As you can guess by my lemon tree logo, tab icon and profile picture – lemons are a great alkaline balancing tool and deserves attention. I was introduced to drinking lemon juice nearly 3 years ago by a friend in Sydney. Little did I know at the time just how many great reasons there are to do it. Best part – it’s a pretty simple routine to get into. Here are 15 great reasons why you should start today…
What to do: Squeeze a half a lemon into a glass of luke warm water each morning around 10-15mins before having breakfast. Not too hot or too cold as the body uses up more energy in the process.
1. Alkalize Your Body
Although lemons have a sour taste, they are one of the most alkalizing food sources you can find once metabolised internally. Lemon’s antioxidants alkalizes the blood which reduces your acidity. As outlined in The Basic Principles, too much acidity can cause inflammation, diabetes, obesity and a long list of major diseases.
2. Improves Digestion
Lemon juice has a similar structure to your stomach’s juices and the minerals and vitamins helps to loosen and flush out toxins from the digestive tract. Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping and bloating. Warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keeps things moving.
3. Boost Brain Power
Lemon may be known best for its vitamin C but it also contains high levels of potassium and magnesium which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function. It creates mental clarity and more focus. Lemon water can even give you the boost you need to fight depression and stress.
4. Reduces inflammation
Lemons have the ability to remove uric acid from your joints. Uric acid build ups are one of the major causes of inflammation, especially as related to arthritis.
5. Boost Immune System
Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C which helps strengthen the immune system and fights cold and flu. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed which is why experts recommend extra vitamin C during especially stressful days. Consuming these vitamins daily (via lemon water) can help keep you healthy and stave off infection, states The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Not only is vitamin C important for a good working immune system, but iron is another important nutrient. Lemons improve the ability to absorb more iron from the food you eat.
6. Cleansing Properties
Lemons help your entire body to flush out more toxins to prevent built-ups and damage to your cells, tissues and organs. It stimulates your liver to produce more enzymes and work more efficiently. As reported by LiverSupport.com, in Dr. Beddoe’s Biological Ionization in Human Nutrition, he notes the liver can make more enzymes out of lemon juice than any other food.
7. Stop UTI
Lemon juice works as a diuretic to keep your urinary tract toxin-free and this is very helpful for people who often suffer from UTI (urinary tract infection). If you’re suffering from a UTI or want a way to prevent them, lemon water can help according to Ask A Naturopath, as lemons helps change the pH blood and the urinary tract so harmful bacteria is reduced.
Lemons have antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help fight the flu, cold and soothe a sore throat (warm water, lemon and honey is always a winner). With the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, people who drink their daily lemon water every day are less likely to get these in the first place.
9. Boost Energy & Get out of Caffeine
Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract and is said to help reduce anxiety and depression (even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system). It improves your mood right at the start of your day.
Many people are able to get off caffeine by replacing their morning coffee with luke warm lemon water (sounds unbelievable, I know, but it worked for me and many others). It gives a similar energy boost to wake your body as one cup of coffee would.
10. Reduce Mucus And Phlegm
Lemon water helps to reduce mucus and phlegm formation. People who drink cow’s milk are often more sensitive for mucus production. Starting your day with lemon water can definitely help to lessen mucus if you’re not ready to go dairy-free (just yet, wink). Dr. David Williams says that chest mucus can also be broken up by sipping fresh warmed lemon juice with a little honey.
11. Hydrates Your Body
We all know it is important to stay hydrated. Especially during the summer months. Plain water is best but many people (myself included) find this boring and are not drinking enough of it. That’s where lemon comes into play to make things more interesting. So feel free to not only start your day with lemon water but drink as many glasses as you wish during the day to stay hydrated. Limes work just as well here too.
12. Sports Drink
Sports drinks have long been seen as the best way to ‘rehydrate’ after a workout, but as CBC found earlier this year, they’re often unnecessary for the kind of exercise most people do regularly. Lemon water meanwhile provides the hydration needed and according to Best Health and this certified exercise physiologist as it’s what they drink when working out.
13. Freshens Breath
Lemons freshen your breath and fight mouth bacteria and gingivitis. Although lemons are great for your overall oral health, avoid drinking or using it undiluted. The citric acid can erode tooth enamel so don’t brush your teeth with it. It’s a good idea to rinse with plain water after your morning glass.
14. Promote Healthy and Rejuvenated Skin
Lemons are a rich sources of antioxidants that prevent free radical damage. These free radicals are responsible for pre-mature aging of your skin. Vitamin C helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity and prevent the formation of wrinkles as Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen. It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance. As it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance… and of course, drinking lots of water is great for skin in general.
15. Weight Loss Aid
Lemons contain pectin fiber which assists in fighting hunger cravings. Although lemon water on its own is no weight loss miracle, it does assist in fighting hunger cravings, boost metabolism and give you a sense of feeling full.