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Never Sour on the Power of the Mighty Lemon (Literally)

By Sara Butler

Lemonade Day

There’s a lot of bad advice out there. “Fake it until you make it” -- that one can put you in some sticky situations. Or how about “You can sleep when you’re dead”? Thanks, Karen, but sleep is something your body needs to stay healthy. Of course, not all advice is bad -- especially when it comes to life handing you lemons.

“Lemonade Day” on May 3 was created in 2007 to celebrate the way lemonade stands teach children about running a business. In honor of that, we’re going to discuss how, literally, “when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade” ... and house cleaner, and maybe even a few cosmetics if you’re feeling motivated.

Here are some of the ways that you can learn to appreciate the lemons in your life beyond making a little lemonade.

The Fantastical Lemon

Lemons may be sour, but gosh darn it all, they sure are versatile. You can eat lemons, drink lemons, use lemons to clean your bathroom and kitchen, and even throw on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” to help de-stress and dance your little lemon-sized heart out.

Lemons are inexpensive, plentiful, and can make you involuntarily pucker -- which may just exercise those facial muscles enough to help fight some wrinkles. The point is, you may have overlooked lemons in your life, until now.

Start Your Morning Off Right -- With Lemons!

There are few things as refreshing as a large glass of water with a few slices of fresh lemons thrown in. It tastes good and it’s loaded with an antioxidant called D-limonene, which assists the liver in flushing toxins from your body.

If you’re trying to cut down on your caffeine consumption, try hot water with some lemon when that coffee craving hits. It will calm the craving and perk you up a bit in the process with its bright, punchy flavor. You can also add lemon to tea to amp up the vitamins you’re giving your body.

Lemons: Natural Stress-Busters

Lemons can help your body to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you find that you’re on the edge and need to calm down, then grab that lemon water and feel the tension flow out of your body. Cortisol doesn’t stand a chance with lemons on your side.

Lemons have also been shown to play a role in lowering blood pressure. Potassium, which lemons are full of, can help to hydrate your tissues and muscles to help with their relaxation and contraction, both of which play a role in blood pressure.

Ponce de Leon Should’ve Looked for Lemons Instead

The explorer Ponce de Leon spent a ton of time looking for the fountain of youth, but he probably should have stopped to smell the lemon tree instead.

Vitamin C is a great way to brighten your skin, and cosmetic companies would have you spend hundreds of dollars on Vitamin C serums to help brighten up your complexion and get rid of dark spots. But here’s a little secret: You can get much the same effect from dabbing some lemon juice on your skin.

Patting your skin with lemon juice can help to tighten your skin and smooth out fine lines. You can even use lemons in conjunction with granular sugar to make a skin-brightening scrub that can keep your face and lips super smooth. You can even scrub your elbows to help reduce hyperpigmentation and make your elbows baby soft.

Move Over Mr. Clean, Lemon Is Here

Lemons are great to eat and put on your skin, but that’s not where their usefulness ends. Lemons are acidic and antiseptic and antibacterial in nature, so they act as a natural form of bleach. You can use lemon juice to brighten your whites by adding some to a load of laundry. You can also use lemon juice and vinegar to create a homemade cleaner that can be used to clean counters, sinks, pots, pans, and drains. It’s even great to use on glass or to degrease surfaces in your kitchen.

It’s safe to say that lemons deserve a lot more credit than they’re given. They have so many uses beyond lemon chicken or lemon meringue pie. So, this summer, don’t just drink lemonade -- try your hand at a few of the other uses for this powerful pucker-producing fruit.

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