Good morning, lovely people! In continuing with our series on additives to tea, today we will be discussing the addition of lemon to our favorite beverage! Many believe that lemon simply is used to add that little “tang” flavor that we so love. This is not the case. Lemon has many other underlying properties and important reasons that we should always choose to add a little lemon! We will explore them here!
First, we are coming up on closing the first quarter of 2018 already (How is that possible??). Many, including myself, sought to use 2018 to revamp our diets and transform to a healthier lifestyle. As previously discussed in our series, we are apt to add milk or cream to our tea. While this is definitely a lovely addition to our brew, it does come along with those pesky calories that we so despise. While black tea by itself is zero calories, when we add our sugar and milk, this negates that. By instead, simply adding just a squirt of lemon juice to liven up our cup, we don’t add any calories and, contrarily, add health benefits!
Speaking of health benefits, lemon is packed with a plethora of them! We often think of oranges when thinking of vitamin C but lemons actually pack the same, if not a heftier, punch when it comes to this. Just 1 cup of lemon juice provides well over the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. While this may seem like a lot, if you drink tea like I do throughout the day, all that lemon adds up! Also, being acidic, lemon juice is full of free radicals that help to uptake particles to reduce heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, the lemon you add to your tea is loaded with other vitamins and minerals that you are recommended to include in your diet. These include folate, potassium, magnesium, and thiamine. Folate is necessary for our cells to divide and thus helps to regenerate cells that may have been damaged. Potassium is vital in keeping our blood pressure down while also maintaining proper nerve and muscle function. Magnesium has a variety of uses in the body, some which include muscle contraction, energy production, and nutrient metabolism (think of making use of that vitamin C!). Thiamine is a vitamin B, which we use to convert carbohydrates to fuel for energy! We need these vitamins to produce the energy to burn the carbohydrates we ingest!
On top of all these vitamins and minerals we also know that lemons are packed with antioxidants. While I am aware that these are good for us, I am always left in bewilderment of what an antioxidant actually is. Antioxidants are particles that inhibit that deterioration of useful fuel particles that we store for energy. Lemons have antioxidants but even more so, black tea has them. Adding lemon to your black actually increases that staying power of the antioxidants already present in your black tea and obviously, increases the amount of antioxidants your are ingesting. Furthermore, studies have been done to show that adding milk to your tea actually inhibits the antioxidants in black tea from working. It does so by binding to the antioxidant so that your body cannot uptake it. Additionally lemon will cause milk to curdle so do not add both to your tea in an effort to negate this.
Without getting too "bio-talk" on all of you I will end with just a last pro for adding lemon to our tea. Lemon increases the uptake of catechins in our bodies. Catechins are one of the many antioxidants present in tea and are existential in reaping the health benefits. These molecules thrive in the acidic environment of the stomach but have trouble being taken up in the less acidic intestines. The lemon you add to your tea will ensure a more acidic brew and therefore allow for more catechin molecules to be taken up in your intestines and to further your health benefits!
Traditionally, a slice of lemon is often served alongside a cup of Earl Grey tea. We have a variety of these teas available here that I will add links to below! The addition of lemon not only includes all of the previous health benefits, but also enhances the natural floral notes of Earl Grey!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments or points to add please comment below! I love your feedback! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the fluffy snow! You'll hear from me soon! -- Kay-tea :)
P.S. Continue reading the remainder of the series here...Part I: Why Do We Add Sugar To Our Tea?