Does Lemon Lower Blood Sugar Levels?

If you want to learn how to reduce your blood sugar level with home remedies, lemon might be a good option for you.

Keep reading to find out why, and learn some health benefits of lemons.

Nutrition facts

Lemon is a citrus fruit. It has been an important crop for thousands of years. But did you know that the American Diabetes Association considers lemon to be a diabetes superfood? 

This is because of its high levels of vitamin C and soluble fiber. Lemon is also relatively low on the glycemic index.

Lemons also contain the following compounds:

  • Flavonoids

  • Naringin

  • Naringenin

  • Potassium

  • Folate

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Quercetin

  • Polyphenols

  • Flavones

A raw lemon without the peel contains:

  • 29 calories

  • 9 grams of carbohydrates

  • 2.8 grams of dietary fiber

  • 0.3 grams of healthy fat

  • 1.1 grams of protein

  • 1.5 grams of sugar

  • 52 grams of water

Does lemon reduce sugar levels?

The benefits that lemon has depend upon the following factors:

  • How much lemon you consume

  • What kind of lemon you consume

  • Other health and lifestyle factors

Lemons might not have a direct impact on blood sugar levels. However, they can help to prevent large blood sugar spikes.

Vitamin C

Lemons contain vitamin C, which can help promote better metabolic control. Vitamin C can decrease levels of fasting blood sugar. It can also improve insulin resistance

One study found that taking 1000 milligrams of vitamin C for six weeks can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes complications (such as diabetic neuropathy) by encouraging low blood sugar levels

Another study found that vitamin C in the diet can even play a role in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.

Soluble fiber

Lemons contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can help to slow the absorption of sugar. It does this because it does not break down easily and therefore ensures slow release of sugars into your bloodstream. This can then help to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Citrus flavonoids

Certain citrus flavonoids can inhibit the digestion of starches. This can help to lower sugar absorption in the intestines. 

Studies have been done on cell culture and animal models to show that citrus flavonoids help improve insulin sensitivity. There are even clinical studies confirming this!

Low glycemic index

Lemons are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a value given to a food based on how it affects blood sugar levels. The index goes from zero to 100. 100 is the equivalent of pure glucose. 

Foods higher on the glycemic index cause high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). If you consume lemon juice with a high glycemic index food, this can slow the conversion of starch to sugar. 

This then lowers the food’s glycemic index, which promotes lower blood sugar and insulin secretion levels after eating a meal.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a condition that originates in the pancreas. This is when the body can’t produce insulin. Patients with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin and sometimes other diabetes medication

Lemons certainly cannot cure type 1 diabetes. However, citrus can still help stabilize blood sugar levels. Lemons can also help contribute to a lifestyle that prevents obesity, heart disease, and other conditions that can complicate type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the body still creates insulin. However, the insulin the pancreas makes is not being used properly. This is why it becomes difficult to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.

Lemons can be helpful in type 2 diabetes because they can help prevent sugar absorption after carb intake. They can also help to lower glucose levels, insulin resistance, and regulate your metabolism.

A study showed that citrus fruits such as lemon could help to lower obesity in rodents. Since obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes, this is yet another reason to consume lemons if you have type 2 diabetes.

glyco optimizer

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is the type of diabetes that people may develop in pregnancy. This is confirmed with a glucose tolerance test. 

Consuming lemon during pregnancy can help to encourage effective blood sugar management. This is important to prevent both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.


Prediabetes is a condition that, if not treated properly, can turn into type 2 diabetes. Consuming lemon can help to prevent this progression from happening.

5 other health benefits of lemon

1) Anti-inflammatory Effects

The flavonoids in lemon (naringin and naringenin) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. 

This was confirmed in a study published in the “Advances in Nutrition” journal. This was an animal study conducted on rats. They found that naringenin may have anti-diabetic properties.

Epidemiological studies show an association between consuming citrus flavonoids and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Citrus flavonoids may also contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity.

There are also studies on rats that demonstrate citrus flavonoids prevent hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver. They do this by inhibiting the synthesis of hepatic fatty acids and increasing fatty acid oxidation.

2) Reduces Blood Pressure and Cholesterol 

The soluble fiber content of lemons can help to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight loss. This can then lower risk of heart disease.

Consuming soluble fiber can reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by five to ten percent. It has been associated with improved immune function and less inflammation.

3) Potent Antioxidant 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It can reduce damage by free radicals, which attack cells and membranes in the body. Since vitamin C also helps with collagen formation, it helps maintain the integrity of blood vessel walls. 

This is why vitamin C can also be helpful to people with circulation problems and arterial damage. Overall, vitamin C can help lower triglycerides, cholesterol, and inflammation.

4) Contains Quercetin

Lemon is a good source of quercetin. Quercetin can help to reduce the risk of the following conditions:

  • Thrombosis

  • Allergic disorders

  • Neurodegenerative disorders

  • Cancer

  • Cardiovascular diseases

  • Atherosclerosis

  • Arrhythmia

5) Protects Against Free Radical Damage

Lemon peels contain phenolic compounds. These compounds act as antioxidants by donating either protons or electrons. 

They also protect cells against free radical damage. Eating lemon peels can help to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.

diabetes support group

Other home remedies to reduce blood sugar level


Cinnamon can help to lower blood glucose levels.

Bitter gourd

Momordica charantia, or bitter gourd, can also help to lower blood glucose levels.


One study looked at ginger’s effects on patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were randomized to ginger consumption or the control group. Those who took ginger had between 1600 and 4000 milligrams per day.

The results showed that the ginger group had significantly improved hemoglobin A1c levels between baseline and follow-up. There was no significant difference in the control group. 

The researchers concluded that ginger might impact glucose control over a longer period in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Fenugreek seeds have also shown potential to help maintain good blood sugar control.


Moringa is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It also has antihyperglycemic properties. This is due to the presence of phytochemicals in its leaves, fruits, roots, and oils. 

Moreover, there is strong evidence showing moringa’s acute antihyperglycemic effects on diabetic animal models.

Apple cider vinegar

People with diabetes can take apple cider vinegar to improve blood sugar management.

Gymnema sylvestre

Gymnema is an Indian Ayurvedic herb. It is also called gurmar, which means “sugar destroyer.” Gymnema suppresses blood sugar activity and has a wide range of therapeutic effects, including its actions against diabetes. 

This remedy also has positive effects on blood sugar homeostasis, sugar cravings, and promotes regeneration of the pancreas.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are high in soluble fiber. This is why they can also help in the regulation of blood sugar levels.


So it looks like lemons are one of many home remedies that can help to reduce excess sugar level after all! They’re even considered to be a diabetes superfood because they are full of beneficial nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber.

But lemons aren’t only helpful for normal blood sugar levels! They also offer a wide array of benefits, from cardiovascular health to reducing the risk of fatty liver disease.

And lemons aren’t your only option, either. Several home remedies can help to reduce your blood sugar level, such as ginger, cinnamon, moringa, and gymnema.

So, if you have diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation, speak to your health care provider to see if lemons may be helpful to you.

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lemon water in the morning

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  2. Afkhami-Ardekani M, Shojaoddiny-Ardekani A. Effect of vitamin C on blood glucose, serum lipids & serum insulin in type 2 diabetes patients. Indian J Med Res. 2007.
  3. Dosoky, NS & Setzer, WN. (2018). Biological activities and safety of Citrus spp essential oils. Int J Mol Sci. 19 (7), 1966.
  4. Elumalai, P & Lakshmi, S. (2016). Role of quercetin benefits in neurodegeneration. Adv Neurobiol. 1 (12), 229-45.
  5. Mulvihill, EE; Burke, AC & Huff, MW. (2016). Citrus flavonoids as regulators of lipoprotein metabolism and atherosclerosis. Annu Rev Nutr. 17 (36), 275-99.
  6. Rajaram, S; Jones, J & Lee, GJ. (2019). Plant-based dietary patterns, plant foods, and age-related cognitive decline. Adv Nutr. 1 (10), S422-S436.
  7. Rampersaud, GC & Valim, MF. (2017). 100% citrus juice: Nutritional contribution, dietary benefits, and association with anthropometric measures. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 57 (1), 129-40.
  8. Ranasinghe, P; Pigera, S; Premakumara, GA; Galappaththy, P; Constantine, GR & Katulanda, P. (2013). Medicinal properties of “true” cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 22 (13), 275.

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