Lemons are thought to be originated in the Himalayan foothills of North-East India, from where they spread all across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and as far as Americas. Like other citrus plants, lemons are small, spreading, evergreen trees growing up to 10-12 feet in most cultivated plantations. They flourish well in temperate and tropical environments, whereas, cold and frosty conditions would affect their growth adversely. Stems are often armed with sharp, stout thorns. Fully-grown plant bears fragrant, white flowers in short cymes. Lemons, like other citrus fruits, are excellent source of ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid or vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood. They also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. Lemons contain healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
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