Lemon and Diabetes

Updated on November 14, 2016
tillsontitan profile image

I am Mary, and I live in a little town called Tillson. I love to read, write, and have fun.

Lemon and Diabetes



Is lemon the miracle cure for diabetes? I sincerely doubt it. However, once I decided to look into "lemons and diabetes," I was surprised by what I found. Diabetes or no, the benefits of the little, lowly lemon are amazing.

This research started because my 90-year-old father-in-law has diabetes. He lost a leg this past April, and we've been researching ways to help him control his diabetes—especially since he now suffers from congestive heart failure, as well. Dietary requirements are strict for both conditions, so we wanted to do the right thing. I came across an article asking "is lemon good for diabetics?" and I was off and running.

Benefits of Lemon

  • Contains Vitamins C and B
  • Contains small levels of Vitamin A
  • Contains proteins and minerals
  • Helps with calcium absorption
  • Used as a gargle can help fight sore throat
  • Can help with respiratory problems
  • Can be applied to burns to reduce burning sensation
  • Low in calories
  • Contains some iron, copper, potassium, and calcium



Lemon Introduction

Our lowly lemon is not so lowly after all. Apparently the lemon began in the Himalayan foothills and spread out from there, finally reaching America. One of the smallest citrus fruits, the other being lime, it grows on an evergreen tree. The lemon tree originally grew from ten to twelve feet in height but can now grow as high as twenty-two feet. Fruits take from six to eight months to ripen. Fresh picked fruit can be stored for several weeks at cool temperatures. Once a lemon is picked, it stops ripening so it is important to pick it at the right time. Some lemons are juicier than others you say? Well, it is said ripe lemons will sometimes become easier to juice when they have been sitting for a while. I'm not attesting to this fact as I'm not a lemon expert.

Hints on getting lemon juice out of the lemon include rolling it on the counter, putting it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, cutting it in quarters, and lastly using a fork to twist the inside of the lemon to coax out the juice.

Another great thing about lemons, they're low in calories. They are only 29 calories per 100 grams.Lastly, remember citrus fruits prevent scurvy which we now know is simply a deficiency of Vitamin C.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Sugar in urine
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor, unconsciousness

Diabetes Introduction

Diabetes is a disorder that affects the metabolic and endocrine systems. This "disorder" makes it difficult for the body to produce insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to convert sugar from food into nutrients for body cells. If this conversion does not take place, excess sugar builds up in the blood stream and can cause damage to organs, and even death.

There are two different "types" of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. While type 1 can occur at any age it is usually found in children and young adults to around age thirty. Type 2 usually occurs around the age of forty or later but has begun to start appearing in children. What's the difference between the two? The villain/difference in diabetes and it's types is the pancreas. In type 1 the pancreas cannot produce any insulin and shots must be used to provide the body with insulin. In type 2 the pancreas can produce some insulin but not necessarily enough. In type 2 sometimes diet control is enough to control diabetes, if not some form of medication is required.

There is also a third type of diabetes, called gestational diabetes. This type develops only during pregnancy and usually disappears after the baby is born. The American Diabetes Foundation says women with gestational diabetes are at a high risk of developing type 2 later in life.

Lemon and Diabetes

This brings us to the lemon and diabetes. What is the connection? First off, lemons lower your glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how fast your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food. Maintaining a low glycemic index helps to keep your blood sugar balanced. Diabetics need to be especially aware of blood sugar spikes. When the body's sugar spikes, the body has trouble responding and may not be able to produce enough insulin. So, number one in favor of the lemon and diabetes is it is a low-glycemic index food.

Next, the lemon contains soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The good thing about fiber is that it does not stay in the body because it doesn't break down. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that "people with diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber a day — particularly soluble fiber — were able to control their blood glucose better than those who ate far less."

Number three in favor of the lemon is it aids digestion. The acids in lemon aids digestion naturally by interacting with other acids and enzymes in your digestive tract. The result? Healthy, problem-free digestion. I remember years ago when my mother had an upset stomach she would drink a small glass of lemon water, no sugar. I often wondered why; now, years later, I know. The lemon water helped with her upset stomach.

Number four in favor of the lemon is it does not interact with medications. Unlike grapefruit, another citrus fruit, lemon does not interact with any drugs. I know personally grapefruit cannot be taken with certain medications, but until now didn't know why. Actually, some holistic practices recommend a weekly cleanse with tart apples and diluted lemon juice for diabetics. I did not find any medical facts to back it up but thought it might be worth a mention.


The benefits of lemons affect all people but would appear to be especially beneficial for diabetics. From what I've read it seems lemons promote immunity and help fight infection, which is not bad for anyone. Lemons stimulate your liver, so they're a great way to detox your liver. Lemons also have powerful antibacterial properties; they can actually destroy bacteria. Okay, I think you get the picture, lemons are really good for you. On top of the benefits an ordinary person gets from lemons, think of the benefits of lemons to a diabetic.

Since lemons offer so many benefits for diabetics, why not incorporate them into the diet? Lemons, lemon water, even lemon cake (made with artificial sweetener) can only help!

Do you eat lemons or drink lemon water?

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    • profile image

      Kgosi 6 months ago

      I do use some lemon but they seem to spike the sugar level up rather than lowering it

    • profile image

      Eric Armstrong 9 months ago

      If you find it too sour to drink in water add one sweetener to the drink.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      And Vellur, a lemon and honey tea helped my cough! Lemons are just good all around, though you do have to watch the enamel on your teeth as they are acidic.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative, lemons taste delicious and healthy. Did not know that lemons lower GI, this definitely helps people with diabetes.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but you know as well as I do if you manage it right you can control it. I too have seen the devastating effects it can have so let's pray your early diagnosis and keeping on top of it will keep it in check for you. To answer your question Audrey I found, "Lemon concentrate is reconstituted so the above information regarding enzymes and electrolytes doesn’t apply." While I am making an assumption I would say the best benefit is from fresh lemons. I also found Lifescript.com lists a few healthy recipes with lemon. My prayers and hugs are coming back to you sweet lady. God bless.

      Jackie I don't know about preventing diabetes but I did read somewhere it can prevent kidney stones and hair loss. Guess I'm headed for some fresh lemons.

      So happy to pass the information on Made.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I know many people with diabetes, but I didn't know that lemons can be good for them. Very interesting!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I will pass this on to a couple of people I know with diabetes. Wonder if it can be like a preventative?

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mary ~ You wrote this for me :) I was recently diagnosed with diabetes - or I may be pre-diabetic. My brother is on medication for it and my father had a leg amputated. That scares me as well as all the other problems that can stem from this disease. Diet and exercise can control my diabetes at this stage thank goodness.

      I'm so relieved to learn about the benefits of lemon and will start drinking hot water with lemon (no sugar.) I like the taste very much and use to drink this all the time.

      Question. Do the lemons need to be fresh or can the juice in the squeeze bottle or glass bottle work as well?

      You have given me a more positive outlook for fighting diabetes and thank you with all my heart. Hugs ~ Audrey

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      How truly nice of you prasetio, not only to read my hub twice but to comment twice as well! Have a great day.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I never doubt about the benefits of lemon for health. This is my second visit. Thank you very much :-)


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Good idea Barbara, I am too!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      This was interesting. I'll start adding lemon to my water.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Peggy, in my research the benefits of lemon and lime are similar. Lime is a tad higher in carbohydrates and fat while lemon is a tad higher in protein. Thank you for the votes and share!

      Victoria, I'm no doctor but the research I did said that lemon would help with type 1 diabetes. Naturally what works for one person might not work for another but it can't hurt.

      Lazko, good for summer nights and health too.

      Flourishanyway you are most welcome.

      I'm really hoping this hub helps a lot of people Angelo. Thank you so much for your votes and generous shares!

      mperrottet, as I said earlier I really hope this hub is helpful. Thank you for the votes and shares.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      My husband's diabetic, so I'm always looking for ways in which he can control his blood sugar. Thanks so much for this useful tip. Voted up and useful - and sharing.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thankfully I like the taste of lemons and limes and can easily add them to my diet. I use them on occasion but after your article will consider using them more often. Thumbs up and shared. Facebooked too.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Never heard of this so thank you for the information.

    • lazko profile image

      lazko 4 years ago from the Earth

      I combine lemon juise & soda in the summer, a really cool drink for the hot nights ...

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've never really liked the flavor of lemon in water, but maybe I'll try to adapt to it. I didn't know that lemons were so healthful. Do you think that they help people with Type 1 diabetes? My boyfriend has had it for over 30 years. Thanks so much. Many votes!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      After reading this hub, I intend to start using more lemons. I wonder if lime juice has the same benefits? I love the taste of lemon squeezed into water so this will be easy to incorporate on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing all of the benefits of using lemons in our diet. Up, useful, interesting and will share.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      More to lemons than I thought! Thank you for reading and the vote up.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I enjoy having lemon juice on my food and I make sure I always have lemons a must in my kitchen, you have written such an informative on hub on Lemon and Diabetes, voted up!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Laura how nice of you to read an article that will never apply to you (because of your allergy) I really appreciate that along with your votes and share. Thank you so much.

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 4 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and sharing! This was a most fascinating article! Thank you so much for taking the time and care to write it, tillsontitan! (And I confess--I'm very allergic to lemons and don't have diabetes. I do, however, know people who have diabetes and hope this article will help them!) I can't wait to read more of your articles.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      That's one I'll have to try Katherine, sounds yummy.

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      I love, love lemon juice squeezed into water. I went to a spa once and they had lemon slices floating in the water with some cucumbers. The flavors infused into the water and it tasted so healthy and nourishing.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for sharing Marlene. So much we don't know about the lowly lemon!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This hub is packed with information. I didn't know all that about lemons. But you are right that it has many benefits. It's amazing what lemons can do. Once, I had acid indigestion. I had learned that lemons become alkaline in the stomach. So I figured it would reverse the acid level. I didn't have anything to lose. The lemon juice worked. Lemons are so amazing.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      And thank you Rajan for reading! I appreciate your votes and continued support.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Mary, this is interesting research and very useful information that you've shared. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Sometimes, Steph, we do the right thing and we don't even know it! Thanks so much for reading and rating, I appreciate the votes and your taking the time to read.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Fascinating article! I am a Type 1 diabetic and am insulin dependent, so not sure if lemon will help much. But so much super information for anyone to use. I like to make my own carbonated water and add lemon or lime juice to it. Little did I know that it helps with digestion.

      Oh, and I also learned that lemons grow on evergreen trees! Rated up across the board - best, Steph

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I'm jealous Vinaya, how lucky you are to have your own lemon bush AND a mother who uses those lemons.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have few lemon bushes in my garden. My mother makes wonderful lemon pickle, and I'm a fan of hot lemon. Thanks for this fabulous hub.

      Have a great weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks SG....this is one of those hubs you write really hoping it will help people!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a very informative hub! No one in our family has diabetes, but we do have a good friend that does. He has recently had to start giving himself shots. I am going to email him the link to this hub. I'm am certain that he will find this very interesting and useful. Voted up and more. I am also sharing this of FB and more! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      How right you are elderadvisor, if we but know where to look.

    • profile image

      Alicia Foley 5 years ago from Connecticut

      This is great information. Cures for what ails us are everywhere in nature. Thank you for this Hub.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      No problem!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the additional info. I appreciate it. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Arun, I hope the lemon is helpful for you. From my research it is a good cleanser.

      You are most welcome Amber.

      Prasetio, it is always good to learn new things that are hopefully, helpful.

      Thanks for the link TT! I hope it benefits many.

      Phyllis I am glad you found this helpful. Actually, I'm going to start drinking lemon water myself.

      Linda, it was great doing the research but the best part is helping others.

      Zubair, sounds like you are already in the habit of trying to be healthier.

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 5 years ago

      Very useful info thank you for sharing. I take lemon juice and eat lemon with my food sometimes to deal with cholesterol.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Mary, this was very interesting and well written. I too am a Type 2 diabetic and always looking for tips to prevent spikes. I love lemon too so will be adding more creative ways to get it into the routine. Thanks for the research.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Very well-written and informative hub. Thank you, Mary. I have type 2 and this information you provide will be very helpful.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Great information Voted up useful and interesting. Will also link to my cancer hubs.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      It's a miracle. Actually, I had wrote about lemon related with health. But, I learn many things here. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Best wishes, Prasetio

    • profile image

      alwaysamber 5 years ago

      My dad is a diabetic. This is interesting to know! Thank you for sharing.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 5 years ago from KOLKATA

      Very informative hub. I am also interested to give it a try in my family although we take it occasionally. liver problem is the main culprit behind our diseases. Besides lemon provides us immunity. Thanks for sharing the vital information.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      bdegiulio, I can remember using lemon in water to lose weight but never knew why ;) Thanks for the education and share!

      So glad I could provide you with a little information GoodLady. Thanks for stopping by.

      Susan, not all women with gestational diabetes develop diabetes, but their chances are higher than those without GD...I have no doubt you get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet so you should continue to be fine...my daughter had it with one of her pregnancies and she too is fine so far.

      Well, Billy, as long as your lemonade isn't loaded with sugar, you're still doing yourself a favor. Imagine, me educating you!

      First off Denise, it's a good idea to dilute the lemon because the acid isn't good for your teeth (in direct contact),. When I looked up how many lemons you should eat in a day I got a variety of answers. Too many and you could develop and allergy to them, another site said eat as many as you want, and still another said two lemons a day - one in a glass of water in the morning and one in a glass of water in the evening. Hope that helps.

      You're welcome WND.

      I know what you mean Effer, this was an education for me. Actually the last year with Larry's Dad has been an education. I hope this really helps at least one person out there!

      Thanks Marcy. The more I talk or read about lemons, the more good things I hear.

      Thanks for the hints Bob. I don't fry too much but neither do I boil too much. Its certainly easy to switch to that. I like lemon on fish too, cuts the fishiness!

      Glad it was helpful Rebecca.

      Yet another reason to eat lemons, Rasta.

      Au fait, as I told Effer, this was certainly an education for me...so much we have to learn. I appreciate, so much, your reading, voting and sharing.

      Definitely Donnah...I'm going back to drinking at least one glass of lemon water a day. Funny, I bought lemons to make lemon chicken but now I'm going to drink them :)

      You are so welcome Naomi. Thanks so much for reading!

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

      I often drink lemon juice in my water and knew it helped he body expell excess water but had no idea the other benefits to lemon. This is a wonderful healthy way to level out bloodsugars. Thanks so much for sharing this Hub.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Both of my parents are diabetic so I will pass this article on to them. It sounds like a good idea for all of us to squeeze a little lemon In our tea or water once in a while. It can't hurt. Voted up.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      What a great hub! Had no idea lemon juice could be so beneficial for fighting diabetes. Didn't know about it's ability to stop the burning from a burn either. Glad I read this hub and that YOU wrote it! Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome. Will share.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      I have been craving lemons (no sugar) a lot since lately. I guess its because I'm stressed and it does an effective job in calming me down.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is good news for the diabetic person. I have never heard of lemons to lower the glycemic index. Good job!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Love lemons, and especially limes as I eat loads of fish and squeeze pints over it...on salads, too and pepper chicken You might give dad in law boiled food rather than fried or baked, i always feel better on it and fish rather than any other meat.

      I have a small juicer as some limes especially are hard to squeeze and i have very strong hands.


    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Excellent information! Several members of my family have diabetes, and it's high on our collective radar screens. Lemons are great for several health issues - they help clear out chest congestion, and even help allergies to a degree. Voted up and up!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Well, Til....I knew that lemon is good for us, but I'm sure I wasn't aware of the numerous benefits, until you filled us in. Thank you. I use a lot of lemon juice (and peel)....always squeeze some in my water & on fish/seafood...even some chicken dishes.

      It's interesting to know lemon is helpful to diabetics. Sorry to say, I know several people who are diabetic. As you well know, with the unfortunate experiences of Larry's father, it is a much more serious health issue than most people think, if they have not been personally touched by it.

      Very useful and interesting, Til...UP++

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      This is a great source of information. Thank you.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting, Mary. I'm wondering what the recommended intake of lemons is? Also, is it more beneficial to drink the juice, or eat the lemon? (I can just imagine a serving of lemon meringue pie daily, ha ha). :) Great info, Rated UP/U/I and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Truthfully, I do not eat lemons, although I love lemonade in the summer. However, I had no idea how beneficial they are....great information, Mary. Thank you for the education my friend.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Quite often I put lemon juice in my water to give it some taste. I'll pass your article onto a few people that I know who'd be very interested in knowing how lemons lower the glycemic index. I'll also keep all of this in mind as when I carried my twins I developed gestational, but so far so good.

      Voting up, sharing and emailing the link to several people.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      We eat lots of lemons always but had no idea how they help lower our glycemic index . It's a great hub thanks.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. How interesting. I never realized there was a connection between the two. I do like lemons and we often squeeze a little into water or onto certain foods. I'll have to make a mental note to do this mote often. I've always just associated the lemon with vitamin C but it's good to know there are more benefits. Thanks for the education. Voting up, sharing, etc..