Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Time to order your lemonade

The warm summer winds are blowing our way and most of us seek refuge by any body of water.

Dehydration is inevitable and we reach out for a refreshing drink to wet a dry mouth, quench our thirst and hydrate our bodies. Its symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps or general irritability are often unnoticed, neglected or ignored. Yet dehydration is dangerous and a common cause of hospitalisation of elders over 65.

You think you are safe if confined to an air-conditioned area away from harmful sunrays — that too causes dehydration, as do heaters in winter, increasing our bodies’ need for fluids. As a general rule, we probably do not drink enough fluid to fulfil our requirements. In the heat we are tempted to grab a freezing cola, juice or cocktail, forgetting that they are loaded with sweet calories that actually increase the body’s need for water. 

In their book Drink This, Not That David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding count coffee and tea as part of your daily liquid, but not the fancy frappees and mochas at the chain coffee shops. We need to maintain a reasonable fluid intake, so, do yourself a favour and order a cool, tall glass of refreshing lemonade, for its myriad benefits.

We shall endeavour to include some of them. Lemonade not only refreshes, but it keeps you calm and cool. High in potassium, lemons help alleviate numerous cardiac issues, high blood pressure, nausea, dizziness and that is only skimming the surface.

Lemon juice helps treatment of indigestion, constipation, throat infections, fever, burns, cholera and internal bleeding. If rheumatism is your concern, lemons have been known for their therapeutic properties for generations. A study by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases concluded that lemon provides protection against inflammatory poly-arthritis and arthritis. Because it is a mild diuretic it treats rheumatism by flushing out bacteria and toxins from the body.

By cleansing your stomach and purifying your blood it is a treatment for kidney systems as well as reducing strokes and lowering body temperatures. A boon for diabetics, it hydrates and energises without dangerous levels of sugar and best of all, it helps you lose weight.

Who could ask for anything more? Yet there is more, much more.

Can it really prevent certain types of cancer… this tiny, sour fruit?

Yes, the lemon contains flavonoids which are composites that contain anti-oxidants and cancer fighting properties that have been shown to prevent cells in your body from deforming, which is what leads to cancer development and spreading. It also helps prevent diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Drinking a lemonade on a regular basis can ensure a constant intake of these anti-oxidants. 

For best results mix with warm water.

Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlights the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate which prevents the formation of crystals.

Nature’s boon contains its own set of antiseptic and natural medications, like treating malaria, abdominal cramps, excess gas or burning sensation. The juice of one lemon in water twice a day will help relieve your pain. You can add a little sugar, a spoonful of honey —some prefer a pinch of salt.

 A good practice is to eat a quarter of half of this tiny powerful citrus fruit daily for maximum health benefit. That is not so hard to do. Consider its bountiful advantages.

Add lemon to your table with your salt and pepper and squeeze a few drops on your dish. It will aid in your digestion. 

Nutritionist Barbara T Rolls of Penn State University, author of Volumetrics, believes “people consume fewer calories when their meals have high liquid content.” 

Remember, however, that it does not go well with milk.

How about dental care? That too. Apply fresh lemon juice on the area of a toothache for pain relief. Massage your gums to stop bleeding. Add a few drops to your toothpaste, if it does not contain lemon.

If your long hours under the sun result in sunburn, lemon juice is a natural antiseptic and will relieve the pain. Even the sting of a bee is forgotten with one little drop.

The little lemon is a cosmetic aid as well, it brightens your skin and adds shine to your hair.

The lemon’s culinary uses are endless, and as a washing agent it removes stains, and whitens and brightens your laundry.

The origin of this small magical evergreen is unknown, though some believe it first grew in India, Burma or China, but it first appeared in Egypt in 1000 AD. By 1676 the French Compagnie de Lemonadiers monopolised the beverage by serving the drink in cups from tanks on their banks. 

Fibre contains significant levels of iron — an important element in hemoglobin — a lemon contains 3g of fibre, 10 per cent of our daily requirement.

A more versatile fruit you will never find. It is a cleanser, air-freshener, insecticide, etc. 

According to a Japanese study, it is not the sweetness but the sour flavours that stimulate salivation more than any taste. Acidic drinks wet the mouth and keep you hydrated long after your drink is finished.

Its nourishing elements are endless: vitamins C, B6, A, E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorous and protein.

We could go on, but space does not permit. 

Get your fill of lemonade. This tart, sweet satisfying, centuries-old drink is a hallmark beverage the world over.

If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.

English proverb

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