People are always looking for ways to improve their health, and one way is simple, tasty and relaxing. Drinking lemon water every day can have many benefits, both short-term and long-term. Lemon water also has less than 25 calories. Here are some ways lemon water can improve your health.
It Has Vitamin C
Lemon water benefits are largely based on the healthy advantages of lemons themselves. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C. Three hundred years ago, sailors on long voyages would develop scurvy, a disease that ultimately led to death. Scurvy is the deterioration of connective tissue, and vitamin C is necessary to maintain connective tissue. It was discovered that vitamin C-rich lemons eaten on long voyages could prevent scurvy.
As well as connective tissue, vitamin C is also essential to the immune system, and can help prevent infections, cataracts, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and cancer. It’s also an antioxidant, which means it reduces the occurrence of free radicals that destroy cells and speed aging. Because it promotes collagen, it can prevent skin wrinkling. Many doctors feel that people don’t get enough vitamin C. The human body can’t produce this necessary nutrient; it has to come from outside sources. But drinking lemon water is an effective way to add vitamin C to your diet.
It Has Potassium
Lemon water is also a source of potassium. Potassium is necessary for heart health. It’s an electrolyte, which means it can conduct electrical current, and it helps the heart keep a regular rhythm. The heart pumps more oxygen when it’s needed, for example, during exercise; however, low blood potassium can also cause the heart to pump faster. Without enough potassium to regulate it, it can then go into atrial fibrillation, or an irregular rhythm, causing death. Potassium also lowers blood pressure, which is important to heart health, by helping the kidneys get rid of excess sodium.
The potassium in lemon water protects bones by regulating pH levels in the body, which maintains the right levels of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are very important for the prevention of osteoporosis. Potassium is also necessary for brain and nerve cell health. And, because it helps regulate the movement of muscles, it can prevent leg cramps.
It’s Good for Digestion
Lemon water benefits include the support lemons give to the digestion. Lemon juice is chemically similar to digestive juices, so it makes the body think there are more juices than there are. This triggers the release of bile, which facilitates digestion. Because lemon juice is acidic and resembles digestive juices, it encourages the system to digest more efficiently, which means more nutrients are absorbed. It also means insulin levels don’t fluctuate, and less sugar goes to the blood. Lemon water contains pectin fiber, which promotes regularity.
Lemon water will also act as a diuretic and flush out toxins from the liver, as well as reduce bloating. Getting rid of these toxins is good for digestion, and also for the skin. Lemon water makes the liver work more effectively by strengthening its enzymes. Drinking lemon water is allowed on just about any diet, whether it’s sugar or carb-limited, Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
It Can Treat or Prevent Infections
Lemon water can treat or prevent infections and inflammations. This is because lemons are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral. As well as vitamin C, they contain calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoids, which have antioxidants, and citric acid, and these all fight infection and boost immunity. If you do get sick, lemon water can lower fevers from colds or flu, and also shorten the length of colds and flu. Lemon water can treat sore throats. It can also reduce the inflammation of arthritic joints by dissolving uric acid.
Lemon water is also effective in helping women avoid urinary tract infections, because it acts as a diuretic and flushes bacteria out of the body. It prevents recurrences by creating a hostile chemical environment for the growth of bacteria. Lemon water can help prevent yeast infections, as well.
It’s recommended that people drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning. It’s best to drink more than one cup; hydration in the morning is important. Early morning hydration can promote energy and even help burn calories; studies have shown that morning hydration increases a person’s metabolic rate. Also, the body builds up toxins during the night, and the warm lemon water will do a good job of flushing them out. And a warm cup of lemon water is a relaxing substitute for tea or coffee.
How do you make your morning cup of lemon water? Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm water. Instead of thinking of it as a medicine, you can have a cup with breakfast, like you would coffee or tea. Later, after a workout, you can drink lemon water to replenish the body’s salts and electrolytes.
Drinking lemon water may make you feel so good, you’ll want to buy all the lemons at the store. But please leave some for everybody else!