With the summer heat approaching, many people cool off with iced lemon water, iced lemon tea, or lemonade. And by modifying the popular phrase a bit: “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” you can go further knowing in advance that if life gives you lemons, life can actually deliver incredible health benefits such as reducing the cancer risk thanks to its anticancer compounds.

22 compounds in lemons reduce the risk of cancer

The Industrial Research Organization and Commonwealth Scientific of Australia found that citrus fruits can reduce cancer risk by 50 percent. In particular, lemon peels help boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, and even prevent cancer. Lemon peels are also antimicrobial that can protect against bacterial infections

Research has shown that phytonutrients could even outperform chemotherapy without causing harm to the body. Modified citrus pectin is derived from citrus pulp and peels, and has been found to inhibit the spread of skin cancer of the prostate, breast, and other organs.

Another 2011 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that lemon extract applied to breast cancer cells induced cell death. Lemon extract was applied in vitro, but the results may suggest potent cancer-fighting properties in lemons.

“There are numerous studies being done to understand the role that folate reduction plays in cancer,” said Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian, conditioning specialist and spokesperson for the New York City-based Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics . A 2007 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, notes that folate’s potential cancer-reducing properties are likely related to its role in the production of substances that silence cancer DNA. The study notes, however, that some research has suggested that in some cases, high levels of folate may actually stimulate cancer cell growth. The authors write, “Folate may provide early protection in carcinogenesis and in individuals with a low level of folate, however, it may promote carcinogenesis if administered later and potentially at very high levels of intakes.”


Lemons contain 22 anticancer compounds that stop cell division in cancer cells. Among them are limonoids , which are chemical compounds in citrus peels, they are also the ones that give them a bitter taste. They constitute one of the main phytochemicals along with flavonoids, coumarins, and carotenoids in citrus fruits. Limonoids were shown to have properties to stop cancer risk . In the last quarter century, a number of studies have accumulated considerable evidence that advanced our understanding of the preventive mechanism of limonoid disease.

Limonoids are speculated to suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis by inhibiting enzyme activities and signal transduction pathways. Furthermore, limonoids are also shown to inhibit cell metastasis in cell culture and animal studies.

Other properties of lemons

Lemons not only stop the risk of cancer , it can also help the body through detoxification, fight free radicals in the body and lose weight, and of course, consuming all the lemon, skin, pulp and seeds, will offer you the best results.

Detoxifier for the liver

Lemon juices have an atomic structure similar to the digestive juices of the stomach, which also helps the liver in the production of bile. This helps keep food circulating through the body and the gastrointestinal tract.

Lemons are antioxidants

Lemons contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals. This can result in healthy, youthful skin. The vitamin C found in lemons can help the body produce more collagen and helps smooth lines and wrinkles on the face.

Lemons help you lose weight

Drinking lemon water has been found to also help you lose weight, this is due to the type of fiber found in lemons. Pectin helps you feel full longer, which means you can handle bothersome cravings more easily. Also, lemons have been found to boost energy levels without the caffeine crash, resulting in lower stress levels and improved mood.

Many people enjoy lemonade, but are wary of the sugar content. Refined sugars have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, but it is possible to enjoy your lemonade and protect your health. Try the following healthy lemonade recipe. If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the sugar for coconut honey, agave or maple syrup.

Lemonade with honey


  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 cups of filtered water


In a blender, combine the honey and lemon juice. Mix on high speed for 30 seconds. Add water to the blender. Pulse until everything is mixed very well. Serve with ice in glasses.

What are you waiting for to eat more lemon! Add it to your diet in as many ways as you can on a daily basis: in drinks, meals, salads, desserts, or just plain, with a little salt or cayenne pepper.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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