juice is usually heavily processed.
This video shows how to make pure lemon concentrate at home…
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a rich source of beneficial vitamin phytochemicals. Some of the important health benefits of lemon juice include the below…
- Antibacterial effect
Lemon juice generally has good antibacterial and antifungal properties.
There are plant compounds in lemon juice that effectively inhibit the growth of salmonella, staphylococcus, and candida infections.
A study conducted also showed that it was very effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria responsible for pneumonia and blood infections.
- Lemon juice may lower blood pressure
Research conducted by the Japanese showed that there is an indirect or inverse relationship between lemon juice and blood pressure.
The higher the lemon is given, the lower the blood pressure. This study showed that lemon juice could help in reducing blood pressure.
However, the reason why lemon juice lowers blood pressure is yet to be determined.
- Lemon juice may help in cancer prevention
Lemon juice contains flavonoids. These flavonoids help in protecting against cancer. This is because flavonoids contain antioxidant properties which inhibit cancer development and spread.
Lemon Juice vs Concentrated Lemon Juice – The Effects On Health
Both lemon juice and concentrated lemon juice were derived from the lemon. This shows that they are both beneficial to health. However, lemon juice has been found to be more beneficial than lemon juice concentrate.
Concentrated lemon juice, just like other fruit concentrates, contains beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. These plant compounds have many health benefits as they may contribute to improving heart health and decreasing inflammation.
Lemon juice concentrates might help in skin health as it contains vitamin C and other antioxidants, which will help slow the effects of skin aging.
However, concentrated lemon juice may have some potential downsides to health because some products are loaded with sugars and additives. This means that you have to carefully check the ingredients used in making the juice concentrates before buying.
However, both lemon juice and lemon juice concentrate lack fiber that the fruit provides. If you are buying either the juice or the juice concentrate because of the fiber content, then you are better off eating the fruit.
What Does The Research Say?
Different research conducted points towards the positive. It has been shown that lemon juice helps to significantly reduce blood sugar.
Lemon juice also contains flavonoids which help in fighting cancer. Some contents in lemon juice also help in fighting infections.
Concentrated lemon juice contains beneficial plant compounds which help in increasing heart rate.
Both lemon juice and concentrated lemon juice are very good for the health of non-diabetics and to some extent for diabetics. However, if you have access to the main fruit, it is better recommended than lemon juice concentrate.
You can always add it to your diet and get wonderful nutrients.
Diabetes and Lemon Juice – The Effect On Blood Sugar
Due to lemon’s high and beneficial nutritional content, it is recommended for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
American Diabetics Association has listed lemon as a superfood, and this is largely due to the soluble fiber and high amount of vitamins. Lemon juice lacks fiber but contains all the other important nutrients found in lemon.
Both lemon juice and the lemon fruit itself have a low glycemic index. Any meal with a low glycemic index helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
This means that lemon juice having a low glycemic index might help to lower blood sugar. However, lemon juice lacks fiber, so it might not be very effective in reducing blood sugar when compared to fruit.
Is Lemon Juice Good For Diabetics?
Lemon juices have a high content of giber, vitamin C, and potassium, which greatly benefits diabetics. All these important nutritional content tremendously help to improve the health of diabetics.
Lemon juice is good for people with diabetes because of the following reasons.
- The fibers in lemon can help control and reduce the risk of heart disease
The role of fiber in the health of diabetics can’t be overemphasized.
Fiber intake is important for people with diabetes because of the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber functions to increase glycemic control, reduce insulin requirements, reduce triglyceride levels and also help in weight loss.
There are also chances of high fiber food improving metabolic control for diabetics, and also lowering blood pressure.
Due to the fact that fibre-rich food lowers glycemic index, it prevents excessive fluctuation of blood glucose levels, thereby keeping you full for a long period.
However, lemon juice contains virtually no fiber but is contains other vital nutrients. So whether you take the lemon or the juice, you will still get good nutrients which will improve your health as a person with diabetes.
- The vitamin c content helps to reduce blood glucose
It is no longer a hidden fact that vitamin C is very much necessary for people with diabetes.
It has also been discovered that there is an inverse relationship between vitamin C and the risk or chances of diabetes.
Some researchers found that intake of fruits and vegetables significantly reduced the risk or chances of developing diabetes.
Lemon is a fruit with a high vitamin C content and gives you nearly 50% of the daily value of the vitamin.
Vitamin C can be obtained from different sources. Some combine vitamin C with medicines like metformin to treat diabetes. The research carried out found that people with diabetes who took oral vitamin C with metformin experienced a reduction in levels of fasting and post-meal blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin.
However, even though you can still get vitamin C through supplementation, there are chances of side effects that can also prove harmful. That is why choosing natural sources of vitamin C like lemon juice is highly recommended above other sources.
- The potassium content of lemon juice helps to reduce heart problems
Artherioscosis is a very common condition amongst people with diabetes. Arteriosclerosis is caused due to hardening of arteries which occurs as a result of calcium buildup.
Potassium helps to reduce the hardening of arteries. By reducing the hardening of arteries, potassium helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Potassium will also help in balancing the effect of high sodium diet. Therefore, incorporating lemon juice in your diet will give you all the benefits of potassium without any risk of side effects.
- Lemon juice and lemon water has been recommended for digestion
There is a need to have a functional digestive system both for diabetics and non-diabetics. Any obstruction to the digestive system can pose a very big health challenge.
A digestive system that is not functioning well can lead to acid reflux, or gastroparesis. Gastroparesis causes slow digestion of food and slow emptying of food. Some medications are available to treat these problems. However, lemon water helps to aid the digestion of food and improves the general function of the digestive system. It is much more recommended and preferable to other medications available because it is purely natural with minimal or no side effects.
Starting your day with lemon juice or lemon water serves a whole lot of benefits. This will help stimulate muscular contractions, which will help purge your system of toxins that must have been accumulated.
If the digestive problem is due to being overweight, lemon juice can help you burn calories and improve your digestion.
- Lemon juice has a low-calorie ingredient which helps it meets up nutrient needs.
People with diabetes usually struggle to find the most suitable meal that has low sugar, carbs, or calories. Lemon is very suitable as it contains low fats and calories.
You can use lemon for salad dressing as a substitute for sugar-based mayonnaise.
Diabetes And Concentrated Lemon Juice – The Effect On Blood Sugar
The whole lemon family has a low glycemic index, and can then be said to lower sugar. However, this is only sure and proven for lemon fruit.
Although concentrated lemon juice might have a low glycemic index, it lacks fiber. This means that there are chances of the concentrate causing a spike in blood sugar.
Fiber generally helps to stabilize blood sugar level, so any meal, fruit or juice lacking fiber may be at risk of causing a sugar spike. So, until a substantial research report is done, it might be better off to stay away from lemon juice concentrates, or other juice concentrates. If otherwise stated by your health care professional and there is a need to take a juice concentrate, then you can go ahead, but otherwise, avoid it and opt for the fruit as much as possible.
Is Concentrated Lemon Juice Good For Diabetics?
Concentrated lemon juice, no doubts, contains some important nutrients which may be good for people with diabetes.
It might not hurt to take a small portion of concentrated lemon juice as a person with diabetes. However, it is important to note that some lemon juice concentrates might harbor sugar, additives and unhealthy preservatives, just like other juice concentrates.
If you are to take juice concentrates, then you should get the ones with little or no sugar. This is because sugar is bad for people with diabetes.
How To Add Lemons Into Your Diet – Tips For Diabetics
It is no doubt that people with diabetes need a substantial amount of fresh lemon to keep their health in check. However, dealing with lemon’s sour and bitter taste could be quite a lot.
If that is the case, then there are other ways to take lemon. One of them is by adding it to your diet.
To effectively add lemon to your diet, you can follow one of the following steps:
- Ensure that you choose a simple lemon juice or lemon water
- If you want to eat salad, you can decide to use lemon as a low-calorie dressing instead of mayonnaise.
You can prepare the low-calorie dressing by adding small olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you wish to increase the spice, you can add herbs or mustard.
- Lemon can be used as a seasoning and flavoring for grilled meat, fish, or poultry. It can be a better option because of its low calorie and fat-free component when compared to barbecue sauces.
- Also, you can add a roasted vegetable to lemon juice.
This will save you from the problem with other sauces which might contain too many calories.
Risks of Lemon, Lemon Juice, and Lemon Juice Concentrate
- Lemon has high acid content and might affect people with mouth ulcers.
Those with mouth ulcers can experience a stinging sensation when they take lemon.
- The acid in lemon can also affect people with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
It might worsen symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation.
- If you are allergic to grass pollens or citrus fruits, then you might as well react to lemon juice too.
If you notice any allergies, then you should consult your health care personnel immediately.
- Consuming a large amount of lemon juice may lead to dental erosion.
- For those sensitive to tyramine, lemon juice, when taken, can cause migraine.
Lemons have great health benefits. Its vitamins, potassium, and fiber content make it healthier to consume because of its great impact on our health. Provided you take lemon in a moderate quantity then you have nothing to fear.
The same full assurance can’t be given for both lemon juice and lemon juice concentrate. They both lack fibers which is very essential to health. Nevertheless, they have other health benefits which are equally very beneficial.
However, when taking any processed lemon fruit, juices or food, it is always advisable to tread with caution. This is very much advised when you are taking an already processed lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate. Some producers might decide to add one or two preservatives or additives for the longer-lasting of the product.
If you have a way of making your own lemon juice at home, you can go for that option; if not, you can go for processed fruits as the last resort.