There is definitely more to this unassuming fruit than meets the eye. While most commonly used as a base for salad dressings or to add flavor in cooking and baking, lemons actually have a lot more to offer than their current ‘bit part’ roles allow for.
Rich in potassium, folate, Vitamin B6 and thiamin, lemons also contain bankable amounts of magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A and E.
Their pièce de résistance however, lies in their astonishingly high levels of Vitamin C. One lemon contains a whopping 187% of the recommended daily allowance.
Vitamin C is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your immune system. It helps neutralize free radicals associated with aging and disease and it’s also excellent for the skin.
The challenge though, comes in figuring out how to ingest more of them. Lemons are not exactly the sexiest of fruits are they? Come to think of it, neither are apples or bananas, but then at least they have taste and convenience going for them.
The answer is both surprisingly simple and very refreshing.
Warm water and lemon is a natural energizer. It hydrates and oxygenates the body, leaving it feeling refreshed and revitalized for quite some time. As opposed to coffee, whose effects are short lived.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of drinking warm water and lemon is that it helps to maintain your body in an alkaline state. Interestingly, while lemon juice itself is acidic, it’s actually one of the most alkaline foods available.
The foods that cause an imbalance in our pH levels are the usual ‘low to no nutrition’ suspects —sugar, processed or excessively fatty foods, alcohol, certain meats, etc., so it’s no wonder that cold and flu causing bacteria and viruses thrive in this acidic environment.
A diet overhaul is clearly in order if you fall into the above category, but a good first step is a daily regimen of a cup of warm water and the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning.
Lemon juice is a digestive martial artist too, relieving symptoms such heartburn, belching and bloating in a natural and cost-effective manner, while the citric acid in this mighty fruit stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification by maximizing enzyme function. It’s also a fantastic natural solvent, making short work of the uric acid that causes joint pain and inflammation.
Here’s how I use lemon juice for cleansing every day: Drink the juice of one lemon in one cup of warm water first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach).
Make sure to wait 30 minutes before eating breakfast, as this will ensure your body gets the most energy and nutrients from the food you eat. Use fresh lemons (preferably organic and locally grown) and mineral rich filtered water.
In terms of water temperature, Goldilocks’ approach is key —not too hot, not too cold, but just right. In this case just right is lukewarm. Boiling water will destroy some of the enzymatic properties of fresh lemon, while icy cold water will hinder its digestive benefits.
It might take a little getting used to, but before you know you’ll be looking forward to this refreshing elixir. And even if you find you don’t end up acquiring a taste for it, the health benefits alone will inspire to keep going.