It’s not uncommon to hear of individuals waking up in the morning and immediately downing a glass of lemon water instead of the more typical tea or coffee, and it’s quite common to have it offered up at restaurants at the beginning of a meal.
Lemons are a tasty and versatile treat, but do they really offer us any benefits when added to a glass of water?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there point to lemon water offering up some real beneficial effects.
Lemon water has not gotten much attention from the scientific community, but there is plenty of research on the benefits of water and lemons on their own.
Health Benefits of Lemon Water
For more information on what benefits may be attained from drinking lemon water, start reading now.
1. Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Lemons are an excellent natural source of vitamin C, which is one of the main antioxidants that aids in protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
Though research studies have had conflicting results, there is a lot of talk about vitamin C being able to limit the duration or even prevent the common cold.
The vitamin C found in lemons may have the ability to lower blood pressure, which can potentially minimize an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease or having a stroke.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one lemon contains enough juice to provide an individual with 18.6 milligrams of this beneficial vitamin, which is roughly one-third of the daily recommended value.
Another stand out benefit of vitamin C found in lemons, though not so much an issue these days, is its ability to prevent scurvy.
Scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C, was once much more common. It weakened the connected tissues in individuals afflicted with it which results in bleeding gums, among a few other symptoms.
2. Aids in Healthy Fasting
Drinking lemon water while fasting can have many great benefits, and may make fasting much easier to get through and productive.
Drinking lemon water aids in healthy fasting by increasing digestive enzymes that stimulate the gut and liver, which can help regulate blood sugar. When individuals combine a fast with drinking lemon water, they increase the anti-inflammatory benefits of both.
When fasting, it can be hard to resist the urge to eat, but with lemon water can help satiate any cravings individuals may be having, which will make it easier to stick with a fast. Lemon water’s polyphenols also suppress appetite and increase satiety by up-regulating an individual’s mRNA levels of the enzyme that oxidizes fat, inducing weight loss.
If individuals are doing intermittent fasting, lemon water is an overall great way to quell hunger pangs and make they feel a bit better while holding out for the long haul.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
Lemons and lemon water are frequently touted as amazing foods due to their ability to quell hunger pangs, which promotes weight loss.
One of the reasons for lemon’s ability at keeping an individual full for longer periods is the soluble pectin fiber they contain. This fiber expands the stomach when consumed, which increases satiety.
Due to the increased calorie burn from consuming warm water, weight loss may be bolstered even more.
The research looked at lemons and found there are compounds found in the extract of lemons that can slow or even halt weight gain in a variety of ways. In one of these studies, mice were fed a diet to induce weight gain.
They were also given polyphenols extracted from the peel of a lemon, and the mice who had these polyphenols ended up gaining less overall body fat and weight than the mice who didn’t.
Thus, individuals looking to lose a bit of weight should consider adding lemon water to their diet for some increased weight loss potential.
4. Prevents Kidney Stones
When toxins and waste crystallize and begin to build up in the kidneys, kidney stones are the results. These small lumps are unfortunately quite common, and for individuals who get them, they are usually a recurring problem.
The citric acid found in lemons can help increase the pH and volume of an individual’s urine to create an environment inconducive for the development of kidney stones.
Consuming just four ounces of lemon juice a day will give individual’s enough citric acid to stop kidney stones from forming, even in those who had them previously!
Not only lemon juice, but real lemonade, and even lemon water may be effective in providing individuals with the required amount of citric acid that prevents kidney stones.
The research out there on lemon water’s kidney stone fighting abilities is conflicting though, and researchers agree better studies need to be done to verify the research.
5. Aids in Digestion
The fiber found in lemons is called pectin, which is a soluble fiber linked to many amazing health benefits. Lemons are made up of roughly ten percent carbohydrates, with the majority of them being this soluble fiber, but also some simple sugars as well.
The soluble fiber found in lemon water may aid in strengthening gut health and also slows down the digestion of starches and sugar, which can go on to reduce blood sugar.
Individuals who wish to gain the most benefit out of the amazing digestion bolstering effects of lemons should try to include some lemon pulp in their lemon water.
If an individual is not consuming lemon pulp along with their lemon water, then they will not be getting much of this beneficial fiber.