One of the first recommendations I often make to clients is to kick-start the day with some warm water with half lemon squeezed into the water. The amount of feedback I get from clients is amazing such as ‘Did just changing that one thing really help my skin, energy, bowels etc’. Let me tell you something. Yes it did! It is such a simple routine to get into each morning and I pretty much guarantee you will start to see some benefits very shortly after.
Lemons are an amazing fruit, which have a very sour test so generally don’t tend to be eaten on their own. However this is not a problem as they are so versatile and will add a delicious taste to any salad, curry, smoothie or dessert!
They are composed mainly of water with approximately 2% carbohydrate and 6% fibre of your recommended daily intake (RDI). They also contain over 50% Vitamin C (RDI) as well as small amounts of potassium, calcium, iron and Vitamins B1, 6 and 9 (Folate)
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should start your day with lemon water:
1. Natural detox and Cleanser
Lemons contain citric acid which is a naturally occurring organic acid that can enhance the body’s ability to flush out toxins. This can also help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
2. Improves Digestion
Lemons contain D-Limonene, an essential oil found in the peel. This is known to help hydrochloric acid in the stomach break down food and move it along the gut. A 2007 study in Alternative Medicine Review documented that lemon juice is known to also help heartburn, indigestion, reflux and bloating. The American Cancer Society suggests cancer patients drink lemon water to help stimulate their bowels.
3. Boosts Immune System
Lemons contain over 50% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C which helps support and strengthen the immune system as well as fight colds and flus. Lemons also contain small amounts of iron, important for a healthy immune system. Due to the Vitamin C content of the fruit the iron can be absorbed much more readily by the body.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Lemon water can help clear uric acid from joints which can lead to gout. Despite being acidic to taste, lemons are very alkalising on the body which decreases inflammation in the body and therefore lowers the risk of many diseases that thrive in an inflamed, acidic environment (think cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, alzheimer’s disease)
5. Clears Skin
The high vitamin C content of lemons will help combat free radical damage, decreasing wrinkles and other blemishes. As lemon is a natural detoxer due to citric acid, toxins will be flushed out of your system quicker, meaning you will start to glow from the inside out. Clients of mine have commented that clearer skin is one of the first things that they notice.
6. Boosts Energy
Another common feedback that I get from clients who have started their morning routine with lemon water is the increase in their energy levels. The smell of the essential oils in the rind of lemon is also known to be mood enhancing.
7. Helps Weight Loss
Although I don’t recommend using this method on its own, lemon water can assist in weight loss because it suppresses the appetite due to the pectin (a soluble fibre) which can make you feel fuller and therefore reduce your caloric intake. You are therefore less likely to snack and make unhealthy choices.
8. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C which is shown to reduce cardiovascular disease. A 2001 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that consuming fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, appears to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease. Good fibre intake can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
9. Fresher Breath
Drinking lemon water first thing will help fight the mouth bacteria that has built up overnight. This therefore will help freshen breath. Although you will still need to brush your teeth in the morning, don’t do this straight after drinking your lemon water due to the risk of enamel erosion. Ensure that you rinse your mouth with plain water first.
10. Cleanses the Urinary Tract
Lemon juice works as a diuretic so it increases the production of urine. Therefore toxins do not build up as they are released from the body at a higher rate. It is therefore vey beneficial for people that suffer from urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and is much safer than over the counter diuretics.
How do you make lemon water?
1 cup warm water (easier to digest) with half a lemon squeezed into it. You can also add the zest for extra health benefits.
For a different option try also adding fresh ginger or turmeric.
- There is a lot of controversy that drinking lemon water wears down the enamel on your teeth. I have heard that this is not the lemon but the fact that people are putting it into hot water and it is causing a reaction. Be sure to always use warm water (half hot and half cold) and if you are still unsure, drink through a straw to minimise the impact on your teeth. For further advice please contact your dentist.
- I do not promote the use of lemon essential oil in water. The two do not mix and after consulting with some aromatherapists, they have advised me that people are suffering with burns from the mouth through to the anus from ingesting oils directly in water. Unfortunately as this is not a required safety reporting procedure like it is with pharmaceuticals, the adverse reactions are generally going unreported. The information to add essential oils directly to water is often advised from people that are not aromatherapists so please use your own discretion when making this decision. Remember fresh is always best.