Many health practitioners say hot lemon water promotes a healthy body from the inside out. Drinking a glass of lemon water daily can prevent minor illnesses like the common cold and alleviate symptoms of major ailments, such as high blood pressure, some believe. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant with cleansing properties that purify a body and theoretically boost its defences against infection and disease.
It was the lemon, specifically the Mediterranean sweet lemon, that 18th century sailors ate to prevent scurvy. It wasn't the lime, as commonly believed.
These are some of the benefits of lemon water touted by its proponents.
Blood pressure: Potassium-rich lemons stabilise high blood pressure and strengthen capillaries. Lemons promote relaxation, reducing feelings of anxiety or stress, all of which can trigger high blood pressure.
Colds and flu:
Sipping hot lemon water encourages perspiration, which helps reduce fevers associated with colds and flu. The antibacterial properties of lemon juice soothe sore throats and decrease phlegm.
Commonly considered a daily laxative, lemon water assists the digestive process, relieving symptoms of nausea, heartburn, and constipation. Lemon juice encourages the liver to increase production of bile, an acid required for digestion and the effective elimination of waste from the body.
The potassium content in lemons promotes healthy brain and nerve function, boosting the immune system.
Routine consumption of lemon water supports oral health by reducing bad breath odours and relieving pains associated with toothaches and gingivitis. However, the citric acid in lemon juice may erode tooth enamel, so care should be taken when gargling or massaging gums.
Hot lemon water breaks up congestion and calms coughing fits, providing routine relief for asthma-sufferers.
The antiseptic nature of lemon juice cleanses skin from the inside out, resulting in a healthy glow, while high levels of vitamin C help decrease the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. Applied directly to the skin, lemon water helps scars fade and can cool the burning sensation associated with sunburn.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in stress management, particularly for individuals with compromised immune systems. Stress depletes the body’s stores of vitamin C. Drinking lemon water raises the levels necessary to manage stressful effects resulting from drinking, smoking and obesity.
Lemons are high in pectin fibre, a key component to healthy diets and a healthy weight. Fibre reduces cravings by slowing the digestive process, increasing satisfaction after a meal.
A Healthy Habit
Six ounces of hot lemon water is an optimal start to the day.