For the last few years adding fresh sliced lemon to warm water has become my favourite way to add flavour to water, especially since kicking my habit of drinking squash including the sugar free versions which are still full of artificial sweeteners. Drinking lemon and water, especially first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is a great ritual to install as it has so many health benefits. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, an important micronutrient and antioxidant for immunity, cell repair and detoxification.
Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon and Water:
Immune Boosting: Lemons are packed with vitamin C, a micronutrient which has fantastic immune boosting effects that helps support the body to fight infection. Also by stimulating hydrochloric acid in the stomach this helps kill off any harmful bacteria that may have been ingested.
Detoxifying: Your liver is detoxifying your body 24/7. Vitamin C and hydration help support good liver function by increasing liver enzyme production, many of which are involved in the detoxification process. Lemon and water is the perfect hydrating tonic.
Improves Digestion: By stimulating the release of hydrochloric acid (HCl), lemon juice helps with digestion. HCl stimulates the release of pepsinogen in the stomach, which converts to pepsin on secretion, an enzyme needed for protein digestion.
Increases Bile: Bile secretion is stimulated which assists with the removal of waste products from the liver, in addition to food digestion.
Reduces Bloating: Proper hydration is essential for good digestion, especially if increasing your fibre intake. The benefits of lemon water with improving digestion also help to reduce bloating. Fresh ginger makes a great addition too.
Prevents Constipation: Staying hydrated is important to promote regular bowel movements. Lemon juice stimulates the digestive fire, which in turn encourages the elimination of toxins and waste products through the bowel. A fibre rich diet (found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes) provides roughage but if the body’s dehydrated fibre can lead to constipation instead of preventing it.
Alkalising: Despite this citrus fruit being an acidic food, in the body lemon juice actually has an alkalising effect. This helps to reduce inflammation in the body and so can be beneficial with reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, pain as well as reducing calcium losses in the urine.
Skin Cleansing: Drinking plenty of lemon water keeps the skin hydrated and vitamin C helps maintain the skins structure as it is needed for collagen formation. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties also prevent premature aging by protecting the body against the harmful effects of free radicals.
We need to drink 1.5 to 3 litres of non-caffeinated, sugar free fluids a day. Drinking lemon and water is a great way to add flavour to water with extra nourishing benefits. Add fresh sliced lemon to cups of warm water throughout the day, infuse a jug of water with lemon slices overnight or try squeezing the juice of half a lemon into one cup of water first thing in the morning before breakfast.
Have you tried lemon and water as your morning kick start? What’s your favourite way to stay hydrated throughout the day?