Using Lemons for Diabetes

Choose to use lemons for diabetes to add powerful antioxidants and vitamin C to your diabetic diet. Here are ideas and answers to some questions about using lemons.

Lemons or Limes - What's the Difference

The large green “limes” you find at the grocery store are not true limes. An actual lime is small, round and has a distinctive tart bite.

Lemons were developed thousands of years ago as a cross between a lime and a citron. This means limes and lemon/limes are good for you in the same way as lemons.

So if you want the benefits of lemons for diabetes - the antioxidants, the vitamins, the pectin – use any combination of lemons and limes.

The values of weight control, cancer fighting and better blood sugars are in all of them.

How to Choose a Good Lemon

Why lemons are great for diabetics.

Using lemons for diabetes, you will want to find the fresh, ripe ones. They will be juicy and full of vitamins.

Reject lemons with some green on the skin. They are not yet ripe. Chlorophyll is the green substance that becomes the sweet taste, vitamins and antioxidants you love in ripe fruit.

Pick up the lemon and feel its weight. Does it seem heavy for its size? This means it is full of juice. Excellent.

Press the skin. Does it feel thick? That means less fruit inside. Thinner skin is better.

Look at it. A good lemon has a fine texture to its skin. Wrinkles, soft or hard patches mean old fruit. If the color seems dull, throw it back.

Use the same rules for limes, except for the green color, of course. The taste and antioxidants in fresh fruit are what you are looking for.

Keeping Lemons Fresh

Lemons for diabetes will stay fresh on the counter for about a week or in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice keeps in the refrigerator for a few days.

If you really want to keep it fresh, freeze it in ice cube trays, then store it in freezer bags for a couple of months.

Making Lemon Juice

To use lemons for diabetes you will make juice.

Getting all of the juice out of a lemon requires fruit that is at room temperature. If it was refrigerated, drop your lemon in a bowl of warm water for a little while.

Then roll it on the counter or between your hands a few times to release the juice from the fiber.

Make sure you wash the skin well before you cut the fruit in half. Then you can use a juicer or simply squeeze the fruit with your hands.

Do not worry about seeds. You will strain them out afterward.

A quarter cup of lemon juice is 25 calories and provides half of your daily vitamin C.

First thing in the morning, add antioxidant and pectin rich lemon juice to warm water and drink up (use a little sweetener if it helps).

Would you like to make a great diabetic salad dressing with some of that juice?

Add a little olive oil, some fresh crushed garlic and ground pepper, shake it up and pour over salad or vegetables.

Lemon and Lime Zest

While you are using lemons you will also find ways to use the zest in recipes.

The zest of a lemon is the colorful outer skin that is grated or peeled using a zester, knife or vegetable peeler.

For zest, use organically grown lemons. You do not want pesticides in your zest, and organic lemons have no wax on the skin either.

Be sure to wash the skin well and dry it before making zest.

Only peel or grate the colored outer skin. Never get to the white pith. It is bitter and tasteless.

You can keep zest in the refrigerator for a day or freeze it in zipper bags with the air squeezed out. This will keep for weeks.

Add the power of antioxidants to your diabetic diet.

Diabetic Lemon Warnings

If you have sick kidneys or gallbladder, using lemons for diabetes may be a bad idea. When in doubt, ask your doctor whether it is okay to add some to your diet.

It is also true that the acid in lemons can dissolve tooth enamel when it is used a lot, so rinse your mouth after drinking lemon juice water if this concerns you.

Remember, the acid in lemons becomes alkaline during digestion, which is one reason they are so good for diabetics. 

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