Lemons, we add them to our cold drinks, bake lemon drizzle cakes with them, and maybe we just eat them straight up! But who really knows anything about lemons, aside from their intense sour taste and that their yellow? Read on to learn 50 juicy facts about lemons.
Fact 1: Lemon is a citrus fruit.
- It belongs to the genus Citrus lemon, and are a hybrid of the original citrus and lime fruits.
Fact 2: Lemon juice has a pH of 2.00 and 2.60.
- Lemons are extremely acidic! Lemons are 10,000 to 100,000 times more acidic than water!
Fact 3: There are 2 types of lemons – Acidic and sweet.
- Acidic lemons are those that are grown commercially, and sweet lemons are those that are homegrown by gardeners.
Fact 4: Lemons originally grew in the northeast region of India.
- The history of lemons is still quite a mystery, but they are thought to have sprung up first in southeast Asia, primarily in Assam, a region in northeast India. Others say lemons are from northern Burma or China.
Fact 5: India is the largest lemon producer in the world.
- India produces approximately 3 million tons of lemons per year. The top 5 lemon-producing countries are India, Mexico, China, Argentina, and Brazil.
Fact 6: Lemons reached the western world no later than the 2nd century AD.
- But wherever their original roots came from, one thing’s for sure: Lemons came to Europe during the Ancient Rome period.
Fact 7: Lemons were introduced to Persia around 700 AD.
- Word about this yellow citrus fruit spread across to Iraq and Egypt and soon after lemons became popular.
Fact 8: Lemons entered Spain and North Africa before 1200 AD.
- It was later introduced to Europe by a group of crusaders who found the fruit growing in Palestine.
Fact 9: The first lemon cultivation in Europe happened during 1450 AD.
- Lemons were widely cultivated in Genova, Italy. This led to the representation of the different lemons produced in Italy – “Genova”, “Lapithkiotiki”, and “Meyer”.
Fact 10: Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola.
- The legendary explorer, who was credited for discovering America, was responsible for toiling lemons in the New World. He brought lemon seeds to the Caribbean seas.
Fact 11: The Spanish colonization of the Americas helped spread lemon seeds in 1519.
- Although Christopher Columbus’ lemon seeds might only be limited to the Hispaniola, they soon reached its neighbouring continents and countries during the Spanish conquest.
Fact 12: A lemon tree can live until its 50 years old.
- But with proper care and maintenance, it can live over 100 years.
Fact 13: Lemon trees stand 10 to 20 feet in height.
- They are small evergreen trees that have characteristically sharp thorns on their twigs.
Fact 14: Lemon leaves are 2 to 4 inches long.
- Lemon leaves are usually oblong or long-ovate in shape. They are finely toothed and have slender wings on the petioles (leaf stalk).
Fact 15: Young lemon plants have reddish leaves.
- It is easy to spot a baby lemon tree because of its reddish leaves. As it matures, its leaves become dark-green in colour.
Fact 16: Flowering commonly happens in spring.
- Take note of this cycle: Fruiting cycle starts in summer, and then the tree begins to turn from green to yellow in fall or winter.
Fact 17: Lemon flowers have a zesty citrus delight.
- Although lemon flowers are mildly scented, they have an unmissable aroma that is described to be the “happiest smell in the world”. Lemon fruits, however, have a more profound, eccentric citrus scent that you’ll love to sniff!
Fact 18: Lemon flowers have 4 or 5 petals that are an inch long.
- Buds are reddish in colour. When in full bloom, they appear white on the inside and purplish on the outside. Lemon flowers have yellow anthers.
Fact 19: Lemon fruits ripen between 4 to 12 months after flowering.
- The blossoms can help you anticipate when to harvest ripe lemons from the tree. If your lemon tree cannot produce flowers, it means your tree cannot bear fruits. But if it blossoms and still fails to fruit, your tree might not be old enough to produce fruits. This leads us to the next fact…
Fact 20: A lemon tree starts bearing fruits at 3 to 5 years old.
- However, incorrect cultivation, insufficient water, insufficient fertilizer, and bad rootstock can be factors that can discourage fruit production on lemon trees.
Fact 21: A single lemon tree can produce around 600 pounds of lemons annually.
- That’s about the weight of a male American alligator.
Fact 22: Dwarf stocks produce the best fruit!
- If you want to grow lemon trees that bear the best lemons then plant a dwarf stock. Dwarf stock plants are grown from seeds and the varieties also bear fruit quicker than full-sized trees.
Fact 23: The inner part of the peel called the “mesocarp” or “albedo” is the chief source of commercial grades of pectin.
- It is the white, spongy inner part of the rind. It has a bland taste and is rich in pectin. Pectin is usually used in jams and marmalades. It is an ingredient in gelling sugar (jam sugar).
Fact 24: The lemon’s main fibre is pectin.
- It is a soluble fibre that can help reduce blood sugar levels. It acts by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Consequently, people easily feel full from consuming pectin.
Fact 25: A lemon fruit has on average 8 to 9 segments within itself.
- Lemons are divided into “segments” that contain many little sections with juice inside. Limes and oranges can have up to 12, while grapefruits can have 14.
Fact 26: Lemon fruits are picked 6 to 10 times a year.
- This depends on the quality of the lemon tree and its environment. Those grown in warmer temperatures have better lemon production, especially when plants receive sufficient nutrients and preventive care.
Fact 27: Lemons are nature’s best insect repellent.
- You can use lemons to ward off bugs at home, just rub lemon peel on your skin or surfaces at home. Or, you can make a concentrated lemon juice spray so no insect will ever come near you.
- Here’s another bonus tip: Throw some lemon peels outside your front door to stop unwanted pests coming in.
Fact 28: One lemon fruit contains about 51% of your daily recommended vitamin C intake.
- The recommended daily amount for vitamin C in adults is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day. A lemon contains about 31 mg of vitamin C, while oranges have around 53.2 mg of ascorbic acid.
Fact 29: One lemon fruit has around 30 calories.
- Lemons have very little fat and protein, making them great, nutritious fruits to consider for weight loss meal plans. Having only carbohydrate (10%) and water (88–89%), they are arguably one of the best fruits to eat to help you lose weight.
Fact 30: In every 100 grams of raw, peeled lemon, you get a healthy dose of your needed daily fuel.
- It contains roughly – calories: 29, water: 89%, protein: 1.1g, carbohydrates: 9.3g, sugar: 2.5g, fibre: 2.8g, and fat: 0.3g.
Fact 31: A 1/2-cup (or 125 ml) of lemon juice per day may help prevent kidney stone formation.
- Kidney stones are those small lumps formed when waste products build up in your kidneys. The citric acid in lemons can help prevent kidney stones by increasing urine pH and volume, which creates an environment that’s less favourable for kidney stone formation.
Fact 32: Lemons are packed with many nutritious elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein.
- It is for this reason why they’re potent against many health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, infection, indigestion, constipation.
Fact 33: Lemons have cancer-fighting properties.
- Citrus fruits are rich in flavonoids. These are antioxidant compounds that are great for cancer prevention and recuperation.
Fact 34: Lemon juice can destroy many deadly bacterias.
- These fruits have antibacterial properties that work against cholera, diphtheria, malaria, and typhoid.
Fact 35: Lemon peel is effective at fighting against Parkinson’s disease.
- A lemon’s peel contains phytonutrient tangeretin. This substance is responsible for additional health benefits, including anti-tumor activity, neuroprotective action, and cholesterol reduction properties.
Fact 36: Lemons are the ONLY food in the world that is anionic (negatively charged ions)!
- All other foods are cationic (positively charged ions).
Fact 37: The name “lemon” may have originated from the Middle East.
- It may come from the Arabic “laymūn” or “līmūn”, and from the Persian “līmūn”. All are generic terms for citrus fruit. Others suggest that the word come from the Italian “limone”.
Fact 38: The world’s heaviest lemon weighed 5.265 kg (11 lb 9.7 oz).
- Aharon Shemoel grew this gigantic lemon on his farm in Kefar Zeitim in Israel. It measured 14 inches in height and 29 inches in circumference.
Fact 39: Lemons are known for their cleaning properties.
- Besides being a health wonder, lemons also make a great cleaning agent! The lemon’s acidity is antibacterial and antiseptic, so it acts as a natural bleach. It can remove stains, like rust and those chalky white substances in water fixtures.
Fact 40: The Moroccans preserve lemons in jars before they are used in different dishes.
- They soak lemon peels and rinds in salt, and preserve this mixture in jars or salt barrels, which softens the lemon.
Fact 41: A bowl of fresh lemons makes an easy, effortless air freshener.
- Placing a bowl of fresh lemons in your room will not only add decoration to it but the aroma will relax you.
Fact 42: Scurvy is the name for a vitamin C deficiency.
- It leads to anaemia, spontaneous bleeding, swelling, exhaustion, and poor wound healing. Scurvy can be easily remedied by taking vitamin C.
Fact 43: Lemons were in demand during the California Gold Rush in 1849.
- Scurvy was a rampant disease among miners back then, so they were willing to pay a lot for a single lemon. As a result, California produced tons of lemons and still do today.
Fact 44: In the United States, California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire lemon crop.
- These regions have climates that suit lemon cultivation in US best.
Fact 45: The British Navy requires every ship that sails to carry a store of lemons.
- Back in the day when sailors were affected by scurvy, and were stuck on ships for months and had no access to foods rich in vitamin C, the only treatment they could use were lemons. Today, every sailor is required to drink an ounce of lemon juice a day.
Fact 46: There are 3 common lemons — Bearss, Eureka and Lisbon
- Lemons are a favourite backyard citrus plant. “Eureka” is more preferred because it bears fruit year-round.
Fact 47: Meyer lemon is the most cold-tolerant variety.
- It is also the most abundant, juicy, and slightly sweeter variant of lemon.
Fact 48: One lemon can give about 2 tablespoons of juice.
- Thus if a recipe asks for the juice of 1 whole lemon, you can substitute 2 tablespoons of bottled juice instead.
Fact 49: Lemons turn from green to yellow because of temperature changes.
- Lemon is an evergreen tree; thus their colours change with the temperature. It’s not because of ripeness.
Fact 50: Wealthy Victorians grew lemons in their homes as a sign of wealth and power.
- They also did this to keep their properties fragrant and they used to give lemons as gifts.