Lemon Water, the Best Superfood

pic lemon

Move over kale (and watercress…), there’s a new superfood in town. Lemon juice in lukewarm water happens to be one of the very best things you can put in your body.

I first learned about this through my research on digestion and gut problems. I was amazed and relieved that there was something I could actually do to help certain tricky gut issues (more on this below).  But I went on to discovered that there are many other benefits to drinking lemon water beside gut health.

Benefits of lukewarm water with lemon juice include:

  • Vitamins and Minerals
    • Lemons have Vitamin C, many B vitamins, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Fiber
  • Weight loss and craving control
    • The fiber in lemon is pectin and it has been shown to reduce hunger cravings, possibly helping with weight loss.
  • Bad Breath
    • The acid in lemon helps kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath.
  • Better younger skin
    • This is possibly a stretch but has been reported. The likely explanation is that the Vitamin C helps with collagen which can keep skin younger, tighter and less wrinkled.
  • While lemon is acidic, it helps keep your body/blood alkaline (at a healthier pH level).
    • Removing uric acid from your joints
    • Reducing inflammation all over the body
    • Preventing UTIs and Kidney stones from forming
  • Caffeine substitute.
    • Warm lemon water in the morning has also been shown to be a stimulant. But a healthier one than dehydrating caffeine!
  • Hydrating.
    • Obviously it is the water, not the lemon per se, that will be hydrating you. But it is still very important and a wonderful benefit of drinking lemon water.
  • Gut health and Digestive Benefits:
    • Helps relieve constipation: warm lemon water in the morning gets things moving along
    • Increases stomach acid. Too little stomach acid comes with a lot of problems. Without it, food doesn’t break down properly so it can’t be digested and absorbed. This can lead to food sensitivities as well as indigestion and malnutrition. Also, we need a certain amount of stomach acid to kill the bad bacteria that enter our system via our food. This isn’t just our best line of defense against food poisoning, it is an essential part of keeping the gut flora in balance.
    • Increases bile production so we can properly digest and absorb fat and fat-soluable vitamins.
    • It loosens biofilms. What? Well, the bad bacteria are very crafty, forming little films around themselves, attaching to our gut lining. This poses an obstacle to antibiotics, good bacteria and other methods of trying to kill them. Lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) actually helps remove these films so the bad bacteria underneath get exposed and removed from the lining, thereby allowing healing to take place.

Need any more convincing? Even my skeptic husband decided to try it!

Lemon water can benefit anyone. But for those with digestive problems (or a tendency for kidney stones), it is a miracle drug. I should mention one possible side effect-the acid can be hard on your tooth enamel.  To ensure no damage-you could drink it through a straw! There are also special toothpastes to use to strengthen your enamel. Another very effective trick is to rinse your mouth out with water (or better yet water with baking soda) after drinking your tall glass of lemon water. Important: do not brush your teeth for a half hour after drinking the lemon water. Rinse with water and then wait. This is due to the acid making your enamel soft. The toothbrush and paste can be rough on the soft enamel.

The best way to get all these benefits is to squeeze lemon into warm water, drink it first thing in the morning and not eat for 15 minutes. The way to maximize all the digestive benefits is to do this before each meal. The way to maximize most of the other benefits too is to do this throughout the day!

A half of a lemon a day is recommended if you weigh less than 150 pounds, a whole lemon if you are over 150 pounds.

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Image courtesy of voraorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net