With a New Year comes new hopes, dreams, resolutions and/or goal settings. But if we just start with one small change a day, such as drinking lemon water in the morning, we will reap the benefits that these yellow joy bombs can give!
Because up to 60% of the human adult body is water, you can see just how important drinking water is for our health. Water helps maintain regularity of our bodily functions, flushes out toxins and gives our skin a healthy glow. Lemons are a natural energizer that helps to hydrate the body. On their own, lemons are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber. They also have antioxidants properties which are always a plus. Combine lemon with water and you get a tasty beneficial refreshing drink that is sure to help you start your day right!
Top 5 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
1. Improves digestion – Lemon juice aids in increasing the production of hydrochloric acid (HCl) or stomach acid. HCl helps the digestion process by activating pepsinogen to become pepsin (an enzyme that digest proteins). The digestive qualities of lemon water can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating.
2. Detoxifying – Lemon water acts as a liver cleanser by increasing the liver’s detoxifying enzymes. It encourages the production of bile which helps purify and stimulate the liver. The liver neutralizes toxins and metabolizes nutrients into active and usable form. Drinking lemon water in the morning helps the body perform the liver’s job more efficiently.
3. Boosts the immune system – Because lemons are high in antioxidant Vitamin C, they fight free radical damage. As we all know, Vitamin C is great for fighting colds. Lemons are also high in potassium which stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
4. Increases alkalinity – Even though lemon juice is acidic in nature, when it’s metabolized by the body, it becomes alkaline. Lemons enhance digestive secretions (HCl, mucus, saliva, bile) so that toxins, especially acidic wastes, are eliminated from the body more efficiently. Too much acidity in the body can cause inflammation and is a magnet for diseases.
5. Healthy glowing skin – By improving digestion and detoxifying the body of toxins, lemon water can result in clearer skin. The health of your skin is directly related to your digestive system and liver health. Vitamin C is important for the maintenance of collagen which protects our skin tissue.
Squeeze half a lemon in 1 cup room temperature water. The water should look cloudy. You could also place a slice of lemon with your water as shown in the picture above. Drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Do not consume breakfast for at least half an hour after drinking the lemon water as to help the stomach secrete HCl and prepare for digestion.
Things to Consider:
- If you are going to drink lemon water, make sure that the lemons you use are organic! This is very important as lemons (and limes) are heavily sprayed with pesticides and most of the pesticide residue is concentrated in the peel.
- Do not use bottled lemon juice as the acidity of the lemons leach out the plastic from the bottle into the juice. Also, they usually have added sulfites in them which some people may be allergic to.
- Room temperature water is best but warm water is good too. Make sure the water is not too hot as hot water will kill the live enzymes in the lemon. Cold water will shock the stomach and prevent HCl from secreting.
- Immediately after drinking the lemon water, swish some plain filtered water for 30 seconds and then spit it out. This will ensure that the lemon juice doesn’t stay on your teeth and harm your tooth enamel.
- Have sensitive teeth? Try drinking the lemon water with a straw. This will prevent the lemon juice from touching your teeth too much.
- Straw still doesn’t work? Try drinking 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (I recommend Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar) with 1 cup of room temperature water. The health benefits are essentially the same.
So the next time life throws lemons at you, make some lemon water, drink it and reap the benefits!