Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Benefits of Lemon Juice

Photo by Tom Paolini

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…..or lemon water….

Through the years, more and more people have been flavoring their water with fruits such as lemon in order to drink more water and/or drink less sugary drinks like soda and juices. National Lemon Juice Day is observed on August 29th and a good time to review the benefits of lemons. Lemons are for the most part consumed via the lemon juice they produce. Fresh lemon juice is popularly used in a variety of drinks and foods.

What are some of the benefits of lemon juice?

Good source of Vitamin C

  • Heart healthy and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Helps your immune system and fights off colds
  • Enhances iron absorption
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves skin health, reduces skin wrinkling, dry skin, promotes collagen synthesis


  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Plant compounds found in lemons, hesperidin and diosmin, have been shown to lower cholesterol

Prevents kidney stones

Citrate, a compound of citric acid prevents kidney stones by increasing urine pH making it less acidic which may even break up small stones and increasing urine volume to provide an unfavorable environment for kidney stone formation

Freshens breath

Promotes hydration

  • By adding lemon to your water, you are adding nutrients and vitamins and also allowing yourself to drink more water.

Good for digestion

  • Soluble fiber pectin, main fiber in lemons, can slow the digestion of starches and sugars and may decease blood sugar levels
  • Pectin can cause you to feel fuller for longer so helps promote weight loss

What is the downside of lemon juice?

  • Citric acid can erode tooth enamel, damage teeth, and cause mouth sores
  • Drink lemon water with straw so less contact with oral cavity

How to best utilize lemon juice?

  • Use fresh lemon juice not artificial lemon juice from a bottle
  • Make ice cubes with freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice in either warm water with some honey-this will help kill bacteria
  • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice in cold water with ice cubes and enjoy a refreshing drink
  • Avoid adding sugar in your drinks, instead add other ingredients like honey or mint