Friday, April 29, 2011

Lemon Water

 Today I wanted to share the great health benefits of drinking lemon water

 For as long as I can remember, my morning routine would be: wake up and eat. Some mornings I would skip breakfast and drink coffee instead. This lead to excessive over-eating midday and a general feeling of awfulness.

 These days, after learning and experiencing the health benefits of drinking lemon water, I have taken a different approach. I read that it is best to give your body, mainly your digestive system, time to wake up in the morning. This means you wake up and drink some lemon water, and then an hour or so later eat breakfast. Doing this, I have felt much, much better and have also been able to break my coffee addiction. Of course, I also attribute wheatgrass to being able to break my coffee addiction, but don't get me started on wheatgrass or we'll be here all day :)

 Drinking warm lemon water in the morning is so relaxing and really gets my day started right. I heat a coffee mug full of water up for about 30 to 60 seconds (you just want it lukewarm to warm) and squeeze half a fresh lemon into it.

I buy lemons by the bag and keep them in my fruit bowl so they are room temp and easy to grab. Sip on the lemon water and feel the benefits immediately. It will help wake you up, and it definitely wakes up your digestive system! You will probably, (and by probably I mean most definitely) go to the bathroom, and now you have an empty system to put good, clean food in, instead of piling new food on top of old food that never had a chance to eliminate itself.

 Lemons are good for you. In his book Back to Eden, author Jethro Kloss writes:
"The medicinal value of the lemon is as follows: It is an antiseptic, or an agent that prevents sepsis or decomposition of tissue. It is an anti-scorbutic, meaning a remedy which will prevent disease and assist in cleaning the system of impurities...Because it is so good for the digestive system, lemon juice heals symptoms of indigestion such as heart burn, bloating and belching. The bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently."

 It's also amazing how a simple little fruit like a lemon can be so effective in helping the body regulate it's metabolism and sugar absorption in a manner that helps you lose extra weight. Lemons are rich are citric acid, so when you take a glass of lemon juice in plain warm water first thing in the morning, you introduce natural healthy enzymes into your digestive aids into your stomach.

 The best way to drink lemon water is one full lemon each day. Half a squeezed lemon in the morning and half in the evening. Mix with 4 to 8 oz of purified water.

 From an online site, the top 10 benefits of lemons are as follows:

  1. Purification of blood
  2. Maintenance of digestive system
  3. Prevention and cure from allergies and infections
  4. Detox in the body
  5. Strengthening of liver function
  6. Useful in urinary tract problems
  7. Killer of obesity
  8. Best skin care
  9. Natural hair conditioner
  10. Stops bleeding gums
So some of these might not necessarily benefit me right now, such as bleeding gums or obesity, however, I have noticed an immediate response in my digestive system and allergies! Let me tell you a quick story:
 When I moved to North Carolina last spring I had the worst allergies of my life. I have never been one to have allergies. Sometimes in Ohio I would pop a claritin or something if I needed it. However, upon moving here my eyes were watering, I couldn't stop sneezing, I ran a low grade fever, and I couldn't breathe through my nose. For the first seven days I was on the couch, moaning and crying to The Boyfriend. I thought it was a cold but it lasted, and lasted. It lasted for what seemed like the entire Spring! That's when I realized it wasn't a never-ending cold, it was allergies! The Boyfriend felt somewhat bad for me at first but then he developed the same allergies too! I spoke to a friend who was also new to North Carolina and he advised me to stay inside and wait it out. He said it happens every spring and every fall and there's "nothing" we can do about it except stay in the air conditioning and suffer. Sure enough when fall came around, it happened again. It presents like a mild cold but is more annoying than anything. Malaise, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and throat, etc. I couldn't drink any beverages because I was taking allergy meds, and I was either hopped up on pseudaphed or knocked out on benadryl!

The good news is, this spring I have been drinking lemon water and taking my wheatgrass pills (two things which help eliminate allergies altogether) and I have not had one single day of itchy eyes or sneezing. Unbelievable! My car was covered in pollen when I went to work yesterday, and it didn't affect me at all. Everyone else I know is popping pills and suffering from springtime allergies and I am not feeling it at all.

The second thing I noticed immediately was the digestive system benefits. I will spare you the details because we all know that nurses can talk about bowel movements all day and not think anything of it, but apparently it freaks some people out. Bottom line: if you drink lemon water, you will go. Did you know you carry up to 30 pounds of waste in your body? That's 30 pounds of feces. Hello, gross! No wonder we are the leading country in colon cancer! Thirty pounds of old dukie just sitting there and rotting (literally). Drink lemon water and lose that 30 pounds. Promise.

I know change is a process and of course you aren't going to wake up tomorrow (or maybe you are) and kick your caffeine habit, down a cupful of lemon juice, and take wheatgrass pills all in the same morning, but every little positive change helps. I used to be just like the average person, "needing" coffee to wake up in the morning, dragging myself through the drive-through at McDonalds on the way to work, and hating myself and my body.
 You don't have to live this way. You can take control of your life and change what you put into your body. Sometimes drinking coffee is more out of habit than anything else. A warm cup of lemon water takes the place of the "habit" of drinking something warm at that early time in the morning. Except, the benefits are so good for you, and you won't be jacked up on caffeine!

Bottoms up! 


Kate Kedziora said...

love this post! i love drinking lemon water in the morning, just not as much as my coffee :) What kind of wheat grass capsules do you take?

Lauren said...

Wow, thank you so much for all of this info! I tend to forget about lemons and I never knew all of their health benefits!

I have never tried lemon water but now I want to.

Have a great weekend!

Allison @ Food For Healing said...

i love drinking lemon water! I have 2 lemons waiting to be squeezed

SuzyEats said...

great info michele. i love lemons!!! am definitely going to always add them to my water.

Anonymous said...

lemon water its like a lemonade but without sugar? or its more like a lemon tea?

nice blog :)

The Preppy Vegan said...

1) Awesome, awesome, AWESOME POST

I drink lemon water throughout the day at school (I'm a teacher), and find it keeps me so much more energized than those nasty Diet Cokes I used to drink. Growing up, my parents always had chopped up lemon or lime in a bowl to put in our water. They did it for the taste, but it's amazing what it does for your body!

My friend is a natural healer down in Charleston and is all about this new "alkaline water" that's the craze in health food stores and whatnot. Apparently it puts the acid/alkaline ratio of your body back into balance. Unfortunately, it's also like $2.50 a gallon. But guess what is a natural "alkanizer" (is that a word?)...lemon!

2) Yes, I live in Charlotte, and I'm so excited you do too! I'm in a group of food bloggers here (many of whom are vegan/vegetarian) so you'll have to come to one of our (informal) gatherings! So glad to have "met" you!

cakewhiz said...

great post! i forget to drink lemon water every day but i make sure to carry it with me if i go on hikes and field much better than regular water!

Maria said...

Hello Michele. Great to hear that lemon water and wheat grass eliminated your allergies. Mine got stronger 2 years ago so this is GREAT news for me. =)

I started taking Revv wheat grass supplements when I started my internship. I actually found your blog from internship research. So I'm gaining experience and learning at the same time. =)

Would you mind if I quote you about your hair from wheat grass? I mostly find results about hair color and regrowth. However, I did just find a common protein in hair, skin, and nails.

Michele said...

Go ahead Maria, you can quote away! I actually just made a hair appointment today to get my hair cut AGAIN, it is growing so fast :)

Allysia said...

I love lemon! A couple of years ago I started buying fresh lemons instead of that bottled stuff on supermarket shelves and honestly, once you get used to fresh lemon you can't go back! Sauces, dressings, drinks...lemons are awesomesauce.

Also I was reading your FAQ and I wanted to mention how awesome it is that your boyfriend is vegan/supportive. It makes such a huge difference. I don't know how people do it, given that veganism is typically something that comes from the core of your value system.

Earthlings is a crazy movie. And I'm of the opinion that it should be mandatory viewing for meat eaters!

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