(NaturalHealth365) Lemon is a tasty addition to foods and beverages and also a favorite aromatherapy scent. However, the benefits of lemon go beyond its citrus flavor and uplifting aroma. Lemons, especially the peels, can also bring tremendous anticancer benefits.
Lemon peels contain key compounds that bolster the immune system to more effectively fight cancer. Science is increasingly coming to the conclusion that natural phytonutrients found in plant-based foods can outperform chemotherapy – without harmful side effects.
D-limonene in lemon offers potent anticancer properties
The main compound in lemon that’s responsible for its anticancer effect is its naturally-occurring terpenes, in particular d-limonene. The benefits of d-limonene include both the prevention and treatment of cancer.
A University of Arizona Cancer Center study assessed 43 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Each were given 2 grams of limonene daily between 2 and 6 weeks before they were scheduled to have surgery.
Breast tissue and blood were collected to determine d-limonene levels as well as changes to key biomarkers related to breast cancer. There was a 22 percent reduction in breast tumor markers, including cyclin D1, one of the most overexpressed proteins and genes in cases of breast cancer. It was noted that the d-limonene consumed became highly concentrated in the affected breast tissue.
The benefits of lemon include 22 anticancer compounds, reducing risk by 50 percent
The exact reasons why these terpenes are so effective against cancer are not fully known; however, they seem to halt the progression of cancer as well as block it from developing in the first place. When d-limonene is combined with perillyl alcohol, its anticancer effects are even further amplified.
Lemon rinds also contain modified citrus pectin (MCP) that’s readily absorbed by the bloodstream and digestive system. MCP has been found effective in impeding the spread of breast, prostate and skin cancer in the body. Limonoids in citrus peels are what give them their bitter taste. However, they also slow cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis, or cancer cell suicide.
In all, lemons contain 22 anticancer compounds, packing a powerful anticancer punch. These compounds are particularly protective against cancers of the mouth, stomach, pharynx and larynx.
Cellular detoxification at the heart of the many benefits of lemon
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia estimates eating citrus fruits can reduce cancer risk by around 50 percent. In Ayurvedic medicine, lemon peels are also used for cleansing and detoxifying the liver.
D-limonene is available as a supplement, but it can also be obtained by consuming the lemon peel and spongy white inner portions. Favor organic, and wash the outside thoroughly before consuming.
An average lemon including the peel contains around 300 mg of d-limonene. Consider grating the peel into lemon zest to serve on salads, desserts, cooked vegetables and main dishes. It can also be blended into smoothies.
Additional dietary sources of d-limonene include the peels of other citrus fruits as well as cherries, berries and herbs like basil, peppermint, thyme and rosemary.
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
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