Many people enjoy adding citrus fruits like lemon to their iced tea, but many have heard that adding lemon to plain water can offer some surprising benefits. Lemon-infused water is growing more and more popular, especially within the alternative health community. While lemons are valuable fruits nutritiously and water has amazing properties, some lemon water claims are exaggerated. Others are just flat-out false. However, drinking lemon water can still offer valuable health benefits. Here are 10 legitimate health benefits of lemon water.
Cut Down on Sugar Intake
Replacing just one daily soft drink with water flavored with half of a lemon saves you 38 grams of dietary sugar and over 130 calories. The lemon water contains about eight calories and less than one gram of dietary sugar while 10 ounces of apple juice is worth roughly 34 grams of sugar and nearly 150 calories. Choosing lemon water once a day can help you maintain a healthy weight. It can also help decrease blood sugar fluctuation and reduce your risk for future health problems like diabetes.
Increase Intake of Vitamin C
Water-soluble vitamin C is not a nutrient that your body can make or store in any way, but it’s so important to good health. A key factor in the growth and repair of cells, vitamin C maintains teeth, bone, cartilage, and muscle tissues while giving your immune system a real boost. It helps immensely in the wound healing process, too. Just one glass of water infused with half a lemon provides nearly a third of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Relieve Bad Breath
A mouth rinse of lemon juice and water is a centuries-old cure for bad breath. The stark acidity and antiseptic properties of lemon combat bacterial growth in your mouth. Lemon is an effective agent against sulfuric compounds, as well, with the power to neutralize garlic and onions. More water and better hydration help the mouth clean itself. Improved hydration allows amounts of saliva to circulate through your mouth and remove any food particles that might be hiding in your teeth. This also prevents bacteria from multiplying. Simply drink a glass of lemon water after every meal to keep your breath fresher the whole day through.
Ward off Kidney Stones
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges contain high levels of citrate, a chemical that binds to excess calcium in the urine. With the majority of calcium in the kidneys bound to citrate, crystals can’t form. This essentially lowers the risks for and frequency of kidney stones. In fact, citrus fruit and fruit juices are so effective at limiting the formation of kidney stones, for those prone to their development, that lemonade and citrus juice are recommended for daily intake. Daily lemon water is a great way to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.
Protect Your Liver
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD is a buildup of NAFLD Limonene of fat around the liver. It’s often caused by poor diet and can result in serious liver damage. NAFLD affects one in found adults in the U.S. Lemons contain the compound D, which has shown promise in alleviating this dangerous fatty build-up. The European Journal of Nutrition published a study on rats, proving the effectiveness of lemons. The rats were fed an unhealthy high-fat diet for eight weeks to promote the development of NAFLD. After which, they were given compound D for another four weeks. The extract was shown to help reverse the damage to the liver caused by excess fat.
Anemia is a deficiency in blood iron. Iron helps carry oxygen to all parts of your body and organs. Though heme iron, the kind typically found in meat and fish, is easily absorbed, many still struggle with anemic symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and the constant feeling of being cold. Those at particular risk for this deficiency include women and vegetarians. Vegetarians may be vulnerable because other non-heme sources of iron are not absorbed as easily. The presence of vitamin C greatly increases the absorption rates of the iron found in spinach and broccoli. If you are suffering from iron deficiency or are at risk of becoming anemic, a glass of lemon water with your meals will help you reduce its risk.
The activation of bile acid receptors increases the number of calories you burn. Lemons contain nomilin, a phytonutrient. Nomilin has been shown to activate bile acid receptors in mice. It has even been shown to promote reduced body weight, blood sugar, and insulin levels in treated mice when compared to their counterparts in the control group. A glass of lemon-infused water can go a long way on your journey to weight loss.
Gout, a common ailment most associated with a diet high in alcohol, meat, and seafood, is an excess of uric acid in the body. This excess acid pools in the joints and tissue where it crystalizes and causes damage, pain, and inflammation. As we have already discussed, citrate bonds with calcium to prevent kidney stones. Similarly, calcium citrate chemically reacts with uric acid, breaking down into a simpler compound, avoiding the crystallization that causes the pain. Complementary medical practices include drinking a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice in water after meals to prevent attacks of gout.
Help Prevent Cancer
Limonoids are responsible for the tart, bitterness you taste as you bite into a lemon. They are phytonutrient DNA limonoids with significant antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help manage the harmful free radicals which cause significant damage to the cells. As the damaged cells begin to reproduce, a cancerous tumor can result. Laboratory studies have investigated the effect limonoids had on estrogen-responsive breast cancer cells. The findings of the studies are promising. Eleven were shown to be toxic to these cancerous cells, especially those that are estrogen sensitive.
It Counts Toward Your Eight a Day
Hydration is vital to optimal health and overall wellness. Dehydration can cause a lot of problems whether you were really working out hard or going about a typical day. The headaches, cramps, and lack of focus that come with it can be debilitating and eventually deadly in extreme cases. Re-hydrating is important, but many turn to sugary beverages or beverages loaded with caffeine that doesn’t effectively improve the situation. On the other hand, the 64-100 ounces of plain boring water can be tough to get through in a day, every day. Add a twist of lemon to your water to make it go down easier than plain.