Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Uses for Lemons for Athletes

Fresh California Lemons from Limoneira
Fresh Lemon is so very versatile for everything from a master cleanse with cayenne and honey to cleansing your skin! Sometimes we forget about putting on sunblock and dark sun spots can appear on exposed areas. Lemons to the rescue. Even though lemons are full of citric acid and vitamin C, they have a alkalising effect on internal organs and body chemistry. High acidity is often associated with high meat and processed food consumption. These conditions make for a perfect environment to foster inflammation and disease. When you workout, you use oxygen which leaves behind free radicals which act like rust to our cells. Lemons (both skin and pulp) are rich in antioxidants and free radical quenchers.

So when someone gives you lemons, make more than just lemonade! Here are some top benefits and super uses for lemons.

Use lemons as a marinade for fish and chicken.
Lemons as a Marinade for Chicken & Fish
I keep frozen salmon fillets and chicken breasts in the freezer and splash on a marinade of fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, smokey rub and coconut oil. I let the fillet sit refrigerated overnight and either grill or pan sear it the next day.
The Benefit: Not only does it make chicken and fish taste bright and fantastic, it helps diminish possible carcinogens which can arise from high cooking temperatures. Here is a recipe for both a lemon based marinade and citrus vinaigrette for salads. The citrus component helps you absorb vitamins and minerals from the salad greens and garden vegetables.

Lemon Marinade/Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

1 tbsp minced garlic

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 tbsps fresh lemon juice

2 tbsps fresh orange juice

1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake to blend, this Vinaigrette can be made up to a week in advance.

The Citrus Vinaigrette tops a salad and marinades the fish.
Fresh Lemon Juice and Hot Water in the Morning
This is a very easy morning detoxifying cleanse that you can do when you wake up. Start with a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice with pulp stirred in at least 8 ozs of hot water. Drink it before you take any of your morning supplements as it will help in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. It also helps cut through morning phlegm when used as a gargle.

Add lemon juice to your vegetable juices to help absorption of vitamins & minerals
Lemon Juice in Your Smoothies
Vitamins and minerals found in most pithy vegetables and greens are often hard to extract. Lemon juice helps provide the proper environment for nutrients, especially minerals, to be absorbed and utilized. To effect this, you can add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice to your favorite vegetable or fruit smoothie.

Lemon Juice makes a great, natural fruit & vegetable wash.
Lemon Juice as a Fruit & Vegetable Wash
Even if you buy mostly organic produce, there are a lot of bacteria, e. coli and other impurities present on the skin. Make your own effective fruit and vegetable wash by adding one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into a pint spray bottle. It is a natural disinfectant and leaves the produce smelling very fresh.

Lemon juice for skin and hair care.
Lemon Juice for Skin and Hair Care
My skin is very oily, especially in the summer time so I like to use fresh lemon juice as a toner after cleansing. Also my freckles tend to show more after a day in the sun as can be seen here after my workout class in Montauk Point on Long Island. It's part of life and if you run, walk, bicycle or do anything outdoors, it will effect you.

Sun Spots: I take a small wedge of fresh lemon and rub it over the darkened freckles after cleansing at night. You can make a lemon based toner with 1/2 strained lemon juice to 8 ozs of water and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Decant onto a cotton ball and apply to effected areas of sun damaged skin.

As a Hair Rinse: Using the pool and sweating during a workout leaves behind deposits that can cause your hair to turn dull, brassy and limp. A light lemon juice rinse helps to remove old hair styling residue which coat the hair. You can add 1/2 lemon to a pint of warm water. Save it for the final rinse but you can follow up with a cold water rinse to close the cuticle and add shine. Lemon juice when rubbed into the scalp helps treat flaky dandruff as well. 

Lemon Juice for First Aid
I often add a slice of fresh lemon to my icy water bottle for my bike rides. Did you know that same lemon wedge can disinfect a road cut or rash and help stop bleeding and infection? You can squeeze the juice directly on the cut or onto a cotton ball and hold in place. Simple!

These are just a few uses for lemons if you are pursuing a healthy, fit lifestyle. Keep a bunch of fresh lemons in your house as you can see the benefits of lemon juice to your natural  lifestyle. Visit Limoneira Company of Santa Paula, CA for more information on the benefits of lemon.

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