You may be familiar with lemons, but do you know the amazing health benefits of this versatile citrus fruit? You’ve probably heard about it but maybe haven’t tried it yet. Lemon water is all you have heard of and even more!
What’s Special About Lemons?
First off, lemon is a popular flavoring ingredient in a lot of recipes, deodorants, and perfumes because of its refreshing scent and strong flavor.
Different cultures use it as an aside or major ingredient in teas, cocktails, beers, ciders and juice mixes. This flavored fruit is widely used in beverages, salad dressings, desserts, ice creams, and a range of meat and vegetable dishes.
The beautiful thing is, it not only smells and tastes good, it has a lot of health benefits. Being a citrus fruit, one can expect it to be rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties which in we’ll explore later.
Packed with a lot of rich health benefits, fresh lemon juice mixed with clean water gives you that super health tonic —lemon water.
Lemon Vs Lime: Which is Best?
There is this debate between lemon and lime, which is better and offers more health benefits. Being in the same family of citrus fruits, lime and lemon have a similar composition, flavor and even physical appearance. Some people even think of these two fruits as interchangeable. However, there are a number of differences between them.
While lime is slightly more acidic with a pH range of between 2.00 and 2.35, lemon has a pH range of between 2.00 and 2.60. When it comes to vitamin C level, lemon has a higher vitamin C content (53mg) compared to lime (23mg).
Generally, lime contains more carbohydrates than lemon but lemon has slightly more proteins. Lemon also has a higher concentration of citric acid and is richer in phytochemicals, tannins, and polyphenolic compounds.
Lemon Water Benefits:
Let’s explore 9 amazing health benefits of lemon water supported by expert nutritionists:
#1 Boost Immune System
The human immune system can become prone to attacks and infectious diseases if there is an insufficient supply of critical vitamins. Consuming lemon water, which is rich in vitamin C can improve one’s immunity levels.
Lemon water contains flavonoids from lemon which have known antioxidant properties that appear to help protect your cells from damage.
#2 Promotes Healthy and Rejuvenated Skin
We all know the immense impact water can have on our skin–whether we drink it or use it to moisturize its surface. Interestingly, a little bit of lemon in water can accentuate those benefits even further. Experts recommend that we drink no less than eight glasses of water a day to eliminate toxins on our skin and keep it hydrated.
Experts at the American Society for Clinical Nutrition have found that people who consumed more vitamin C have less risk of wrinkled and dry skin. Lemon water which is rich in vitamin C may help reduce skin wrinkling, dehydration, and aging.
Lemon water is also popularly recommended in the treatment of a range of skin problems including acne, skin rashes, wrinkles and dark spots.
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#3 Improves Digestion
Although there is no scientific evidence to support lemon water’s detoxifying effects on the digestive system, it does have known laxative effects. Lemon water can also prevent constipation and aids bowel movement.
Lemon juice, when taken with warm water helps with digestion. This explains why lemon water can help with regulating natural bowel movement.
#4 Prevents Kidney Stones and Detoxifies Liver
What we eat and drink, a lot of times has the potential to lead to the accumulation of toxins in the liver and kidneys. These could lead to conditions such as kidney stones and liver infractions.
In treating kidney stones caused by an accumulation of calcium oxalate, experts usually deploy a substance known as citrate. This usually involves increasing the amount of citrate in urine. Increasing citrate in urine prevents calcium from binding with other compounds thus preventing the formation of kidney stones.
Lemon water which is rich in citrate has been shown by researchers to be effective in treating kidney stones. Alternative treatment experts find lemon water an effective complementary therapy for kidney stones.
Lemon juice is also very effective at cleansing the liver as it promotes the liver to flush out toxins.
#5 Aids Weight Loss
In losing weight, nutrition experts usually recommend consuming foods, drinks, and fruits that can increase digestion and metabolic rate.
Lemon juice, when mixed with warm water can serve as a speedy weight loss promoter as it improves digestion and increases the metabolic rate.
#6 Freshens Breath
There are many natural and healthy ways to promote fresh breath. Some of these ways include chewing fruits and herbs that have certain properties and flavors.
Also, drinking fruit juices or fruit-water mixes of these fruits and herbs can also be very good for your teeth and overall breath.
Lemon juice with warm water is also good for your dental health as it helps with toothache and prevents gingivitis. Lemon which has a very strong flavor is known to neutralize smells and remove bad odors.
Drinking a glass of lemon water after meals and first thing in the morning can freshen your breath and keep your mouth healthy. Lemon –which is said to stimulate saliva production; combined with water–which hydrates your mouth; both prevent bad breath caused by bacteria which thrive in dry mouths.
#7 Antibacterial and Antiviral properties
Lemon juice, with its powerful antibacterial properties, can help fight infections. It’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it a vital ingredient in cleaning and washing agents as well as sterilization liquids.
Studies have shown that lemon fruit has strong antioxidant, antimicrobial and perhaps antiviral properties. This can be a plausible explanation for the increasing use of lemon in antibacterial solutions, cleaners, soaps, handwashes, creams and other cosmetics.
Looks like a very strong reason why lemon is becoming a more and more popular health-promoting fruit.
#8 Relieves Nasal Congestion and Inflammation
Lemon is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help in fighting respiratory tract infections, sore throat, and inflammation of the tonsils.
While some recommend drinking just the juice or with water, others think that the peels and leaves too possess anti-inflammatory properties and can clear the airways.
Recommended Reading: Surprising Health Benefits Of Red Wine You Probably Never Knew
There is some controversy and opinions differ on whether or not lemon water does have anticancer properties. However, there is scientific evidence that suggests that lemon might have tumor-suppressing properties.
Researchers found that some substances found in lemon fruit known as coumarins possess abilities to inhibit tumor promotion. They also found that these substances inhibit superoxide and nitric oxide generation, important tumor markers.
Also, some other reports suggest that lemon intake is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer.
Precautions With Lemon
Overall, lemon water does have a lot of amazing health benefits, it makes perfect sense to make it a regular part of your daily intake.
A few precautions to observe when taking lemon:
- consume moderate amounts of lemon water daily
- keep the ratio of lemon to water at no more than 1:5 parts
- drink lemon water with a straw, avoid much contact with your teeth to avoid enamel erosion
Best Time to Drink Lemon Water?
Depending on the reason why you are drinking lemon water, different times of the day best serve your purpose. Generally, these are the most ideal times to take your lemon and water tonic:
- First thing in the morning
- Before a workout session
- After a meal
- Before bedtime