Lemons are one of the most popular and versatile citrus fruit. They are very versatile fruits, with loads of vitamin C (a primary nutrient for immune system support), vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and antibacterial and antiviral properties, the juice of a lemon can make you feel good inside and out.
Lemons also contain the phytonutrient limonene, which has been found efficacious in combating cancers of the stomach, colon, breast, lung, mouth, and skin. It is so effective because it’s readily bioavailable, meaning the body can use its nutrients just as it is.
Here are some practical reasons for drinking for lemon water first thing in the morning – some may surprise you.
1. Can help keep you hydrated
Hydration is not a direct benefit of the lemon, but drinking flavored water might entice you to consume more of it. It is well known that the majority of the population is severely dehydrated. In fact, 75 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended minimum daily water consumption, which is 10 cups per day.
That means that three out of every four people are living in a chronic state of dehydration and forcing their bodies to work overtime to compensate for lack of water. Fortunately, getting into the habit of drinking water with lemon first thing in the morning will give you a great, hydrated start to your day.
2. Supports healthy digestion
Some people drink lemon water as a daily morning laxative to help prevent constipation. Drinking warm or hot lemon water when you wake up may help get your digestive system moving. Lemon water also encourages the liver to produce bile, which is required for proper digestion, and it can help flush out toxins from the body and prevent buildup.
Another one of the benefits of lemon water is that the acids help to digest food. According to researchers, the citrus flavonoids in lemon aid the acid in the stomach in breaking down food, which may improve overall digestion. Aiding digestion is especially important as we get older because the amount of acid in our stomach declines with age.
3. Boost your immune system
Millions of people around the world are bracing themselves for the upcoming cold and flu season. As the winter starts to emerge, so do the nasty bugs hanging out on bathroom door handles and public transportation, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike a vulnerable immune system. Now is the time to load up on fresh, whole foods, and do whatever you can to boost your bodies natural germ-fighting capabilities.
This preparation includes drinking a daily glass of lemon water, as this tart fruit has loads of natural vitamin C that helps your cells produce infection-fighting antibodies. A study also discovered that citric acid may prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans. And if that’s not enough, vitamin C also improves your body’s ability to absorb iron, which also helps your immune system.
4. Can aid in weight loss
There is evidence that drinking water, especially lemon water, first thing in the morning can help maintain a healthy weight. According to one study, polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons significantly reduces weight gain in mice that are overfed in order to induce obesity. Of course, drinking lemon water by itself isn’t going to be a miracle weight loss solution, but with other healthy habits, it can help maintain a healthy weight.
5. Helps freshen breath
When it comes to personal hygiene, lemon water may help your mouth smell cleaner. The citrus in lemon water may help to reduce the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which may lead to fresher breath. Moreover, no matter how well you brush your teeth, you may be subject to halitosis in the morning. Drink a glass of lemon water to help eliminate that foul odor and encourage saliva production.
6. Helps prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones often develop as a result of dehydration, so one of the benefits of lemon water is that it helps flush out your kidneys and prevent these painful deposits. Also, the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in lemon juice inhibits the formation of kidney stones.
Some kidney stones result from precipitation of calcium salts. Acidification of the environment in which this process occurs is thought to reduce the likelihood of precipitation, and therefore prevent the formation of some stones. In other words, the acid from the lemon can help keep the stones from harming.
7. May help liver function
Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning helps your liver to do a better job being the body’s filter. Boosting overall hydration can help to improve the function of all organs in the body, including the liver. In addition, animal studies have found that the citrus flavonoids in lemon may protect the liver against toxins and decrease fat in the liver, protecting against fatty liver disease. Although, the claims of “detoxification” from lemon juice aren’t exactly proven, helping the liver to work better could benefit your body.
8. May improve your skin quality
Vitamin C found in lemons may help reduce skin wrinkling, dry skin from aging, and damage from the sun. One study from New Zealand showed that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with fewer wrinkles. Because vitamin C is a nutrient that can fight off free-radical damage, it can protect the skin, This could be due to vitamin C’s effects on collagen, which helps build up the connective tissue under the skin. In addition, the hydration from the water helps skin stay more subtle and provides a more youthful appearance.
Hot lemon water recipe
- 24 oz water (warm, not boiling)
- 1 lemon (organic)
- 1/2 inch ginger (fresh, optional)
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half or the whole lemon into the water.
- If using, peel and slice the ginger and add to the water.
Note: After drinking, swish with some plain filtered water for 30 seconds to make sure the citric acid from the lemon juice doesn’t remain on teeth.
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