Although most fruits are sweet, they tend to be relatively low in kilojoules. Better still, they are a good source of fibre and are packed with nutrients – especially vitamin C. One reason why the much-vaunted Mediterranean diet is considered to be so good for the heart is because it includes plenty of fresh fruit. The World Health Organisation recommends that everyone should try to eat at least five portions of different fruit or vegetables each day.


lemons-2Lemons belong to the family Rutaceae. Lemons are classified as Citrus limon.

There are arguments that the lemon originated in either Malaysia, China, Persia, Asia Minor, or the Indus Valley. The latter wins–archaeological evidence includes a lemon-shaped earring from 2500 BC. Lemons were being cultivated in Palestine as early as the first century AD, and perhaps in Greece as well. By the second century, Libya was exporting them to Rome (there is a mosaic in Pompeii that shows a lemon). However, the fruit was expensive and rarely encountered. In the eighth and ninth century, Arabs planted lemons in the Sahara, Andalusia, and Sicily.

Lemons are rich in vitamin C (50mg in 100mg of lemon juice) plus potassium they also contain good amounts of calcium and B vitamins. They are low in sugar and sodium. Lemons contain traces of vitamin P, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, fructose and fruit acids (mostly citric acid). Lemons are low calorie, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free and fat-free.

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