(SANTA PAULA, CA) - The New Year is all about fresh starts and self-improvements. Lemons are one of the most underrated yet incredibly versatile tools we have at our disposal. With New Year's Resolutions declared and the accompanying sense of personal responsibility at hand, there's no better time to delve into the wonderful world of lemons - and all the fantastic things the number onetrendiest foods of 2014 can do for all those resolution-makers in 2014.
Lemons are universally celebrated for their many uses in the world of beauty. See below for tips to look ones best, despite the harsh winter weather.
1. Heal that dry skin. Cold winter winds can wreak havoc on your skin! Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey and apply on your face and neck. After 10 minutes rinse off with cold water. Lemon contains hydroxyl acid which is highly valued in many beauty products.
2. Lemons work wonders on chapped lips. As with the dry skin, chapped lips are hard to avoid in the colder months. Mix a teaspoon each of cream, lemon juice and honey and rub it on your lips. Use for a week and see your chapped lips disappear - naturally!
3. Revitalize dull or damaged hair. Combine ¾ cup olive oil, ½ cup raw honey, and 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Set aside. After shampooing your hair, towel dry and work the lemon juice mixture into your hair by combing it evenly throughout. Cover your hair with a plastic cap for ½ hour. Shampoo and rinse hair thoroughly.
4. Keep your breath nice and fresh. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto your tongue and swish it around in your mouth, swallowing the juice after a few swishes. This can lower the pH level inside your mouth and kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.
5. De-bloat with lemon and cucumber. Take 1 cucumber, 3 stalks of celery, ½ a lemon, 1 kale leaf and 1 green apple and blend in a juicer. This simple, natural juice helps to fight unsightly bloating (and ease abdominal discomfort in the process).
Lemons are an easily obtained, often overlooked asset to the running of any household. See below for tips on how to keep any home clean and lemon-y fresh in the New Year.
6. Lemons can keep your living space smelling fresh! Lemons work wonders to remove unpleasant odors. Throw a few lemon peels into the winter fire or boil them in water on the stove to fill your home with a fresh, citrus fragrance.
7. Make your own all-purpose cleaner. Add an equal amount of lemon juice and water to a spray bottle to create an effective kitchen and bathroom cleanser.
8. Keep the bugs at bay. When it's cold outside, insects often seek refuge in the warmth of homes. For ants, spray lemon water where you see them appear. For spiders, place bits of fresh lemon peel strategically in dark corners or on windowsills. For insects attracted to clothing, push cloves into the peel of new lemon and dry in the sun. After 4-7 days, the lemon will be completely dry (depending on weather conditions) and becomes a natural insect repellent for wardrobes, cupboards, and suitcases.
9. Lemons add ambiance. Their cheerful yellow color adds a welcome splash of warmth into those cold January days. Place lemon slices in your flower vase and add water for a beautiful effect.
Health & Nutrition
Lemons are a staple for those who know that sometimes the best remedies are the simplest ones. See below for tips to battle the adverse effects that cold weather - and the ailments that go along with it - can have on the body.
10. January is the month of the detox. Straight lemon water is a great detoxifier for your body. Squeeze the juice from a lemon half in your water. Cut the lemon half in pieces and put in your water for extra flavor.
11. Germs abound this time of year. If you get a sore throat, add lemon juice to one cup of hot water and drink every couple of hours to help relieve a sore throat. (Hint - lemon water also increases production of white blood cells, thus fighting infections.)
12. Lemons can help lower your cholesterol after a season of holiday snacking. Mix a pinch of salt with warm lemon juice and drink daily.
13. Lemon juice is a handy weight loss tool. While no single food item is a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, adding lemon juice to a meal can reduce its rating on the glycemic index (GI). This can promote weight loss by keeping you full for longer, or by slightly reducing the amount of fat the body will store.
14. Homemade honey, lemon and ginger tea can turn the worst cold into yesterday's news.Take 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger, 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. honey.Put the ginger in a tea pot or medium bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over it and let it steep for 3 minutes. Place the lemon juice and honey in a large mug, and strain the ginger tea into the mug. Stir to dissolve the honey, and add honey or lemon (or whiskey, if you're feeling old school) to taste.
Lemon uses described here have been selected from multiple public sources. Limoneira Company is not responsible for any adverse effects caused by following these generally accepted benefits.
For more wonderful tips to get the most out of every lemon, visit www.limoneira.com.
Limoneira Company, a 120-year-old international agribusiness headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira (pronounced lē mon΄âra), is a dedicated sustainability company with approximately 10,000 acres of rich agricultural lands, real estate properties and water rights in California. The Company is a leading producer of lemons, avocados, oranges, specialty citrus and other crops that are enjoyed throughout the world. For more about Limoneira Company, visit www.limoneira.com.