Are Lemons High in Polyphenols?

Medically Reviewed on 12/22/2021
4 types of foods that are highest in polyphenols
Lemons are rich in various kinds of flavonoids, which are a family of polyphenolic compounds.

Yes, lemon and other citrus fruits are rich in various kinds of flavonoids, which are a family of polyphenolic compounds.

Lemons contain various flavonoids, such as:

  • Flavone glycoside
    • Diosmin
    • Diglucosyldiosmetin
  • Flavanone glycoside
    • Eriocitrin
    • Hesperidin
    • naringin

These are thought to have a variety of favorable health impacts, such as:

  • Prevention of lifestyle-related disorders
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-oxidative effects
  • Anticancer
  • Antiviral activities
  • Reduces plasma and hepatic cholesterol and triacylglycerol (triglyceride) levels

What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a kind of plant component that comprises flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and stilbenes. To date, more than 8,000 distinct kinds of polyphenols have been found.

6 health benefits of a polyphenol-rich diet

  1. Prevents malignancies
  2. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  3. Lowers diabetes risk
  4. Lowers the risk of neurological disorders
  5. Protects the skin from ultraviolet damage and pollution
  6. Various studies suggested that polyphenols in lemons reduced gastritis that is caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and reduced the risk of developing peptic ulcers

8 health benefits of lemons

Lemons are rich in polyphenols and vitamin C, which are the most abundant antioxidants along with other essential vitamins and minerals.

Daily intake of lemon juice is known to have various health benefits, such as the following:

  1. Fight cold
    • Antioxidants in lemons are known to help prevent cold symptoms and increase immunity. It improves respiratory health, which helps fight off a nasty cold.
  2. Reduces inflammation
    • Although inflammation is necessary for the body's immunological response to combat cold-like diseases, chronic inflammation may lead to heart diseases, exhaustion, digestive disorders, mood changes, and even cancer.
    • Research published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry suggested that vitamin C possesses antioxidant effects that have been shown to lessen inflammation. Vitamin C helps manage inflammation and strengthens the immune system to keep infections at bay.
  3. Reduces the risk of developing kidney stones
    • Lemons contain a high concentration of citrate, which has been shown to naturally reduce kidney stone development.
    • Research published in the Journal of Urology recommended that patients who got lemonade therapy (four ounces of lemon juice in two liters of water per day with little to no sugar) before treatment had a lower likelihood of kidney stone development.
  4. Reduces cholesterol
    • Research published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine suggested lemons include cholesterol-fighting components, such as vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.
    • Lemons contain flavonoids, which were shown in research published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine to reduce LDL and triglyceride levels in participants.
    • Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggested that pectin in lemon peels was found to decrease cholesterol in hamsters.
  5. Protects brain health
    • Severe cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer's and dementia, are common as people age, but there may be certain lifestyle adjustments that might help prevent their onset.
    • In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, lemons may help prevent severe mental impairment. It has been demonstrated that maintaining appropriate vitamin C levels protects against age-related cognitive deterioration.
  6. Reduces blood pressure
    • High blood pressure can lead to life-threatening complications, such as renal failure, a heart attack, or a stroke. Fortunately, having lemons daily has been shown to benefit.
    • Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism recommended that people who ate at least half a lemon each day and walked approximately 7,000 steps improved their blood pressure significantly. However, lemons should not be used as the primary therapy for anything as serious as high blood pressure.
  7. Weight loss
    • Lemons are high in polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidant chemicals that have been shown to provide considerable health advantages.
    • A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition discovered that mice fed a high-fat diet as well as lemon polyphenols had dramatically reduced various factors related to obesity, such as:
    • Scientific outcomes in mice may not be the same for humans, but the researchers nonetheless advocate consuming lemon polyphenols to battle obesity.
  8. Recuses the aging process
    • Adding lemon to the diet may be enough to attain a young glow. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that a high vitamin C consumption was linked to a decreased probability of developing wrinkles and less skin dryness. These two physical characteristics can significantly age a person.

4 side effects of lemons

Though lemons offer several health benefits, they should be used in moderation because there are side effects to the increased consumption of lemon juice.

  • Lemons are extremely acidic, which can damage the enamel of the teeth. When the dental enamel is gone, it is gone forever, and enamel erosion can cause discoloration and significant tooth sensitivity.
  • Heartburn, also called acid reflux, could be triggered, causing a burning sensation in the chest.
  • Increase the risk of developing gastric ulcers.
  • May trigger migraine.


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Medically Reviewed on 12/22/2021
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Fukuchi Y, Hiramitsu M, Okada M, et al. Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in beta-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008;43(3):201-209.

Oregon State University. Flavonoids.