Lemon Water – A Morning Tonic?
I can’t remember exactly when I decided to start drinking lemon water every morning, but I’m happy that I did. Most likely I was following the advice of a well-respected person in the world of integrative health and their argument must have been strong enough to convince me to try it. For some, my morning tonic of lemon water might seem like a quirky idiosyncrasy or an outlandish convention, but after having experienced cancer, I’ve noticed that I’m not fazed or embarrassed about what other people might think of a regimen or protocol I’ve chosen to follow. I’ll bet that the clerks at Trader Joe’s even silently question, “What in the world does this woman do with all of these organic lemons?” So on that note, let me share some of the top reasons why I’ve incorporated this morning tonic into my day.
- Boosts the Immune System. Lemons are packed full of Vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds and combating stress. They contain saponins, which have antimicrobial properties and lemon juice also reduces phlegm production by the body. Lemons are high in potassium which helps to control blood pressure and it stimulates brain and nerve function.
- Aids Digestion. Lemon encourages the liver to produce quality bile which is required for digestion. Additionally, the vitamin C in fresh lemon juice helps the liver to produce the compound called glutathione, which aids in cleansing and regenerating the liver. Glutathione is a molecule that is produced naturally in our body and is our body’s most extraordinary antioxidant!! The digestive qualities of lemon juice can also help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society recommends warm lemon water to help stimulate bowel movements.
- Cleanses Your System. The vitamins and minerals contained in lemons, help to loosen toxins from the body thereby flushing unwanted materials from the digestive tract. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification.
- Balances pH Levels. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. On their own they’re acidic, but both citric acid and ascorbic acid are weak acids that are easily metabolized by the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Regular consumption of lemon water can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.
- Promotes Healing. The ascorbic acid or vitamin C found in lemons promotes healing and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.
- Energizes and Enhances Mood. A reaction occurs in the body when the positive charged ions contained in our food, interact with the negative charged enzymes in our gut. Lemons are one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, thus providing our body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. As an added bonus, the scent of lemon alone has the ability to brighten our mood and can assist in reducing anxiety and depression.
- Freshens Breath. Not only do lemons aid in fresher breath they have been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. It is however important to note that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so always consume lemon juice diluted in water or tea. You can also rinse your mouth with fresh water after drinking lemon water as an additional precaution. Do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water as this can potentiate the effects of the citric acid on your tooth enamel. Wait at least 30-40 minutes before brushing.
Upon rising, and before you consume anything else, drink an 8-10 ounce glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice. The purpose of this drink is to cleanse your liver and to stimulate your metabolism into action.
To prepare this morning tonic, add the juice of ½ a fresh lemon to eight ounces of room temperature or slightly warmed water. Do not use boiling water, as the vitamin C is destroyed by high temperatures. Do not use bottled lemon juice as it contains a preservative which defeats the purpose of this cleansing water.
To save time on squeezing lemons daily, you may freeze a batch by squeezing enough lemon juice to fill an ice cube tray. Each morning you can put your “lemon juice cube” into your water and allow it to melt. Note: You probably only need to fill each slot approximately ½ way to get the appropriate amount.
I hope after reading this you’re inspired to add this morning tonic to your daily regimen too!!
Always wishing you improved health, Diane