April 30, 2014 3 minute read
April showers bring May flowers, right? I guess Mother Nature decided she had one last day to get in some heavy rain. So I’m staying in my pajamas for as long as possible today, because I’m done school for the summer and I deserve a lazy morning. But lazy mornings don’t mean I forgo my healthy habits – my favourite things to do on “me” mornings are to curl up with a cup of warm lemon water and read a good book. Today I’m substituting the good book with a blog post, but you get the idea. Why lemon water though? Read on to find out.
Before I list the benefits, I want to talk about pH balance. Now, a lot of people think that lemon water is great for maintaining a pH balance in the body since it has an “alkaline effect.” Yes, an alkaline body – specifically a blood pH between 7.35-7.45 – is crucial for ALL bodily functioning, but what you eat won’t affect that. If the pH levels of our blood were dependent on what we ate, we’d be in trouble. But what you consume might affect the pH of your urine, that’s about it. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other benefits to drinking warm lemon water though. So here are some of the best ones!
I’ve talked about it before, but colon health is vital not only for internal health but also for the health of your skin. The juice of half a lemon in your water will help to stimulate the liver to produce more bile. Bile, in case you have forgotten your high school biology, is a complex acidic fluid required for digestion.
I’m not going to tell you that drinking warm lemon water will solve all of your vegetarian iron deficiency problems, but vitamin C does influence the absorption of non-heme (non-meat source) iron. It captures the iron and keeps it in the reduced ferrous form, all ready for absorption. So if you’re putting a little plant-based goodness in your breakfast, the added vitamin C might just help your body absorb the iron.
Clearly most things that I do benefit my skin, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my nutrition courses (hey look at that, I actually retained some information!) it’s that vitamins are so important for aiding in overall skin health. Lemons have vitamin C, which helps to keep wrinkles at bay since it’s vital for producing collagen. It aids the amino acids in synthesizing collagen, and collagen is the ticket to keeping our skin tight! But it also acts as an antioxidant and helps to protect against free radical damage.
Lemon water is…lemon in water, so getting some extra H2O in your diet is always a good thing. Staying hydrated, especially as we continue on to spring, is the key to keeping your skin in tiptop shape. I could also mention that water is vital for nutrient transport, structural maintenance of large glycogen and protein molecules, maintenance of blood volume, temperature regulation, joint and eye lubrication, and pretty much everything that goes on in the body. But those are just minor things compared to hydrated skin. I kid.
I drink warm lemon water in the morning, after my new experiment with oil pulling and before I eat breakfast. Just half of a lemon sliced up into my cup and down the hatch it goes. Perfect way to start the morning.