What healthy beverage is easy to make, has almost zero calories, keeps your skin rejuvenated, aids in digestion, and helps with weight loss?
Cue in: lemon water! Although this simple drink has been around for centuries, lemon water is the newest trend in health and fitness circles. So what’s the truth? Is it a cure-all, or just another fad?
Lemon water is packed with a variety of health benefits and is extremely easy to make, making it a great choice for beginners. Lemon water aids with digestion, and may even help with weight loss. On top of that, it’s loaded with vitamin C, a beneficial antioxidant.
There are many hidden benefits to lemon water, and we’ll unlock some of the biggest perks of this humble beverage. To start with, if you’re low on your vitamin C, you should work a cup of lemon water into every afternoon.
Why? Because one cup of lemon water packs almost 25% of your daily value of vitamin C into just 8 delicious calories. Lemon water also has good amounts of magnesium, copper and potassium.
Couple this with the fact that lemon water is calorie-free, contains vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, fiber and vitamin E – and you’re really getting a great bang for your buck.
Lemon Water Detoxes and Aids in Digestion
One of the most interesting benefits of lemon water relates to digestion. Because the juice of a lemon is similar in atomic structure to the digestive juices which are found in your stomach, lemon juice can actually trick your liver into producing bile!
Why is this important? Because bile is essential to keeping food moving through your body, as well as your gastrointestinal tract. No bile, and you’ll have big problems. Because of this bile production, lemon water also aids in relieving indigestion, and can help to ease an upset stomach.
Lemon juice mimics digestive juice, and can trick your liver into producing more digestion-easing bile.
The many different acids found within lemons help signal your body to digest the beneficial nutrients in your foods much slower than it would normally. This is critical for those who suffer with insulin issues, for keeping the levels steadier, and also for allowing you to draw out more nutrients from your foods.
Many with poor digestion also notice that more lemon water leads to much less bloating. Additionally, the enzyme functions in your body are stimulated by lemon water, allowing your liver to work better in flushing out toxins.
And although soda and caffeine lead to increased urination (due to their diuretic properties), lemon water will do the same thing – in a much healthier way. All of this leads to better gut health as well as skin health.
Lemon Water Is a Great Source of Vitamin C
By now, vitamin C is almost completely synonymous with orange juice. But it is also worth noting that lemon water packs a ton of vitamin C as well – and is lower in calories and sugar! Our bodies need exogenous vitamin C, since we do not produce enough on our own.
Without enough vitamin C, we would likely have issues with white blood cell production and a poor immune function. We would also have more free radical damage (i.e., faster aging) and many other problems. Keep these things at bay with a simple glass of lemon water.
Lemon Water Rejuvenates Skin
We all want to look younger, and will spend lots of money to try and make this happen. But the answer may be simpler than you think. The healing properties of lemon water are great, as the vitamin C (and other nutrients) helps your body to produce collagen to keep your skin wrinkle-free.
Lucky for you, a Paleo diet is rich with skin-protecting antioxidants as well. So if you simply add some daily lemon water (which is rich with vitamin C) – your skin will be glowing in no time!
Lemon Water Fights Cravings
You will likely also be encouraged to know that lemons contain a beneficial kind of fiber, known as pectin. Pectin aids in helping you feel full for a longer period of time. This is one of the key tenets of weight loss.
Rounding out a healthy diet with lemon water can help keep you away from the refrigerator late at night and fight off sneaky cravings. In addition, lemon water keeps us hydrated, which can make weight loss much easier. Being properly hydrated also keeps away nasty headaches and sluggishness.
Lemon Water Boosts Energy and Mood
Sick of the caffeine rollercoaster? Try replacing some of your coffee with some lemon water. Don’t believe me? Just examine the atomic structure found within lemons.
They are packed with negative-charged ions, which – upon ingestion – lead to a natural increase in our energy. Who knew! Interestingly, the scent of lemon has been found to help with stress levels and even potentially boost moods.
DIY Lemon Water
If you want to make your own lemon water, the process couldn’t be simpler! To start, simply slice a lemon in half. Next, squeeze the juice of the lemon into a glass of water. The more juice you include, the more nutritional benefits you will get.
If you want to make more than one serving of lemon water, cut a few lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a large pitcher of water. It should be noted that you can also consume the rind itself to get some extra vitamin C and beneficial enzymes.
4 Lemon Water Hacks
In addition to all the benefits of lemon water, you can also use lemons au naturale. There are a variety of ways in which lemons can brighten up and improve your home, but the following are some of my personal favorites.
Try Lemon Essential Oil to Whiten Your Teeth
Make Your Own Natural Face Wash
For this one, mix lemon oil, baking soda and honey. This pleasant smelling concoction will leave your skin feeling much fresher than the chemical-based products you can buy at the store.
Use Lemon Oil as a Silver Polisher
This is a little bit obscure, but you can use lemon oil to help clean up your silver – no need for expensive cleaners.
This is my most frequent use of lemon as a natural product. Peel a lemon and place the peels in a simmering pot of water. Add cinnamon and cloves, and say hello to your new air freshener. Some even use lemon juice in their dishwasher!
How to Choose, Store and Consume Lemon
Here are some helpful tips for your next batch of lemons!
Want to have lemons that last twice as long? Keep them stored in a sealed plastic bag, rather than leaving them out.
Organic is better. While this is nearly always the case, with lemons it really makes a difference. Buy lemons that are all-the-way yellow, not green. Hard lemons, dull lemons, or wrinkly lemons should be avoided as well.
Don’t drink it cold! Cold lemon water can be a little bit of a surprise to your body, so start with lukewarm water. Slowly drip the juice into the water, tasting it until you have your desired flavor.
Did you know there are actually 3 different kinds of lemons available? Eureka and Lisbon lemons are the familiar kind – sour and tart. Meyer lemons, however, are sweeter! They will be a little closer to orange colored, so they’re fairly easy to spot. Mix and match the different varieties until you have your desired flavor.
Want a great way to always have lemon water ready? Juice several lemons, pour into an ice cube tray, and let it freeze. Simply drop a cube or two into a glass the next time you are in the mood for lemon water!
Watch this video – What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Lemon Water
The Bottom Line
Who knew that lemons could be so useful?! Hopefully you are now inspired to spice up your routine with some lemon water, a new air freshener, and maybe even some new skin care ideas.
While lemonade is very popular, it is much too high in sugar to be healthy (and is usually loaded with artificial sugar). Stay healthier and make your own (delicious) lemon water!
Written by Casey Thaler
Casey Thaler, B.A., NASM-CPT, FNS is an NASM® certified personal trainer and NASM® certified fitness nutrition specialist. He writes for Paleo Magazine®, The Paleo Diet® and Greatist®. He is also an advisor for Kettle and Fire and runs his own nutrition and fitness consulting company, Eat Clean, Train Clean®.
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