Zesty, colourful and unassuming; the humble lemon is a powerhouse when it comes to nutritional benefit and overall wellbeing.
Revered for centuries, this vibrant citrus was originally used as an ornamental plant, before being recognised by the ancient Romans for its ability to stave off scurvy.
Today, it is a readily available kitchen staple, but many are unaware of it potent powers. By simply introducing fresh lemon juice into our daily water intake, we can significantly improve both our short and long term health.
What’s the hype?
You may be amazed to learn that just one cup of fresh lemon juice delivers a potent source of Vitamin C (187% of our recommended daily intake [RDI] in fact), as well as electrolytes including potassium (9% RDI) and folate (8% RDI) among other essential nutrients.
Because our bodies don’t create Vitamin C on their own, this tasty boost is as important as it is powerful.
Enjoy fresh lemon water about half an hour before breakfast; this will kick start the body for the day and help you to absorb the nutrients from your first meal, while also allowing you to wash away any remaining acids when you brush your teeth. To give your teeth some additional protection, sip through a straw.
Lemon water benefits:
- Aids digestion and detoxification – Lemon juice stimulates bile production due to its similarity to the digestive juices in the stomach. The result is the smooth passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract and the maximum absorption of nutrients from the food we ingest. For the same reason, lemon juice is effective in reducing bloating, and is a great assistant in relieving indigestion and upset stomachs. Lemon water also supercharges the liver’s ability to remove toxins … more so than any other substance. Additionally, as lemon is a mild diuretic, it helps the urinary tract clear itself of unwanted elements.
- Promotes fresh, plumped skin - The antioxidants in Vitamin C protect cells from oxidant damage and deliver a healthy glow, while it also promotes the production of collagen, which is essential in smoothing out fine lines on the face.
- Boosts mood and energy - In today’s world, our homes are filled with positively charged ions and high levels of electromagnetic radiation as a result of the numerous electronics we own and operate. These high levels are not good for our health – they sap energy and contribute to the reduced performance of our body’s natural filtering processes. By delivering negatively charged ions into our digestive system, lemon juice effectively increases energy levels. Additionally, the zesty scent and high potassium content reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
- Supports the immune system - Lemon juice stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are essential for our immune system in fending off colds and flu, while the anti-inflammatory properties relieve throat inflammation and respiratory illness. By encouraging a higher pH level within our body, lemon water helps to fight off disease.
- Aids weight loss - Regularly sipping on lemon water can help us lose pounds! Lemons contain pectin, which makes us feel fuller for longer – helping to prevent cravings and snacking.
- Regulates blood pressure - Daily consumption of lemon juice is estimated to reduce high blood pressure by 10%!
- Protects expectant mothers - The Vitamin C in lemon makes it act as an adaptogen, which allows pregnant women to cope with various viruses. It can also help the bone tissue formation of unborn babies.
Selecting and preparing your produce
- When choosing lemons, select organic wherever possible and look for fruit that is thin-skinned (it will be juicier) and entirely yellow (to ensure it is ripe).
- Store lemons in a sealed plastic bag to maintain freshness.
- One easy way to prepare lemons is to juice in bulk and freeze into ice cubes. Then, simply drop the equivalent of half a cup’s worth into room temperature water and enjoy.