lemons: a love story

When I was a tiny baby, I’m told that one of my uncles decided to be mischievous with me.

“I’m going to make the baby make a face,“ he determinedly said.

He cut a lemon and put it in my mouth.

Defying expectations, I just smiled.

And thus began a life-long love affair with lemons.

The only time lemons make me cry is when I run out. They are really my top condiment, improving almost any vegetable dish. And fish, of course.

Lemons are also good medicine. They can:

  • 🍋 Stimulate digestion by just thinking about them.
  • 🍋 Help you absorb iron from your food [PMID: 3593665]
  • 🍋 Reduce risk of calcium kidney stones [PMID: 17919696, 16482864]
  • 🍋 Are rich in compounds that fight oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer while also protecting the heart and nervous system [PMID: 31963590, 30842523, 26705419]

Remember to use the clean peel and zest, not just the juice!

I’ve always lived in northern areas where lemon don’t grow. (Yes, I know you can grow them indoors in a sunny spot, but my house does not have one of those.) So even though I understand intellectually but lemons grow on trees, actually seeing that abundance in person always blows my mind.

I regularly appreciate how lucky I am in my friends. At this time of year, one tangible manifestation of that luck is lemons.

In February I got to pick a bagful from a friend’s Meyer lemon tree in Woodland, California. And a couple of weeks later a friend in Southern California shipped me a box of Meyer lemons from her tree. I feel both wealthy and loved.

What is your favorite way to use lemons? Shoot me an email and I’ll add your ideas below.


—Dr. Orna


Header photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.
Lower photo by FOODISM360 on Unsplash