That’s right! Along with boosting your immunity, the zingy and versatile lemon fruit can help lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Read on to find out how lemons can help control your BP, and how much you need to consume in a day.
“Good things come in small packages”. Similarly, a lemon is a small fruit that packs a huge punch of zingy flavour. Along with taste, lemons come with several health benefits too. But are there any benefits of lemons for high blood pressure? In this article, we discuss how lemons may help lower your BP, along with how to include more of them in your diet.
Nutritional Profile of Lemon Juice
Lemons are fruits that grow on the evergreen Citrus limon trees.
They are an excellent source of antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids like hesperidin and eriocitrin. They are low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and have a negligible amount of protein and fats. Lemons are also rich in dietary fibre, though it is removed from products like lemon juice.
The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of raw lemon juice according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
What are the Benefits of Lemons for High BP?
Several studies have shown that the regular consumption of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can help lower blood pressure, along with reducing your risk of developing heart disease.
Though the exact benefits of lemons and lemon water for high BP are still being studied, the following mechanisms of action have been proposed:
Has diuretic properties
Lemon water helps improve the balance of electrolytes in your body by eliminating excess fluid through urine. Lemon juice has a decent amount of potassium and very little sodium, and it also promotes the absorption of calcium and magnesium from your diet. All of these minerals are essential in regulating your blood pressure levels.
Has antioxidant properties
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that plays a crucial role in maintaining your heart health. Vitamin C, along with other antioxidants present in lemons like flavonoids, prevents the oxidation of fatty substances in your diet called cholesterol. Cholesterol, when oxidised, can stick to the walls of blood vessels that have been damaged by hypertension. This is known as plaque formation, which can cause your blood vessels to become clogged, stiff, and narrow.
When blood flows through stiff and narrow arteries, it can further increase your blood pressure. Thus, the antioxidants can prevent further elevations in blood pressure along with the heart diseases associated with it by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol.
What is the Best Way to Consume Lemon for High Blood Pressure Control?
Lemons are a versatile fruit that can be used to boost the flavour profile of beverages, salads, curries, meat, desserts, etc. You can use lemons and lemon juice in the following ways to help lower your blood pressure:
As an alternative to salt
If you have high blood pressure, one of the main recommendations for blood pressure control is to reduce your sodium intake to 2300 mg a day, according to the DASH diet recommendations. This can sometimes make you feel like you have limited food options, or that the food you eat is bland. You can remedy this by adding lemon juice or lemon zest to your cooking. The tangy taste of lemons can mask the lack of salt, thus helping you cut down on your sodium consumption.
As lemon water
The best way to include lemon or its juice in your diet to lower your blood pressure is to add it to your water bottle. Staying properly hydrated is essential to maintaining healthy blood pressure. Adding lemon juice or lemon slices to your water can help you stay hydrated by balancing your electrolyte levels. It also helps improve your antioxidant and potassium intake.
Alternatively, you can also add lemon juice to your daily cup of green tea in order to amplify the blood pressure lowering effects of the drink and to make it more palatable.
How to Make Lemon Water to Lower Blood Pressure?
You can make lemon water by squeezing about 15 to 20 ml of fresh lemon juice into 300 ml of water, or adding 3 to 4 slices or wedges of lemon to your water bottle. You can add more or less lemon juice to your water as per your personal preference. Avoid adding salt, sugar or honey to the lemon water.
How Much Lemon Can You Consume in a Day for High Blood Pressure?
You can consume the juice of about 2 to 3 lemons in a day, which amounts to about 4 to 6 tablespoons (60 to 90 ml). You can drink up to 4 to 5 glasses (of 245 ml each) of lemon water a day.
What is the Best Time to Consume Lemons for BP Management?
There is no fixed time to consume lemon or lemon water for high blood pressure. You can consume them throughout the day in the following ways:
- The ideal time to drink lemon water for high BP is right before or with your breakfast.
- Replace your daily cup of coffee with a glass of lemon water, or add some lemon juice into your cup of plain tea.
- Have a glass of lemon water between or with all of your meals.
- Squeeze some lemon juice onto your salads at lunch instead of using a high-fat dressing made of mayonnaise or oil.
- Reduce the amount of salt you use while cooking meat for lunch or dinner by adding lemon juice to the dish.
- Drink a glass of lemon water after exercise instead of a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes.
- Replace store-bought juices, sodas, and other beverages that have added sugars with lemon water. Consuming drinks or foods with too much added sugar can increase your blood sugar levels, which can have a negative effect on your blood pressure control.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Lemons?
Overconsumption of lemon juice or lemon water can cause the following side effects:
What are the Other Health Benefits of Lemons?
The following are the health benefits of lemons and lemon juice:
- It reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
- Vitamin C can strengthen your immunity and help your body fight infections.
- The antioxidants in lemons can protect your cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
- Regular consumption of lemon juice can help promote weight loss by increasing the number of calories you burn and by curbing hunger.
- The flavonoids in lemons can help regulate your blood sugar levels, which makes them a valuable addition to a diabetic diet.
- The citric acid in lemons can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron in your gut, thus helping in preventing iron-deficiency anaemia.
- Lemon juice can help in the excretion of excess uric acid, thus reducing your chances of developing gout.
- Some studies suggest that the antioxidants and plant compounds (like limonene) in lemons can help reduce your risk of developing several types of cancer.
- The fibre in lemons can help improve your digestion.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Lemons are rich in fibre and antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids while being low in calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and protein.
- Lemons and lemon juice can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which can prevent the clogging and narrowing of your blood vessels. Thus, drinking lemon water lowers your blood pressure by preventing the narrowing of your blood vessels.
- Lemon water also acts as a diuretic and helps remove excess water in your body. This can also help lower your blood pressure.
- The best way to consume lemons or lemon juice for blood pressure management is to consume lemon water or use some lemon juice as an alternative to salt while cooking, thus reducing your sodium intake.
- You can make lemon water by squeezing 15 to 20 ml of fresh lemon juice into 300 ml of water, or by adding a few lemon slices to your water bottle.
- Limit your consumption of lemon juice to 4 to 6 tablespoons or 60 to 90 ml a day.
- You can consume lemon juice or lemon water at any time of the day. Replace coffee, soda, sports drinks, etc. with lemon water and add lemon juice to salads, curries, and meat instead of salt to reduce your sodium intake.
- Since lemon juice is acidic, its overconsumption can lead to enamel erosion, and acid reflux.
- Lemons and lemon juice have several health benefits like boosting your immunity, reducing your risk of heart disease, stabilising your blood sugar levels, improving iron absorption, lowering your risk for cancer and gout, and countering oxidative stress.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat high blood pressure problems together.
Friendly Asked Questions
Yes, daily ingestion of unsweetened and unsalted lemon water along with the consumption of a low-sodium diet and regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure levels.
Though consuming lemon juice and lemon water can help lower blood pressure, there is no evidence to suggest that they can lower blood pressure immediately upon consumption.
Yes, drinking lemon water every day has several health benefits like boosting your immunity, improving your heart health, fighting dehydration, improving electrolyte balance in your body, promoting weight loss, etc. Remember to exclude any additional salt or sweetener in your lemon water.
You can lower your blood pressure by including more lemon juice in your diet. You can consume a glass of lemon water daily instead of sports drinks, sodas, or packaged fruit juices that have added sugar. You can also use lemon juice and lemon zest to season your food instead of salt, thus lowering your sodium intake.