Fabulous news! There’s a scientifically proven diet trend that won’t break your budget, force you to eat disgusting foods or make you give up foods you like.
Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass in the morning, fill the glass the rest of the way with warm water and drink up. Throughout the day, feel free to spritz more lemon juice into your water as a yummy and healthy alternative to sodas and energy drinks. It really is that easy, and nutritionists say that it can bring you numerous health benefits.
According to nutritionist Keri Glassman, an excellent side benefit of lemon water is that it encourages you to stay hydrated. The spritz of lemon makes the water tastier and encourages you to reach for it throughout the day. This may sound minor, but it isn’t. Proper hydration regulates your temperature, lubricates your joints, protects your spinal cord and helps you flush waste out of your system, part of the vaunted “detox” benefits of lemon water. It also helps your heart by increasing the fluidity of your blood, making it easier for your heart to pump it through your system.
If you have trouble drinking enough water during the day, the extra hydration alone is worth the spritz of lemon; it makes your water more flavorful without adding extra calories. However, lemon water isn’t just a dressed-up way to add more water to your diet. The lemon juice itself has some marvelous health properties.
A single lemon provides 51 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. According to the University of Maryland, vitamin C has an incredible array of health benefits. It helps your body grow and repair tissues, heal wounds and maintains strong teeth and bones; calcium isn’t the only thing that your bones need. Some studies have indicated that vitamin C reduces your chances of osteoarthritis because it increases your body’s levels of collagen, which is a key component of cartilage.
In addition to its many other marvelous health properties, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants have been making the rounds in health circles for years because of their ability to combat free radicals, the DNA-destroying agents in your body that lead to deterioration and aging. Antioxidants may not be a literal fountain of youth, but they’re the closest natural equivalent we have at this point. People who eat a diet rich in antioxidants are also less likely to have high blood pressure or to experience macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
As mentioned, part of lemon water’s appeal comes from the ability of water to flush wastes out of your system more quickly. However, water isn’t the only thing working to cleanse your body. The citric acid in lemons can help to break up calcium formations in your body, such as kidney stones. This lets your body cleanse itself of kidney stones even before they start to form, and can help break the stones down once they’ve already started forming.
According to nutritionist Dana James, lemon water aids digestion because of the bitter taste of lemons. The flavor increases your body’s production of bile, a process that sounds unappealing but helps your body break down fats. Some studies indicate that increasing your bile flow can reduce your risks for all sorts of diseases, including diabetes, inflammatory bowel syndrome and even Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, patients with psoriasis who were treated with bile salts were nearly four times as likely to recover as other patients in a controlled group. Of course, drinking lemon water isn’t going to increase your bile flow nearly as much as taking bile salts would, but it certainly won’t hurt.