Starting your day with a tasty, invigorating cup of lemon juice and water offers a myriad of health benefits. Freshly squeezed lemon juice offers more of the beneficial properties than its bottled counterpart, though both are suitable for a morning pick-me-up. Wash fresh lemons before you slice them to make sure no surface dirt or bacteria are transferred to the inside of the fruit.
In her book "The Lemon Juice Diet," Theresa Cheung notes that lemon juice is an "excellent digestive aid" due to its stimulating the production of saliva and gastric juices. When you drink lemon juice and water first thing in the morning, Cheung says the lemon juice stimulates the liver to produce bile, which readies it to help digest your food all day.
Fresh lemon juice is a good source of folate, potassium and calcium. Potassium helps regulate your blood pressure and is good for cardiovascular health. Folate helps keep your energy levels high, and calcium strengthens bones and teeth. Lemon juice is also a very good source of vitamin C, which helps the body fight infections and even can help lower your risk for cancer. Starting your morning with this nutrient boost energizes you for the day ahead.
The vitamin C in lemon juice is also a powerful antioxidant, as are bioflavonoids found in lemons such as quercetin. Bioflavonoids are plant-based antioxidants found mostly in fruits and vegetables, and they have anti-allergenic, anticancer and antiviral properties. Consuming lemon juice and water in the morning lets these compounds benefit your body during your daily activities.
The bioflavonoid quercetin gives your immune system a boost as well. It works with the vitamin C in a morning lemon-juice-and-water tonic to help your body stave off colds and infections. If you are already under the weather, drinking lemon juice and water after a good night's sleep can help speed your recovery time.
Cheung also advocates sipping lemon juice with water first thing in the morning as a way to treat acne. She notes that the vitamin C in lemon juice is important for a healthy complexion and that it can kill certain types of bacteria that cause acne.
Drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day is a reasonable way to keep yourself hydrated. Having water with lemon juice in the morning will start you off on the right track toward that goal, especially if you use it in place of a caffeinated beverage.
- lemon water image by mashe from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.