Lemon water is a delicious and healthy way to start your day out right or keep you energized and hydrated as you hunker down in your cubicle to write for eight hours straight. Well the latter part works for me and my situation and I’m sure it will do the same for you, no matter where you work. Lemon has many health benefits, but they are so sour it makes them rather difficult to add to our diets. The humble glass of water steps in and makes it all so simple to unlock all the benefits and cut the sour.
- Weight Loss – Lemon contains pectin, a fiber that helps reduce cravings so we eat less. Lemon water also enhances digestion. Alkaline diets help people lose weight faster. Lemon water is a zero calorie drink that can replace more caloric juices and soft drinks. But remember that lemon isn’t the magic bullet for weight loss, just something to help you along the way. Exercise and sensible eating are still the best ways to lose weight.
- Immune Boost – Lemons are rich in vitamin in vitamin C and potassium. These keep the body running efficiently and bolster the immune system and heart. The combination of water and lemon helps hydrate the lymphatic system, a key part of immune health and the removal of cellular waste and toxins. Lemon also contains saponins which have antimicrobial powers.
- Balance pH – Despite the acid nature of lemons, they help alkalize the body as they are digested and metabolized.
- Digestive Aid – The flavonols in lemons encourage the liver to produce more bile, a key part of proper digestion, especially of fats. Lemon also flushes the digestive system of toxins while taking out some of the less beneficial microbes for healthier digestion all around. This may be a big part of the weight loss benefits lemons offer.
- Clear Skin – Vitamin C is essential to firm, healthy skin as it goes into the production of collagen. It flushes toxins out of the blood so they do not accumulate in pores and hydrates skin cells. Antioxidants in lemons, including vitamin C, protect against free radical and solar damage too.
- Fresh Breath – The essential oils in lemons help clean and freshen up your mouth. The tart flavor also gets your saliva glands flowing to continue cleaning and keep your mouth moist. Lemon can even ease tooth pain and fight gingivitis. You do need to take some care of your tooth enamel though as the acid can weaken it. Brush your teeth before you drink your lemon water and avoid brushing them for a while after.
- Diuretic – Lemon water is a mild diuretic that increases urination to purify and cleanse the urinary tract and kidneys. This also improves blood pressure.
- Respiratory Health – Vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory properties have been used to help with asthma and other respiratory symptoms. It makes lemon water a good way to ease coughs, colds, and flus.
- Combat Stress – Vitamin C is one of the vitamins depleted quickly during times of stress and it’s something the body can’t make or store. Vitamin C helps the body clear out stress hormones and protects against oxidative stress.
- Energy and Mood – Just the scent of lemons has an energizing effect and improves mood. Lemon water can increase this effect throughout the day.
- Healing – Since vitamin C is so important to collagen production, it is very good for speeding and boosting the healing process for any wound. Collagen isn’t just used for firm skin, but goes into the healing and health of cartilage, connective tissues, tendons, and bones.
There are many who argue that only warm lemon water should be used, but I believe however you like your lemon water, it will still be helpful for all the reasons above. Warm lemon water is more readily digested and used and less of a shock to the system, this is true, but iced lemon water is refreshing and tastes better to some. Hot lemon water can be helpful on cold mornings when you aren’t feeling well. Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your lemons.
You can zest your lemons before you add them to your water as slices or juice. Save the zest in your freezer to add to recipes. You can juice one lemon at a time or do many and put the juice in ice cubes to add to a large glass of water. Use a straw to avoid too much acid contact with your teeth. And if you want to sweeten your lemon water, try a few slices of strawberries instead of sugar. For lemon tea, a little honey or coconut syrup will go a long way.