Nutrition facts (juice from 1 medium lemon): 12 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g protein
How it boosts mood: An aromatherapy study at Ohio State University found that when participants smelled lemon oil, their mood improved. The researchers, however, couldn’t find any physiological reasons for why this happened. Regardless, the study participants felt significantly better after smelling lemon.
Tip: For a similar effect at home, you can buy lemon-scented oils and candles, or add lemon to food and drinks for a bonus boost of vitamins and antioxidants too. One lemon has 33% DV of vitamin C and a host of phytonutrients found to lower bad cholesterol and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries.
Quick-prep idea: For a refreshing, citrus-flavored water, slice several lemons and add to a pitcher to keep in your fridge.
Make your own sweetened lemonade: Grate the rind off of 3 to 4 lemons; squeeze the juice from 8 to 10 lemons; make a simple syrup by dissolving 1 ½ cups sugar in ½ cup of boiling water; stir lemon juice and lemon zest into the simple syrup; pour over 4-5 cups of ice water.