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Ladies and Gentlemen, one of my health secrets revealed. Lemon Water.
OK, it’s not that big of a secret but I swear by it. If you know me, you’ve heard me say it over and over again “are you drinking your lemon water in the morning?” Seriously, ask my friends. Ask my clients. Ask the people at my gym. Ask the woman at the grocery store.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
A glass of lemon juice contains fewer than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fiber. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties and contains traces of iron and vitamin A. What more could you ask for? A lot.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
- Aids Digestion: This is my #1 reason for drinking lemon water. Upon waking, instead of grabbing a coffee try having a warm glass of lemon water first. The atomic composition of lemon juice is similar to the amylase (saliva) and hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. Having it first thing in the morning wakes up your digestive system, loosens ama (Ayurvedic for toxic residue) in the digestive tract, flushes out the unwanted toxins and encourages bile production after a nice night of sleepy detox. Lemon juice will also help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating.
- Boosts Immune System: Lemon water is loaded with vitamin C which is an electron donor, and this awesome property accounts for all of its known functions. As an electron donor, vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant in humans helping to protect our immune system from deficiencies and the adverse effects of toxins and harmful free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms like mild bronchial issues, and reducing the amount of phlegm your body produces. Vitamin C also increases iron absorption which plays an important role in immune function. Lemon water also contains saponins which show anti-microbial properties that are credited with preventing the common cold and flu.
- Supports Central Nervous System and Heart: Lemon water is high in potassium which improves brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure by stimulating the functions of the entire Central Nervous System (CNS) by nourishing brain and nerve cells. The potassium content also keeps all cardiac problems at bay by diminishing mental stress and relaxing the heart muscles. It boosts the formation of blood cells, regulates blood pressure and supports your heart and blood vessels known to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Clears Skin: The antioxidants present in lemon water helps to decrease wrinkles and blemishes and combats free radical damage. Since lemon water helps flush toxins out of your body and blood it works to provide a healthy glowing skin healing your skin blemishes from the inside out. Lemon water is alkaline in nature and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that kill some types of bacteria known to cause acne. The citric acid in lemon juice gradually fades spots, acne scars and evens out your skin tone while getting rid of that pesky oily skin.
TIP: Slice open a lemon and rub it across your face to help with acne and removing blemishes! If you are a crazy over-achiever add a few drops of honey to a lemon half before applying it directly to the area where you have blackheads and wait five to 10 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
- Boosts Energy: The energy we welcome from food comes from the atoms and molecules it is made up of. Citric acid in lemon is highly electrically active and a reaction occurs when these positively charged ions enter the digestive tract and interact with the negatively charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negatively charged ions, providing our bodies with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. When we mix the lemon with pure water the water acts as a conductor to deliver electrolytes directly to your cells boosting cell energy and nourishing your adrenals for a clean energy output that sustains you throughout the day. Many say that they drop their 3pm coffee when they begin to habitually drink lemon water in the morning. Coffee is dehydrating and stresses your adrenals creating a temporary energy that drains and depletes your body’s energy reserves. Maybe this is what you need to kick that coffee habit?
- Mood Lifting: The soft, sweet scent of linalool, a substance found in lemons has mood enhancing qualities that turn down the classic “flight-or-fight” stress response within us helping to reduce anxiety, depression and clearing one’s mind.
- Balances pH levels: Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for our bodies. I know, you think they are acidic but once the citric acid metabolizes inside the body it becomes alkaline. Both the citric and ascorbic acid in lemons are a weak acid that is easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Disease occurs when the bodies pH is acidic. Symptoms of “acidosis” can range anywhere from achy joints, stiffness, insomnia, and depression to chronic disorders and major disease. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to neutralize the body and maintain a proper pH balance within the tissues and organs.
- Cleanses Your System: The citric acid in lemons maximizes enzyme function stimulating the liver and aiding detoxification. Lemon water is a natural diuretic, which means it increases the rate of urination, which is highly important for maintaining the health of your urinary tract and entire renal system. As lemon water promotes the elimination of toxins and other waste materials from the internal system it can easily help promote overall health and well being. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements and remove toxins.
- Hydrates Your Lymphatic System: Your lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and is responsible for carrying lymph, a clear fluid, toward your heart. It also filters disease-causing organisms, distributes fluids and nutrients, aids the immune system in destroying pathogens, removes waste, debris and cancer cells from your body (just to name a few). Hydrating your lymphatic system combats the effects of dehydration like feeling tired and sluggish, having a weakened immune function, constipation, chronic lack of energy, low/high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of mental clarity and feelings of stress and anxiety. Warm lemon water supports the immune system by eliminating toxins, hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body and replenishes body salts, especially after a strenuous workout.
- Aids Weight Loss: Lemons contain pectin fiber which assists in fighting hunger cravings and satiating your appetite helping you lose weight the natural way.
I bet you’d like to make your own warm lemon water to start your day? It’s easy!
The Basic Lemon Drink
Squeeze 1 half a lemon (preferably organic) into a few ounces of room-temperature (or warm) purified water. Enjoy! Remember, cold water actually slows down digestion.
Pretty simple, right? Right! If you want to get a little more fancy!
The Morning Cocktail
Add the juice of one lemon to 4 oz of warm water with a pinch of Celtic or Pink Sea Salt (you can also add a tiny dash of sugar) for a morning cocktail made for a champ!
The sea salt helps with hydrochloric acid production, balances your electrolytes and provides a gentle boost to the adrenals.
The Afternoon Tea
Another option is to make a delicious lemon ginger tea.
Heat your water to hot and add the juice of one lemon with a few pieces of grated ginger, and a dollop of raw honey.
This lemon ginger tea is a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon and soothes your digestive system.
The Soothing Throat Drink
Lemon is great for a sore throat.
Boil some water, add lemon, manuka honey and1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
You’re throat will thank you!
Tagged with: I'm a Nutritionist and I want to lose 20 lbs
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In January 2013 I realized I needed to do something to improve my health. I spent 2012 on maternity leave and often neglected taking care of my own health (sleepless nights and caring for a tiny human will do that!). Not to mention the many years before that where health was at the bottom of my list of priorities. Luckily, I discovered Lisa's 30 day green smoothie challenge. The recipes were incredible and a green smoothie drinker was born! But I didn't stop there. Starting each day in such a healthy way led me to consult with a naturopath (it would have been Lisa if we were in the same city), do an elimination diet, and discover that I have sensitivities to wheat and milk. I changed to a whole foods-based diet (most of the time) and took up running. In the span of 8.5 months I went from being tired and sluggish on the couch (literally - I could run for one minute at a time before having to walk) to having enough energy to run the Detroit International Half Marathon. I actually RAN the whole thing! And I lost almost 60lbs along the way! Thank you, Lisa, for being my catalyst. Your challenge kept me interested in a new way of living and saved me! I continue to drink a green smoothie every day for breakfast. What a wonderful way to start each day!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Imogen Meloche Windsor, Ontario