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Truth or Trend: Do lemons help with digestion?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Lemons have been used for years in cooking to add acidity to foods, but is there actually a health benefit to using lemons in your food regularly? According to this social media post below, yes. The post alleges that lemons are a key to improving digestion due to their pH.

But, let’s stop there and explore whether or not there’s any truth to this claim.

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First of all, yes, lemons are acidic and have a low pH, and our gastric fluids or stomach acid is also acidic with a normal pH range being 1.5-3.5. So, lemons and our gastric juices do have similar pHs, and the acidity of stomach acid is vital for correct digestion processes. Thus, one might think lemons would be great to eat every day to keep our stomach acidic and digestion flowing,

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However, it’s not common for stomach acid to get out of normal range. Our bodies have a strong capability to maintain homeostasis, meaning if things get outside “normal” levels, our bodies will try to correct it from within. If your stomach acid is not in the normal range, that could be indicative of other health conditions that lemons may not be able to cure.

Take-Away: Continue to use lemons in your foods for acidity, flavor, and color, or if you really enjoy eating them—they do count as a serving of fruit! But, there is no need to force yourself to add more lemons to your diet for digestive purposes. Our bodies work hard to keep us stable, and if your gastric juices are out of range, visiting your doctor is the only thing that will help.

Becca is an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati graduate who works as a traveling consultant dietitian and is currently living in Juneau, Alaska. She owns Centum Cento Fitness LLC a company dedicated to using evidenced based practice to help empower clients to build sustainable and healthy lifestyles through nutrition and fitness.

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Health & Fitness

Meditation Monday

Julian Foglietti

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Meditation is continually lauded by doctors, mental health experts, and self help gurus for the benefits it has on both our physical and mental health. In an effort to offer something restorative, as we navigate these difficult times, (614) is teaming up with meditation experts to bring you moments of rest through all the stress. This week's meditation is led by Marcia Miller of Yoga on High. An instructor for over 40 years, Marcia is also a Certified Reiki Master Teacher, and sits on the community advisory board for The Ohio State University's Center for Integrated Health and Wellness.

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Columbus Marathon Canceled

Julian Foglietti

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The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon has announced the cancelation of its 2020 Marathon. Originally planned for Oct. 18, the marathon is the latest in a string of future events cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Board Chairman Dan Leit stated “The safety of our athletes, volunteers, first responders, team and the entire community is the top priority for our event.” 

The races Director Darris Blackford stated in a press release that “When you think about the best health and safety practices needed to help slow the spread of the virus, holding a major running footrace isn’t the responsible thing to do right now.”

Since its debut in 2012, the race has raised over $10 million for Nationwide Children's Hospitals patients and families. 

There is not yet an announcement on what form of fundraising event will take place instead, and athletes have been sent instructions for how to receive a refund for the event in the meantime. 
View the full release here

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Health & Fitness

{WATCH} Meditation Monday

Julian Foglietti

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Meditation is continually lauded by doctors, mental health experts, and self-help gurus for the benefits it has on both our physical and mental health. In an effort to offer something restorative, as we navigate these difficult times, (614) is teaming up with meditation experts to bring you moments of rest through all the stress. This week’s meditation is led by Marcia Miller of Yoga on High. An instructor for over 40 years, Marcia is also a Certified Reiki Master Teacher and sits on the community advisory board for The Ohio State University’s Center for Integrated Health and Wellness.

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