I will share something with you here – when I was in Acupuncture school over 16 years ago, I discovered why it was important to start your day off with drinking hot water, not hot lemon water mind you, just – hot water. I confess that it wasn’t immediately an attractive thing for me, but I took the challenge and embarked on a 2 week trial of this regime. I discovered two things – the heat helps ‘wake up’ my digestive system, but the down side was that I disliked drinking plain water. I jazzed up the water with lemon, as I love anything citrus(!). Almost immediately, I saw a difference in how my digestion operated. To put it colloquially, my stomach started gurgling more, there was more regulation within my GI system, I felt more alert and more energy throughout my morning, and the most obvious is that it was more refreshing to my tastes buds – like drinking liquid sunshine. I’ve incorporated this into my health regime ever since, and never look back. To be frank, I in essence discovered the health benefits of lemon water.
Lemon Water Nutrient Benefits:
1 cup of raw fresh lemon juice can provide you with a few of the following main nutrients: (Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com)
Vitamin C: 112 mg (187% DV)
Folate: 31 mpg (8% DV)
Potassium: 303 mg (9% DV)
Magnesium: 14.6 mg (4% DV)
Calories: 61 (3% DV)
6 Health Benefits of drinking Lemon Water:
- Helps kickstart the digestion and detoxification process. Your Stomach and Liver love lemon. Not only does it start the digestive juices flowing in the stomach, the citrus peel acts as a micro ‘scrubber’ to help eliminate any excess toxins that are accumulating, and essentially tricks the liver into producing more bile. Hence, it improves digestion and elimination through the intestines.
- Can support a healthy weight loss regime. Lemons contain pectin, which is a fiber found in many different fruits and vegetables. Pectin has the advantage of keeping you fuller longer, and reducing the need for snacking and overeating.
- Increases your Vitamin C content. Your body does not manufacture Vitamin C on its own, and thus you need to get adequate amounts from the food that you eat or supplementation. There are a number of health benefits of Vitamin C on its own (but that’s for another post!), but drinking lemon water through the day can ensure that you receive a excellent quotient of this, especially for enhancing immunity.
- Can contribute to healthy glowing skin. Lemons contain antioxidants – the Vitamin C, which helps combat free radical damage in the body. The citric acid content is also linked to collagen production which helps skin stay fresher and firmer, longer.
- Aids in memory and focus. The concentrated lemon oil found in the peel of the fruit is a natural mood enhancer. The fresh lemon smell boosts levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which increases mental alertness and improves focus.
- Can keep UTIs at bay. Drinking lemon water, not to mention water on its own, helps dilute the urine and flush out any excess toxins and bacteria from the urinary tract. It will also prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of the tract and thus help prevent further UTI occurrences.
Quickie Lemon drink Recipe:
- Boil 2 cups of water. Let cool slightly for about 5 min, to get it drinkable temperature.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the water.
- Option: Add some of the peel sliced into the water – remember, the medicine is concentrated within the peel, so you will get the added benefits of extraction the longer it sits
- Drink 1/2 hr before your first meal of the day.
- Option: Sip throughout the day between meals to improve digestion.
I will often prescribe a lemon water regime to my patients who embark on detox protocols. If you are thinking of starting a cleansing program and don’t know where to start, talk to your Naturopathic Physician. Placing your physical health and wellness is our priority in our practice. Along with proper and customized evaluation, we can help you explore your root causes of your health conditions and how to manage and treat them effectively in ways that are right for you.
To your Health,
Dr. Olena Gill is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician and Registered Acupuncturist (2003). She practices acupuncture and TCM at Indigo Integrative Health/The Mind-Body Connection Centre in Parksville, BC.
Take CHARGE of your health! You’re the only one who can! BOOK AN APPOINTMENT with Dr. Olena today to get you on the road to wellness and improved health.
Disclaimer: No information given here or in any post or page on this site should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your Naturopathic Physician to receive professional evaluation and treatment.