Why am I craving lemons? Discover 9 possible reasons

Are you constantly reaching for a lemon wedge to add to your water or squeezing lemon juice onto every dish you eat? That’s a craving, and it may signify that your body lacks vitamin C.

Lemons are also high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties that can boost your immune system. Craving lemons may also indicate a need for more electrolytes, as the citric acid in lemons can assist with hydration and balance electrolyte levels.

There are other possible reasons behind your lemon cravings, which you will discover in this post. Keep reading!

9 Possible reasons you’re craving lemons

1. Low serotonin levels

Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter produced in the brain and plays a role in mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory. You may begin to crave lemons if you have low serotonin because it will increase your appetite for any food, including bitter-tasting lemons.

When this happens, any food will do, but if it’s been a while since you tasted sour food, you may have an intense craving for lemons.

2. Vitamin C deficiency

Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits like lemons and is vital for many bodily functions, including the immune system, skin health, and iron absorption. One lemon contains about 31 mg of vitamin C, over 50% of the recommended daily intake.

If you’re not getting enough vitamin C, you may start to crave lemons because your body is trying to tell you that it needs it. Other foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, kale, broccoli, papayas, kiwis, and Kakadu plums.

3. Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that results when you don’t have enough iron in your blood. Iron is essential for making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.

If you’re iron deficient, you may start to crave lemons or any bitter-tasting food. The reason is that this condition can cause changes in the way you taste food and make you have an uncanny desire for bitter foods.

The causes of Iron deficiency anemia include:

  • Not enough iron in your diet
  • Blood loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.
  • Excessive blood donation

Note that craving lemons have nothing to do with their iron content because lemons contain very little iron.

4. Your taste receptors miss the sour taste

A significant number of the taste receptors in the taste buds are primarily for tasting sour foods. If you eat mostly sweet, salty, or bland foods, your tongue may soon “ask for” some sour-tasting food. And this is probably where your lemon craving originates.

If you’re having difficulty eating lemon or sour-tasting food, consider the benefits and let that appeal to you instead. Some of the benefits of eating sour foods are:

  • They can stimulate the appetite.
  • They help you to produce more saliva, which aids in digestion.
  • Sour-tasting foods can also help to relieve nausea.
  • They can increase bile flow, which helps break down fats.
  • They enhance the secretion of digestive enzymes.
  • Sour foods help stimulate metabolism.
  • They can act as a diuretic and help you to eliminate toxins from the body.

5. Pica eating disorder

Pica is an eating disorder where people crave and eat non-food items such as dirt, clay, chalk, ice, laundry detergent, paint chips, and even metal. People with pica disorder usually crave sour foods to compensate for this eating disorder.

If you have pica and are craving lemons, see a doctor or mental health professional because this disorder can be harmful and even deadly.

6. Low sugar levels

Your body needs sugar to function properly, and if you don’t have enough sugar (or glucose) in your blood, you may start to crave lemons. Why? Because lemons are acidic and can help to increase the sugar levels in your blood.

If you’re low in sugar, eating lemons will help increase your blood sugar levels and give you a quick energy boost. Other foods that can increase your blood sugar levels include honey, bagels, white bread, fruit juices, and pastries.

7. You’re pregnant

During pregnancy, your body experiences many changes, and one of those changes is an increase in your sense of smell. This change can cause you to develop aversions to certain smells and foods and make you crave certain foods.

If you’re pregnant and craving lemons, it’s probably because your body needs more vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for pregnant women because it helps to form the baby’s bones, teeth, and muscles. Vitamin C is also important for a healthy immune system.

Some other healthy foods to eat when pregnant are:

  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Yogurt
  • seafood

8. You have acid reflux

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, and it can cause heartburn, chest pain, and a sour taste in the mouth. If you have acid reflux, you may start to crave lemons because of the acidic taste.

However, it would be best if you didn’t indulge in this craving because acid reflux will increase the severity of your symptoms. Instead, try to eat foods that are low in acidity, such as:

9. Lack of stomach acid

One of the functions of stomach acid is to break down food, and if you don’t have enough stomach acid, you may start to crave lemons because they can help increase your stomach acidity.

Lack of stomach acid is usually caused by hypochlorhydria, which is treated with medication or dietary changes.

Conclusion

If you’re craving lemons, it could be for many reasons. However, the most common reason is that your body needs more vitamin C. If your cravings are severe, you should see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Jude Uchella is a research writer and a strong advocate for health and fitness. He takes pleasure in helping people live their best life. When he's not writing, he's probably researching the next topic to write about. :)