Despite lemons being a staple food in many households, few are aware of the myriad of health benefits that can come from drinking lemon water. Although unproven, many tout it has an herbal remedy to help with Meniere’s disease and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). But what other more common, everyday health purposes might it serve?
Lemon water nutrition and properties
Lemons are a very holistic fruit as they’re a rich source of potassium, calcium, copper, vitamin C and pectin fiber, as well as traces of vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. A low-fat beverage option, a glass of lemon juice carries less than 30 calories and contains no cholesterol.
This citrus fruit is a great antioxidant, containing powerful bioflavonoids which are responsible for many of its health benefits.
Here are the top 10 ways that lemon water can be beneficial to your everyday health needs.
1. Immune system strength
There are multiple reasons why daily doses of lemon water can boost your immune system. Being a natural source of vitamin C, it may help keep illnesses like at bay. Though to be clear, there is not research that excess vitamin C helps with colds and the flu, as many people seem to believe.
2. Energy and focus
Potassium and magnesium are shown to be beneficial as natural methods to be more alert, and might even serve as a non-addictive alternative to a morning cup of coffee!
Lemons are high in potassium and also help the absorption of other minerals, such as magnesium. This makes the water a great way to promote brain function and healthy nerves, which gives you an important boost in energy and focus. This is particularly important for people with high-stress lifestyles, or those who suffer from depression.
3. UTIs and kidney stones
Lemon water is a natural diuretic, meaning it promotes urine production. This might not seem particularly helpful, but increased urination actually helps flush harmful bacteria out of the body and decreases your chances of a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Also, having higher citrate levels in the urine is great for your kidneys, as it decreases your chances of developing painful kidney stones. If you’ve had kidney stones before or are worried about having them, try drinking a glass of lemon water every day to help prevent them.
It’s well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation of the joints and the body aches that come with it are often caused by excess uric acid in these areas. Lemon water is effective in reducing or even eliminating this buildup, and can even help with serious symptoms from arthritis.
The high amounts of copper found in lemon water are also great for this purpose, as the mineral also has anti-inflammatory properties. With your doctor’s approval, this makes it a great supplement to traditional anti-inflammatory drugs.
5. Weight loss
Although lemon water has often been associated with weight loss success, scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact reason. It’s commonly known that the pectin fiber in lemon water can suppress your appetite, which is one helpful step for a healthy weight loss regimen.
Being low in calories and containing virtually no fat content, it also promotes metabolism function, encouraging your body to burn calories from other sources. Similar to apple cider vinegar, some say it aids digestive side effects like gas and bloating, which are additional important factors for weight loss since eating more low calorie foods like veggies will typically coincide with those symptoms.
6. Acid balance
Our bodies are naturally supposed to be alkaline, so if there’s too much acid in your system, you run the risk of a myriad of health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, osteoporosis, skin disease and gastrointestinal issues.
While lemon itself is highly acidic, it becomes alkaline inside your body. For people prone to a low pH (lots of acid), doctors recommend drinking lemon water with salt, as both are highly alkaline and can help return the body to a normal acid balance.
7. Blood pressure and heart function
The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant properties of lemon water all work together to promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Potassium in particular can help lower blood pressure, while vitamin C controls cholesterol and promotes blood flow throughout the body.
As an antioxidant, lemons can help prevent heart-related issues such as stroke and heart attack, as well as cleanse the blood of toxins.
8. Mineral absorption
Not only do lemons contain several minerals important to human health (potassium, copper and calcium), but they also encourage the body to absorb minerals in general. This is incredibly important, as proper mineral absorption helps your body perform essential tasks like maintaining a good pH and encouraging enzyme reactions.
Ultimately, this helps in the healthy formation of bones and teeth, and discourages osteoporosis caused by calcium deficiency. It also helps prevent other illnesses caused by iron or magnesium deficiency, such as anemia or an irregular heart rhythm.
9. Oral health
We are constantly fighting the buildup of bacteria in our mouths that cause bad breath and can lead to other oral health issues. Lemon water can help fight this problem, as it works as an antibacterial. It can also help with the symptoms of more serious issues, like toothaches and gingivitis.
The calcium found in lemons is also good for your teeth, although a diluted solution is best, since too much citric acid can damage tooth enamel.
10. Healthy hair and skin
Vitamin C is essential for skin health, as it discourages wrinkles, heals damaged skin (including sun burns), and keeps acne at bay. It does this by removing free radicals from the body, which are often responsible for maintaining unhealthy blemishes; and by promoting collagen production, which can help prevent wrinkles in the first place.
This may help reduce your risk for certain types of cancer that can come from unhealthy skin cells. Many of the same properties of vitamin C also help keep your hair and scalp healthy by preventing split ends, dandruff, and bacterial infections that affect the skin and scalp.