Dr. Ayelara Oni, an Alternative Therapy Medical Practitioner and Nutritionist, on Thursday said lemon was an anti-cancer food.
Oni made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
She said lemon was acidic in taste but was an alkaline-forming food, explaining that this was why it was good for balancing a highly acidic condition in the body, thereby balancing the body’s pH.
She added that lemon contained 22 anti-cancer compounds, including limonene, which is the natural oil that helps to slow or halt the growth of cancer.
Oni, who is also a Director at a herbal store, said lemon had a substance called flavonol glycosides, which could stop cell division in cancers.
She explained that the fruit could also be used to treat common cold and flu because it contained vitamin C and flavonoids that fight cold and flu.
She said: “As a nutrition food, the vitamin C, Citri acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus potassium and fibre in lemon help to improve healthy growth.
“Drinking fresh lemon juice added to a glass of water in the morning helps to detoxify the liver and, therefore, is a good way to treat and prevent liver disease.
“Lemon is a good bowel cleanser if mixed with water and taken first thing in the morning.”
The nutritionist said lemon was useful in the treatment of scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease, recalling the British Naval Surgeon, James Lind, who used fresh lemons to cure naval officers of scurvey.
She said: “Till today, the British Navy require ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.”
Oni added that research had proven that symptoms of eye problems, including retinopathy, could be improved with consumption of lemon due to the rutin found in the fruit.
She then advised people to include the fruit in their diet as it has many health benefits in its totality.
“The juice, roughage and skin of lemon are all useful to the human body,” she said.