Lemons regularly get over looked when it comes to fruit and vegetables, but this brightly coloured bitter and sour fruit is a little powerhouse packed full of hydrating electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and trace minerals.
Having a glass of warm lemon water upon rising every morning is great for rehydrating your body’s tissues, giving you an energy boost, stimulating the clearance of toxins and getting all the systems in your body going, as well as waking and warming you up on a cold winter’s morning.
The benefits of warm lemon water for health and well being.
1) Immune system
Citrus flavonoids and the high amounts of vitamin C found in lemons are antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Therefore coming into winter it is a great time to start drinking warm lemon water to help support you immune system to avoid catching a nasty cold or virus.
Citrus flavonoids are also anti-diabetic and anti-cancer. The flavonoids in lemons act as antioxidants that eliminate free radicals from the body and they have also been found to inhibit cancer cell replication.
The citric acid found in lemon juice stimulates the digestive system by increasing the secretion of gastric juices, bile and also helps stimulates the contraction and relaxation of the digestive tract. This helps the movement and absorption of food through the digestive tract, as well as promoting regular bowel movements.
Also if you have no appetite in the morning and find it hard to eat your breakfast, try having warm lemon water 15 minutes before you eat, to help stimulate your digestive juices and appetite.
3) Liver Function
The citric acid and other antioxidants in lemons help the liver produce more bile and enzymes that help enhance the livers function and it’s ability to clear toxins from the body.
Although lemon juice tastes acidic, it is actually alkalising to the body, thus helping keep the body’s pH in balance. Acidic states are linked to a higher incidence of disease and illness.
4) Skin Health
The high vitamin C and flavonoid levels found in lemon juice gives lemons their skin protective properties.
Lemon consumption helps to improve skin rejuvenation, elasticity and its protective properties. It can also help reduce skin infections, promote detoxification throughout the body which supports healthy skin and has also been linked to reducing body odour in some studies.
Fresh lemon applied to the skin can also be used as a body scrub to help remove dead skin cells and used on the scalp to help treat dandruff.
5) Weight Loss
The citric acid found in lemon juice promotes fat burning in the body, can increase a person’s metabolism and promotes detoxification throughout the body, all of which are linked to weight reduction.
Pectin found in lemons is also linked to reducing hunger cravings.
Gout is caused by 2 mains things, an accumulation of uric acid and or an accumulation of free radicals in the body. Lemons contain high levels of powerful antioxidants that clear and detoxify these free radicals and uric acid from the body.
As you can see there are many reasons to include lemon into your daily diet.
My favourite way is to have a 200ml of warm water with ½ a fresh squeezed lemon in it upon waking every morning morning, 15 minutes before I eat breakfast.
Or you could try adding lemon into any of your favourite cooking recipes or use it as a salad dressing base to help enhance your absorption of iron from your leafy green veggies.
If your drink warm lemon water in the morning ensure you rinse your mouth out with pure water afterwards or drink it through a straw, this is to help protect your enamel, for optimal long-term teeth health!
Happy digesting guys!
Mohanapriya, M, Dr Ramaswamy, L & Dr Rajendran, R 2013, “Health and medicinal properties of lemon” International Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine 3:1 (2013) 1095:1100.