Looking for a clean start to the day?
Most of us have heard people singing the praises of the benefits of lemon water and we have then had the fleeting thought, “Yep I should remember to start the day with some lemon water” but what are the actual health benefits that might make us commit to this new daily ritual?
Fukuchi in the Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition suggests that lemon polyphenols may suppress body weight gain, body fat accumulation and improve insulin resistance. That’s impressive. They add that lemon polyphenols appear to help with lipid metabolism assisting with a cluster of diseases caused by an excessively high fat diet.
We’ll go through the other specific benefits of drinking lemon water below but the best part about drinking this refreshing beverage is, IT’S SIMPLE and something most of us can implement into our life. All you need is filtered water and juice from a lemon and you’re all set!
SUGGESTION NUMBER 1:
Drink lemon water once a day preferably in the morning, as it will set your digestive system up for the day ahead, as well as increasing your energy levels (due to the citric acid).
SUGGESTION NUMBER 2:
Drink your lemon water at room temperature rather than ice cold; this is better for your digestion. Ice-cold water can essentially ‘freeze’ your digestive tract preventing you from digesting food properly, so instead, food goes by improperly digested and your body is unable to retrieve the nutrients and energy from it that it needs. In winter it will be nice to have your lemon water as a hot tea.
Here are the details on the suggested benefits that come with drinking lemon water…
As lemon juice is similar in atomic structure to the stomach’s digestive juices, it has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice will help aid digestion and improve over-all digestive function. It also helps cleanse the bowel by flushing out waste more efficiently and stimulates the release of gastric juices. Therefore drinking lemon water can relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating.
Detoxifies the liver:
As I mentioned with the initial research at the start of this post, lemon water acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification. It purifies the liver by encouraging the production of bile, an acid required for smooth digestion. Lemon water can also help control excess bile flow, decrease the amount of phlegm produced by the body and assist in dissolving gallstones.
Cleanses the urinary tract:
Lemon juice is very hydrating and can change the pH level of the urinary tract, which discourages the growth of bad bacteria. Lemon juice is also diuretic, meaning it encourages the production of urine. As a result, toxins are released at a faster rate, helping to purify the bladder and urinary tract and keep it healthy.
The antiseptic qualities in lemon juice help kill off bad bacteria in the mouth by acting as a disinfectant, this helps keep the mouth clean and your breath fresh! A bonus in the morning!
Balances pH levels:
A common misconception is that lemons are very acidic, when in fact they are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Therefore, lemons help balance your pH levels and having appropriate pH levels is essential for digestive health, as too much acidity in the body has the potential to be inflammatory and can aggravate conditions such as bloating, indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn.
I believe that healthy skin doesn’t just come from taking care of it on the outside, digestive health and what you put into your body plays a big part in the appearance of your skin. As we outlined at the start of this post – lemon water is very cleansing, it assists your digestive system with flushing out toxins, and a hold up of toxins in the body can result blemishes, early signs of aging and has the potential to aggravate existing skin conditions.
Nutritionist Michelle Chevalley Hedge explains: “The antioxidant properties help combat free radical damage, which is responsible for the symptoms of ageing. “We know that lemons are rich in vitamin C and that is really what creates collagen synthesis, which is wonderful in terms of keeping wrinkles at bay,” she says. “Vitamin C is required in the synthesis of amino acids into collagen and the job of collagen and connective tissue is to hold things tight and protect our skin tissue.”
Protects overall health and promotes healing:
Lemons are high in potassium, which can help brain and nerve functioning as well as controlling blood pressure. Low levels of potassium are linked to illnesses such as chronic stress, depression and anxiety so eating foods that contain potassium is great for not only your physical well-being, but also your mental and emotional. Lemons also contain vitamin C, which promotes wound healing and is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy bones, tissue and cartilage. Vitamin C is also a great nutrient for boosting the Immune System, which will help you fight off colds, flus and other bacterial infections. As you may have heard, a glass of warm lemon water is a common cold and flu remedy, this is why, as it’s not only soothing but it provides your body with healing properties.
So, start your day with a glass of lemon water, your body will thank you for it!
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Yours in Health,
Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
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Want to learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle? For more health related information, please see Well Adjusted Babies 2nd Edition.
1. Y Fukuchi et al”Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in ?-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue”J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2008 Nov; 43(3): 201–209. 2008 Oct 31.
2. Minato K. Lemon flavonoid, eriocitrin, suppresses exercise-induced oxidative damage in rat liver. Life Sci. 2003;72:1609–1616. [PubMed]
4. Key concepts, health and human development – Authors, Andrew Beaumont, Lee-Ann Marsh, Agatha Panetta.