What’s a summer season without the refreshing nimbu paani or a plate full of fresh salad with a squeeze of lemon? In the garb of adding a tangy, tarty flavour to dishes and drinks, this simple, bright yellow-coloured citrus fruit also offers tons of health benefits. It is, in fact, a major source for Vitamin C – but more about it later! First, we must tell you why we’re talking about lemons. Well, in India, these widely consumed fruits are currently the talk of every town owing to their skyrocketing prices – as much as even Rs 350 kg. Cartoons, jokes and memes around lemon prices are the flavour of the social media universe, even as farmers grapple with the sour reality of lemon thefts. But if you are left wondering what to turn to for your daily dose of Vitamin C instead of lemons, we’re happy to help!
Don’t go by its size! A lemon may seem small, but it comes with its fair share of benefits that cut across the pharmaceutical world, the cosmetic industry (yes, its great for beauty too!), and of course, the culinary field. Did you know that around 100 grams of lemon can give you 53 mg of vitamin C? By that logic of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), lemons are an abundant source of this vitamin, which is very essential to women’s health.
Apart from being a great immunity booster, lemons also help you with glowing skin, better digestion, weight loss and can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Don’t believe us? Read more about the benefits of lemons!
Now if lemons are turning unaffordable (well, for most people!), what do we turn to for vitamin C?
Nutrition expert Kavita Devgan turns our guiding light! “You can turn to oranges, kiwi or amla instead of lemons for your dose of Vitamin C, which is essential to your overall health. And if you miss the lime flavour in your food, you can go for lemon zest, citric acid or vinegar, without burning a hole in your pocket,” she tells Health Shots.
Come, let’s take a look a these Vitamin C alternatives that you can nosh on, while lemon prices continue to touch new heights.
When life doesn’t give you lemons, rely on oranges! Jokes apart, oranges have been known to be a vitamin-C rich fruit. The USDA indicates that oranges contain 53 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Plus, they are immensely tasty. Yes, we can’t squeeze them on our salads like we do with lemons, but we can have them raw, in moderation.
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On a lighter note, even a Kiwi may seem cheaper than the mighty lemon considering the lemon prices these days! But seriously, kiwi can give you double the amount of vitamin C than orange! While kiwi comes packed with folate, fiber and even potassium, its vitamin C content makes it a win-win.
This, like lemons, is a ‘chhota packet, bada dhamaka’! Amla or the Indian gooseberry. Its strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a superfood worth consuming all-year round. According to a 2015 study, after Barbados cherry, amla is second richest natural source of vitamin C, with approximately 600 to 700 mg per fruit!
Besides these, cabbage, bitter gourd, tamarind, guavas, bell peppers, papayas, potatoes and even strawberry, are great sources of vitamin C and antioxidants as lemons. Find out more about these Vitamin C alternatives.
So, dear ladies, if lemon prices continue to rise, you know just the foods you need to squeeze in to your diet to make the most of their benefits!