There are so many expensive and complicated cleansing plans on the market that it’s sometimes hard to summon the willpower (and the money!) to start one. But what if I told you that the key to a really effective cleansing drink is already sitting in your fridge?
In today’s post I’ll explain how lemon water can improve your digestive system, help your liver to remove toxins from your body, and provide a host of other benefits too. I’ll also let you know how to make lemon water, the best time of day to drink it, and why you should drink it through a straw to protect your teeth!
1. A stronger digestive system
Lemon water helps your digestive system by breaking down foods and stimulating digestive enzymes. A study in the Medical Journal of Digestive Diseases found that lemon juice improved digestion in patients suffering from hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). It also promotes peristalsis, the process by which your intestines push waste out of your body.
2. A healthier liver
Lemon water opens up and cleanses the bile ducts in your liver. Bile is important because it breaks down fats that might otherwise be stored in your liver. A healthy liver helps to both metabolize fat and transport excess fats out of your body.
3. A rich source of nutrients
Lemon juice contains important minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as lots of vitamin C to support your immune system. It also contains riboflavin (excellent for tissue repair) and lots of vitamin B to give you energy. You might even find that you can give up your morning coffee.
4. Support for your immune system
The vitamin C in your lemon water is not there just to improve your complexion. Studies have shown that vitamin C boosts your immune system and helps you to recover from viruses. Specifically, it enhances the activity of your white blood cells and reduces the inflammatory response to illness. This drink is perfect for flu season and might just keep you healthy!
5. Weight loss
Lemon juice stimulates your digestive system and allows you to process food more quickly (an inefficient digestive system is one reason why many people struggle to lose weight). Lemon juice also has a really low sugar content, even though it is a fruit, so it definitely won’t derail your diet. And it actually contains a substance called D-limonene that may regulate your blood sugar and reduce your systolic blood pressure too!
Making your lemon water
Lemon juice is best consumed with water. Many natural health practitioners claim that you should use warm water as this puts less stress on the body. However, the temperature of the water will change so fast once it’s inside you that it probably does not make a difference. The jury is still out, but if you like your lemon juice with cold water, go for it!
Making your lemon water couldn’t be easier. Just squeeze half a lemon into your glass of water and drink. You can use that other half of the lemon the next day. This cleansing tip is not only healthy, it’s really cheap too.
For a little variety you can try adding some ginger or cayenne, two spices that also support a healthy digestive system. Ginger prevents gas and bloating, while cayenne stimulates your digestive enzymes. To add ginger to your drink, pour boiling water over some chopped ginger and leave for 5 minutes, then add the lemon water and discard the ginger when it has cooled. Adding cayenne is as simple as mixing in a pinch (or two, depending on how spicy you like it!).
Do you have to drink it in the morning?
Most people drink their lemon water in the morning, and there’s a very good reason for that. It stimulates your digestive system ahead of your first meal of the day, and it prepares your liver and kidney for the challenges ahead.
Another point to bear in mind is that the citric acid in lemon juice can be corrosive to your teeth. By drinking your lemon juice first thing in the morning, about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth, you are limiting the amount of time that the lemon juice will be in contact with the enamel. Another useful tip? Drink it with a straw and the lemon juice may not even touch your teeth at all.
If you forget to drink your lemon water in the morning. don’t worry. It still has tremendous health benefits no matter what time of day you drink it. And if you find yourself eating out for lunch or dinner, you can order some lemon water with your meal.
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