Lemons have always been cherished for their significant medicinal qualities. The ancient people of India, China, and Mesopotamia regularly used lemons to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, while the ancient Egyptians took advantage of the fruit’s antiseptic qualities and embalmed their mummies in its juices. Later, in 15th century Europe, lemons were recognized as the perfect cure for scurvy.
Despite their healthfulness, however, most people today have no desire to eat whole lemons due to their extreme sourness. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to incorporate lemons into our diet without having to tolerate the entire fruit’s overbearing taste. One of the easiest and most popular ways to do this is to drink a glass of warm, purified water containing a few teaspoons of lemon juice, ideally first thing in the morning. As this article will show, the benefits of such a simple and inexpensive tonic will considerably exceed most people’s expectations.
Cleanses and Detoxifies the System
Lemon water is packed with an antioxidant called d-Limonene, which is known to have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body. For example, research published in the journal Alternative Medicine Review noted that d-Limonene could help “dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones” and, due to its gastric acid neutralizing effect, could be “used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).” Moreover, d-Limonene is known to activate enzymes in the liver that can accelerate the organ’s detoxification process.
Lemon juice shares a similar atomic composition to our digestive juices, making lemon water a fantastic aid to our digestive system. Aside from encouraging the liver to create more bile, the bitter-tasting fluid that aids the digestion of lipids in the small intestine, lemon water can also relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating and heartburn. The American Cancer Society even recommends lemon water for patients suffering from constipation.
Lemons are famous for their rich concentrations of vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that plays an important role in maintaining immunity. According to a German study entitled “Vitamin C and immune function,” certain cells of the immune system, such as phagocytes and T cells, need vitamin C to perform their tasks. The study author also noted that “a vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens whilst a higher supply enhances several immune system parameters.” For this reason, drinking lemon water is a fantastic way to decrease our susceptibility to illness.
The vitamin C in lemon water also plays an important role in the production of collagen, the main structural protein of our connective tissues. This fact makes lemon water an excellent natural tonic for our skin. It can help improve skin tightness and decrease wrinkles, clear skin blemishes from the inside out and, due to its alkaline nature (after it enters our body), also helps kill some of the bacteria responsible for acne.
Other benefits attributed to the long-term consumption of lemon water include improved mood and energy levels, fresher breath, balanced pH levels, and superior hydration. Lemon water is also high in a soluble dietary fiber called pectin, which can help tackle hunger cravings and contribute to weight loss.