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Lemon

Benefits

Lemons contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that  benefit health. Like other citrus fruits, they contain vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Researchers believe that the flavonoids in lemon and other citrus fruits have antibacterial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties.

Citrus fruits, including lemons, contain active components called phytochemicals that benefit health. These include vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, pectin.

The juice from one 48 g lemon contains the following nutrients in grams (g) or milligrams (mg):

    11 calories
      3.31 g carbohydrate
    49 mg potassium
    18.6 mg vitamin C
      3 mg calcium
      0.1 g of fiber

Lemons also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin A.

Symbolism

In art, the spiral peeled lemon peel symbolizes the unfolding of earthly life, and the individual which frees his spirit from its material envelope, to reach the pulp of the spiritual essence.Also, symbolizes longevity, purification, refreshment, unity, clarity, friendship, happiness, aura cleansing, rejuvenation, improved consciousness, love and fidelity.

It is said that a lemon pie given to the spouse will help strengthen fidelity, and a slice of lemon placed under a visitor's chair will make the friendship last.

A Bit of History

Ancient Mesopotamia to be precise where archaeologists have found evidence of lemon cultivation. Lemons were used as religious offerings to the god Enlil, the god of earth and air. Apart from religious usage, lemons were also employed as antidotes. The Ancient Romans also used lemons widely. A Roman emperor went so far as to limit the price merchants could charge for lemons.

The origin of the lemon has not yet been determined, although science suggests it may be northwestern India, where they have been cultivated for more than 2,500 years.

Arab traders brought the lemons to the Middle East and Africa sometime after 100 C.E. It is believed to have been introduced into southern Italy around 200 C.E.; and was being cultivated in Egypt and in Sumer, the southern portion of Mesopotamia a few centuries later.

At first, lemons were not widely cultivated as food: It was largely an ornamental plant (as were tomatoes), until about the 10th century. The Arabs introduced the lemon into Spain in the 11th century, and by 1150, the lemon was widely cultivated in the Mediterranean. Crusaders returning from Palestine brought it to the rest of Europe.

The lemon came into full culinary use in Europe in the 15th century; the first major cultivation in Europe began in Genoa. Lemons came to the New World in 1493, when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola.

Spanish conquest spread the lemon throughout the New World, where it was still mainly used as an ornamental plant, and for medicine. Lemons were grown in California by 1751; and in the 1800s in Florida, they began to be used in cooking and flavoring. The name “lemon” first appeared around 1350–1400, from the Middle English word limon.

Limon is an Old French word, indicating that the lemon entered England via France. The Old French derives from the Italian limone, which dates back to the Arabic laymun or limun, from the Persian word limun.

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