Is it good to eat lemon pulp?

Lemons are a popular citrus fruit known for their sour and tangy flavor. While many people enjoy lemon juice and zest, some also eat the lemon pulp. The pulp refers to the fibrous interior of the lemon, including the membranes and seeds. But is eating lemon pulp actually good for you? This article will examine the nutritional benefits and potential downsides of consuming lemon pulp.

Nutritional Benefits

Lemon pulp is rich in nutrients and plant compounds that may offer health benefits. Here is an overview of some of the top nutrients found in lemon pulp:

Vitamin C

Lemons are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin C. One lemon can provide over 30 mg of vitamin C, which is one-third of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant that boosts immune function, promotes collagen production, and helps absorb iron.


The pulp and skin of lemons contain a type of fiber called pectin. Pectin is a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Getting enough fiber may help promote digestive health and regularity.


Potassium is an electrolyte and mineral that is important for nerve signaling, muscle contractions, and blood pressure control. The pulp of a medium lemon contains about 90 mg of potassium.

Vitamin A

Lemon pulp also provides vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A supports eye health and immune function.

Other nutrients

Eating the pulp gives you small amounts of folate, magnesium, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin E.

Plant Compounds

In addition to vitamins and minerals, lemons contain beneficial plant compounds, including:

  • Citric acid: Gives lemons their sour taste and provides antioxidant effects.
  • Hesperidin: A flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • D-limonene: A compound that provides lemons their aroma and may have anticancer effects.

Research shows that the combination of nutrients, vitamins, and plant compounds in lemons and other citrus fruits may help prevent kidney stones, anemia, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Downsides of Eating the Pulp

While lemon pulp provides important nutrients, there are some potential downsides to consider as well.

May irritate mouth or throat

The acidic lemon pulp may irritate the lining of the mouth, throat, or stomach in some people. Those with mouth sores or stomach ulcers may want to avoid consuming the pulp.

Hard to digest

The fibrous texture and tough cell walls of the pulp make it harder to digest than the juice. People with digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may experience bloating, gas, or abdominal pain from the extra fiber.

May loosen teeth enamel

The acidity in lemons could potentially erode tooth enamel over time. Swishing water after consuming lemon pulp can help neutralize acidity.

Contains oxalates

Lemon pulp contains oxalic acid and oxalates. In high amounts, these compounds may contribute to kidney stones in susceptible individuals.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrient profile of 1 cup (240 grams) of raw lemon pulp and peel:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 61
Protein 2.6 grams
Carbs 16 grams
Sugar 3.4 grams
Fiber 10.6 grams
Fat 0.3 grams
Vitamin C 139 mg
Calcium 134 mg
Potassium 323 mg

Tips for Eating Lemon Pulp

Here are some tips on how to enjoy lemon pulp:

  • Add lemon pulp and sliced membranes to salads or roasted vegetables.
  • Blend pulp into lemonade, smoothies, sauces, or dressings.
  • Dehydrate sliced lemon peel and pulp for a healthy snack.
  • Infuse vodka or olive oil with lemon pulp and zest.
  • Bake ground lemon pulp into cookies, cakes, or muffins.
  • Candy lemon peel by boiling with sugar water.


While eating the pulp can provide extra nutrition, it may not be well tolerated by everyone. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Avoid giving lemon pulp to infants or young children due to acidity.
  • People with kidney stones may want to limit pulp intake.
  • Cut back on pulp if you experience digestive upset.
  • Rinse your mouth after eating lemon pulp to neutralize acid.
  • Don’t eat the seeds, as they can be a choking hazard.


The pulp and peel of lemons contain beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and plant compounds. Eating the pulp may promote health due to its fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, the high acidity and fibrous texture may cause issues like dental erosion or digestive upset in some individuals. Using lemon pulp in moderation along with other citrus fruits like oranges or limes can allow you to take advantage of its nutrition without going overboard on acidity. Focus on how your body reacts and cut back on portions or frequency if the pulp bothers your mouth or digestive system.

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