Many restaurants serve lemon with water to add flavor to water. However, many customers choose not to use it. By the end of this article, I am hoping that the next time you have that opportunity, you will take advantage of it. Adding lemon to water doesn’t just make it taste better, it increases your health as well.
Lemon water is a good source of vitamin C, citric acid and potassium. These vitamins and minerals play very important roles in the body. Individually, they each have many benefits. The advantage of lemon water is that it combines all of them together. This results in even more benefits. Now let’s discuss the benefits of vitamin C.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C benefits your health in a variety of ways. It is considered a very strong antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect us against heart disease and many other conditions.(9) Vitamin C has many other advantages as well. Some of them are that it:
- Keeps Your Heart Healthy
- Lowers Your Blood Pressure
- Reduces Your Risk of Stroke
- Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Boosts Your Immune System
- Decreases Inflammation(9)
Vitamin C helps keep your heart healthy in many ways. It enhances the body’s level of natural glutathione. Glutathione is beneficial to your heart because it protects the arteries.
Also, vitamin C lowers blood pressure. Studies show that vitamin C deficiency is linked with higher rates of heart attacks and strokes.(10)
Vitamin C also has a reputation for its immune-boosting effects. It helps guard us against illnesses such as the common cold. Furthermore, if you do become sick, consuming vitamin C will reduce the duration of the sickness. One study showed that taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day reduced the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children.(9)
Inflammation decreases with vitamin C because it gets rid of free radicals that can damage cells. Inflammation stems from damaged cells. Therefore if there are less damaged cells, then there is less inflammation.(9) We will be discussing the role of inflammation later in this article as well.
Hopefully now you know more about vitamin C’s benefits. Next we will move on to how lemon water can help fight cancer.
As previously mentioned, vitamin C helps to decrease inflammation. This is important because the inflammatory response plays a major role in the development of cancer. In fact, inflammation is a factor throughout all of the cancer phases. The connection between cancer and inflammation isn’t restricted to just one type of cancer.(12)
Additionally, some studies have found that people who consumed higher amounts of citrus fruit have a lower risk of cancer.(3, 4)A 2011 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that lemons prevent and kill breast cancer cells. The lemon extract was applied in-vitro, but the results suggest that there are cancer-fighting properties in lemons.(13) The reasoning behind it is that lemons contain d-limonene and hesperidin. These are compounds that have been proven to fight off cancer.(2)
Now that we’ve discussed how lemon water defends us from cancer, let’s discuss how it can help us lose weight.
Weight Loss and Hydration
There are several reasons why drinking lemon water helps you lose weight while staying hydrated. Some of the reasons are:
- Lemons Contain Polyphenol Antioxidants
- It Reduces Weight Gain
- Drinking Water Makes You Feel More Full
- It Boosts Metabolism
- It Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Research shows that plant compounds in lemon extracts help prevent or reduce weight gain in a number of ways(5). In one study, mice on a fattening diet were given lemon polyphenols. They gained less weight and body fat than other mice who were not given lemon polyphenols.(5) In addition, polyphenols are important because they help improve insulin resistance.
Studies have shown that the more water you drink, the more calories you burn. According to these studies, the number of calories an adult burns after drinking a 17 ounce glass of water increases by 20-30% for the following hour.(5) That is definitely promising news!
The speed of your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns fuel for energy. Scientists have concluded that drinking 8 ½ cups of lemon water a day can cause you to burn an extra 96 calories a day.(6) This result is because of the metabolism boost that lemon water gives you.
Furthermore, our body is often confused as to whether we are hungry or thirsty. Many people reach for a snack instead of a drink. If you reach for lemon water instead of a snack, you will lose weight.
Lastly, research shows that when you’re fully hydrated, you’re better able to break down fat. You look thinner when you are well hydrated. This occurs because you are less puffy and bloated.
Now that you know how lemon water aids in weight loss and hydration, let’s discuss how it improves skin.
As previously stated, lemons are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and citric acid. These components provide many benefits for skin. Some benefits are they:
- Fight Free Radical Damage
- Keep Your Skin Looking Fresh
- Slow Down the Aging Process(7)
- Produce Collagen(7)
- Are Anti-Inflammatory
- Help Fight Acne
Lemons are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce free radical damage. They improve the ability of the skin and DNA to repair itself.(7) They also improve the skin’s texture, firmness, and help to prevent fine lines. A recent study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regularly consuming vitamin C led to younger-looking skin and less wrinkles.(8) Additionally, vitamin C stimulates collagen production and helps to reduce signs of aging.(8)
We previously discussed how lemon water decreases inflammation and how that affects cancer. Decreased inflammation has an effect on skin as well. Drinking lemon water balances your body by changing it to a more alkaline state . This is known to be anti-inflammatory to the skin and the body.(8) When you have less damaged cells in your body, your skin will look better.
Furthermore, lemon water can help treat mild acne and brown spots. Drinking lemon water cleanses the skin cells and forces out toxins. This is important because impurities clog pores. A reduction in clogged pores helps reduce the incidence of acne.
Lemons are loaded with vitamin C in high concentration. Vitamin C is the main ingredient in the formation of collagen in the body. Collagen is what gives the skin elasticity. It is also responsible for the regeneration of the skin cells in the body.(7)
Now that you’ve learned how lemon water can improve your skin, let’s discuss how it can help prevent kidney stones.
Prevention of Kidney Stones
If you have ever had a kidney stone, then you know how painful they can be. Unfortunately, some people are more prone to developing kidney stones than others. Kidney stones occur when minerals and salts create hard deposits in the kidney.(11) Although they form in the kidneys, kidney stones can affect any part of the urinary tract.
Dehydration is a large contributing factor in the development of kidney stones. When your body is dehydrated, fluid passes very slowly through the kidneys. This increases the chance that minerals and salts will collide together. When minerals and salts collide together they create hard deposits.(11)
Lemon water can help prevent kidney stones because it helps you stay hydrated. When you are hydrated you have a larger volume of urine. Additionally, diosmin is an antioxidant that is found in lemons. This antioxidant can help decrease the amount of minerals and salts in the kidneys. The citric acid in lemon water also dramatically reduces stones because it breaks the stones up. All of this helps to ease pressure from the kidneys, which reduces the chances of kidney stones developing.(11)
There are many powerful benefits that lemon water can provide. If we include it in our daily lives, lemon water can provide us with benefits many don’t even know about. If you implement lemon water into your daily routine, you will see some of these benefits for yourself. I hope you consider trying it, because adding lemon water to your diet is very simple. Your health and body will thank you.