My very first, most important health tip sounds too easy to be true, but there are so many great benefits that you really should be including this in your daily routine to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Lemon water!!! It's that simple.
Benefits of drinking Lemon Water include:
According to the Food and Nutrition Board women should be taking in at least 91 ounces of water per day and men should be taking in 125 ounces (through food and drink). Many people find it hard to drink plain water, and adding lemon to your water can just make it easier to drink more water and stay hydrated.
Most people know that Vitamin C is important for many reasons. Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C. Finding ways to increase Vitamin C through out your day can improve your health in many ways (that may be another blog soon to come).
-Supports Weight Loss
Studies in mice that were given Polyphenol Antioxidants (found in lemons) have shown reduced weight gain with mice who were intentionally over-fed to induce obesity. It hasn't been proven in humans yet, but this could be just another reason to drink lemon water.
Vitamin C may reduce skin wrinkling, dry skin and sun damage. Also, keeping your body hydrated improves the elasticity and health of your skin.
-Aids with Digestion
Lemon water in the morning is often used as a daily morning laxative. It helps stimulate the digestive system and gets everything moving. This also helps reduce bloating from gases in your intestinal tract.
Lemon neutralizes odors, so drinking lemon water can really reduce bad breath odors as well. If you've ever used lemons on your hands after cutting garlic or onions, you know how it can get rid of annoying odors. It works just the same for bad breath.
-Prevents kidney stones
Citrate makes urine less acidic and breaks down kidney stones.
Hydration helps with mood and memory. Our brains actually need plenty of fluid to function fully so being hydrated really does help with mental health. I, personally, feel this helps with mental fog. I notice a difference as soon as I drink my lemon water
Lemons are very useful for cleaning. If you have ever used cleaners that contain lemon oil or made your own natural cleaners using lemon, you know how well it works to clean surfaces. It works just as well inside of your body. Lemon oil cleans your organs and allows them to function more efficiently. Lemon is also a diuretic which makes you urinate more, thus cleansing your body of toxins more often and also reduces bloating from water retention.
Vitamin C has been found to kill the bacteria that causes Urinary Tract Infections. The Acidity also prevents UTI's. Vitamin C is a common treatment for UTI's. That is why cranberry juice or supplements are used as a natural remedy. Cranberries are also very high in Vitamin C and are acidic. So daily lemon water is a really healthy way to prevent them from developing as well.
-Reduces Joint Pain
Vitamin C is actually very important for joint and muscle health. Being deficient in Vitamin C causes muscle and joint pain, so making sure you take in enough Vitamin C is very important. According to the Journal of Translational Medicine, Vitamin C has been shown to help patients with chronic pain from illnesses such as Cancer and CRPS. High doses of Vitamin C are often used for the treatment of joint and muscle pain.
Now that I've told you all of the benefits of drinking lemon water, I am going to tell you what I do and I have found this to be a key part of my own health.
I start every day with 2 full glasses of lemon water.
To make your lemon water
You will use a quarter lemon in one glass of water or you could use half a lemon in a larger drinking vessel like a shaker cup or larger water bottle. I usually just get a glass and quickly drink the entire glass and then make up the second one to drink a little slower.
Why I drink lemon water first thing in the morning
The reason I start every day with a good dose of lemon water is actually two-fold. The first reason is that it is so important to really hydrate when you wake up. You've been sleeping for 6-8 hours or so and not drinking water, so you wake up dehydrated. Most people (me included back when I was unhealthy) get up and go straight for the coffee pot. I think this is one of the things that was actually making me feel worse. I drank coffee to wake my brain up, but keeping myself dehydrated only made me more sluggish and foggy. When I reinstated my morning ritual of drinking lemon water every morning I notice an immediate difference in my mental clarity and just how my body felt. I mean, think about it. For every single one of our organs to function correctly they all need water. Making sure your body is hydrated actually improves the way your organs are able to work and you will notice the difference.
The second reason is the cleansing properties. I figure that if you start off your morning cleansing your body and all your organ systems, then you are starting off on the right foot. I will still have a cup of coffee after I drink my lemon water and I still feel great, because my body is already hydrated. I will keep drinking water through out the day, but that morning lemon water ritual is my one of my most important health tips. It makes me feel totally different first thing in the morning, which only sets me up for a good, productive and energized day.
Try doing this every morning and see how it effects you. You may not notice anything right away, so give it a few days or a week, but trust me! This is an easy healthy practice to start living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.