Olive Oil and Lemon Juice: Myths, Benefits and Downsides
Learn about the potential benefits, myths, and downsides of olive oil and lemon juice

Some people claim that olive oil and lemon juice make a powerful combination that can help treat a wide range of conditions, from indigestion to joint pain

Studies have shown that both olive oil and lemon juice are rich in nutrients that can benefit overall health. However, many of the health claims about the enhanced health benefits of combining these two ingredients are not backed by solid scientific evidence.

Learn about the potential benefits, myths, and downsides of olive oil and lemon juice.

What nutrients are in olive oil and lemon juice?

Olive oil and lemon juice are low in calories and high in vitamins C and E and heart-healthy fats

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which can improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels. Olive oil also provides 10% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

One lemon has only 11 calories and provides more than 20% of the daily intake for vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals. 

5 potential benefits of olive oil and lemon juice

1. Antioxidant-rich

Olive oil and lemon juice are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help combat headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain.

Studies report that drinking one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon in the morning on an empty stomach and 30 minutes before breakfast may help prevent many diseases related to the heart, brain, and digestive system.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties

Olive oil and lemon juice both have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect heart health and promote blood circulation throughout the body.

3. Lowers cholesterol

Evidence from small studies suggests that consumption of olive oil and lemon juice together regularly may reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels.

4. Prevents constipation

Olive oil and lemon juice may help promote gastrointestinal health and prevent constipation due to their anti-inflammatory and laxative properties.

5. May boost skin health

Because of the combination of antioxidants, vitamin E, and nutrients in olive oil and lemon juice, this powerful duo may promote skin health.

What are the myths vs. facts about olive oil and lemon juice?

Despite the many health claims surrounding the combination of olive oil and lemon juice, there is no scientific evidence that mixing them together enhances their health benefits.

Cleansing and detoxifying claims

Many so-called detox diets advocate using olive oil and lemon juice to cleanse the body of toxins. However, although the antioxidants in both ingredients can help fight damaging free radicals that lead to disease, the body already has a sophisticated detoxification system in place. Instead of relying on olive oil and lemon juice for health, it is best to eat a balanced diet to promote your body’s natural detoxification abilities.

Weight loss claims

Specific components in lemon juice and olive oil, such as vitamin C and monounsaturated fatty acids, may help with weight management. However, there are no research studies that have investigated the effects of mixing these two ingredients on weight loss.

Kidney stones and gallstones claims

Diet plays an important role in preventing the risk of kidney stones and gallstones. Although some people use the combination of olive oil and lemon juice as a home remedy for gallstones, there are no studies to support this health claim.

QUESTION

According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

What are the downsides of drinking olive oil and lemon juice together?

It is important to be aware of the potential adverse effects of combining olive oil and lemon juice for health purposes. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Check with your doctor before taking olive oil and lemon juice together if you are pregnant, nursing, or on certain medications. Olive oil and lemon juice may interfere with some drugs.
  • Since both olive oil and lemon juice are acidic, excessive intake can irritate the intestines and skin. Highly acidic foods can also cause headaches.
  • Drinking too much olive oil and lemon juice can result in diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and erosion of teeth.

Should you drink olive and lemon juice together?

If you are wondering about whether you should be combining olive oil and lemon juice together, there is no evidence to suggest that doing so is harmful to health.

Furthermore, they are a common flavor combination, especially in Mediterranean cuisine. Each has health benefits on its own and taste great together in salad dressings and other dishes.

So while the claims that combining olive oil and lemon juice enhances each of their health benefits are unfounded, there is nothing wrong with using these ingredients in your cooking.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/4/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Can lemon water help with weight loss? https://www.aknd.ca/can-lemon-water-help-weight-loss/

Research shows the benefits of olive oil. https://news.miami.edu/stories/2022/01/research-shows-the-benefits-of-olive-oil.html

Is extra-virgin olive oil extra healthy? https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/is-extra-virgin-olive-oil-extra-healthy