Lemon water is not only refreshing and tasty to get rid of the thirst, but it also brings plenty of health benefits. As a matter of fact, lemon water has many medicinal values including improving digestion, cleansing the body from toxins, and stimulating liver function. Here are a few examples.
1. Neutralizing Acidity in the Body: Some experts suggest that drinking lemon water helps reduce the level of uric acid in the joints, this helps reduce joint pain and decrease the risk of a gout flare-up. According to a publication by Harvard Medical School, gout is caused by an accumulation of uric acid, which is a group of chemicals found in many foods and body tissues. Uric acid has no function in the body; a healthy person excretes uric acid through the urine. However, some people with a metabolic disorder cause the uric acid level to rise above normal. Uric acid then accumulates in the joint and forms crystals that irritate the joint lining. The white blood cells in your body are work to get rid of the crystals, but they are not up to the task. As a result, white blood cells are damaged and cause inflammation and pain in your joints. Lemon water is also acid, but it promotes the production of bicarbonate that helps neutralize the acidity in your body.
Fulvic acid is a powerful anti-oxidant that works both as an electron donor and receptor, which enhances the absorption of nutrients and speeds up the detoxification process.
2. Hydration: Of course this is the most obvious benefit of drinking water. There are arguments about how much water a person really needs each day to stay healthy, but everybody agrees that hydration is important to keep the body and mind functioning properly. One of the problems that prevent people from drinking as much water as they should is the fact that water is not actually tasty. Instead of fulfilling your daily need of water by drinking unhealthy calorie-packed beverages, lemon water is a great alternative. A few drops of honey mixed with lemon water can make it more desirable to drink.
3. Laxative: Constipation, while not an alarming problem, is very irritating, which leads to the wastes and toxins being built up in your body. Lemon is not actually a laxative, but it does contain a good amount of soluble fiber to stimulate your digestive system and ease constipation. All citrus fruits are high in fiber. Let us not forget that proper hydration helps to prevent constipation as well. If you combine lemon and water, you get both fiber and water at the same time from one refreshing beverage.
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4. Oral health: Lemon water is acidic, and it helps prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth. By taking a glass of lemon water every morning, you keep the level of bacteria low and get rid of bad breath. The acidic property of lemon water, however, can erode teeth enamel. It is a good idea to rinse your mouth after drinking the lemon juice. In addition, lemon water helps reduce phlegm and prevent habitual coughs for clearing the throat, which can damage your vocal cords and affect your voice.
Clove oil is an excellent agent for oral care.
5. Immune System: Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C is also one of the primary water-soluble antioxidants in the body. One of its main functions is to neutralize free radicals. More than that, Vitamin C strengthens the immune system to protect you from recurrent ear infections, cold, flu, and other illnesses
6. Heart Health: Lemon helps keep blood vessels soft and reduce rigidity, thus helps reduce high blood pressure. Lemon also has a high potassium content, which can benefit your heart health. According to the research, women who consume a high amount of citrus fruit had a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least amount. Pectin in lemons can protect your heart by lowering cholesterol.
7. Kidney stones: Lemon water is high in natural citrate, which may prevent the calcium in your body from binding with other components that lead to kidney stones.
8. Skin health: The vitamin C from lemon water also provides its benefits to the outermost layer of your body – the skin. To have natural sun protection, the skin needs the protein called collagen. However, collagen needs vitamin C to regenerate the skin. Lemon water is a good source of vitamin C. Lemon water also helps the skin rehydrate and stay moist.
9. Weight loss: According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007, the blood levels of vitamin C were tested in 118 men and women who participated in the study, people who were overweight and had a larger waist measurement had significantly lower levels of vitamin C. The researchers also reported that people with adequate blood levels of vitamin C break down more fat during exercise. So the serum vitamin C level is reversely related to the body mass.
Lemons are also good sources of hesperetin, which is an antioxidant flavonoid. According to a study in Genes and Nutrition in July 2015, the animals that consumed hesperetin gained significantly less weight than rats that did not receive the flavonoid. More studies are needed to verify whether hesperetin has the same impact on people.
In addition, lemons are good sources of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that turns into a gel when mixed with water. The fiber from pectin can help prevent the spikes of blood glucose if you consume both carbs and pectin together. When your blood sugar is stabilized, you will have fewer food cravings and mood swings. Fiber also keeps you full longer to reduce food intake.
You won’t get much pectin from the lemon juice. In order to take the advantage of pectin, the best way is to include the lemon pulp in your drink.
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Why Hot Lemon Water?
Some people are led to believe that lemon water is at its best when it is served hot. Similar to other things, there is no clear temperature preference to describe the claim. We commonly use the words hot, cold, and room temperature to describe how a beverage is served. The properties and abilities of lemon water to provide all its benefits are indeed affected by temperature as follows:
• Cold: Every digestive process in the human body requires energy. The by-product of energy production is heat. When drinking icy cold beverage, overall body temperature is decreasing and therefore the digestive system has to work harder to restore balance and process the beverage itself. When lemon water is served and consumed cold, there is a chance that the body may not be able to fully utilize all the enzymes and nutrients that actually exist and available in the lemon water.
• Hot: In general, nobody wants to drink anything served at a boiling hot temperature. It is commonly accepted that boiled vegetables lose a good deal of its nutrients during the cooking process. The same thing applies to lemon because some of its nutrients are destroyed by an overly hot temperature. Fortunately, there is a middle ground: warm water.
Regardless of how beneficial lemon water is to human body, there are some important considerations:
- Lemon water is not for people who have citrus allergy or stomach ulcers.
- As mentioned earlier, lemon water can erode teeth enamels; proper oral care is the best solution.
- Some women suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort and heartburn during pregnancy. The high acidity content in the lemon water will aggravate the symptoms, listen to your body and limit foods that aggravate the symptoms.
- Some drugs may interact with drugs; it is a good idea to check the instruction of your drugs to avoid harmful reactions from the food-drug interaction.
Lemon is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and also limonene, which promotes immunity and fights against infection. It has many health benefits including digestive aids, liver cleanser and weight loss booster. Add a few pieces of fresh ginger in your lemon water will give your lemon drink an extra boost to fight against cold and comfort your stomach. It is a good habit to start a glass of fresh warm lemon water early in the morning to make you feel refreshed and energized to start the day.
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- Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120223182638.htm on June 13, 2016
- Retrieved from https://www.uwhealth.org/files/uwhealth/docs/pdf/kidney_citric_acid.pdf on June 13, 2016
“It is a chronic water shortage in the body that causes most diseases of the human body.” ~ Dr. Fereydoon