It has already become a hip trend: take a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice every morning. This is due to the fact that many celebrities have shared this morning ritual as a way of taking care of themselves. With the help of nutritionist Isabel Cangas we will review if it is just a trend or really does offer short-term and long-term benefits.
Lemon is a citrus fruit whose major component is water, with a low energy value. In addition, it contains a number of nutrients, such as vitamin C, flavonoids and fiber, which are necessary for the proper body function and cellular activity. Therefore, this fruit has been attributed a series of benefits ranging from acting as a diuretic, skin rejuvenate, acne eliminator, and a way to combat depression and prevent cancer.
Water with lemon, for its ease of preparation and its low cost, has become one of the most used forms to take advantage of all the possible benefits of this citric.
However, it should not be consumed in without know-how. The daily portion of water with lemon should be half a glass of water with juice of a half a lemon or a glass of water with the juice of a whole lemon. When these amounts are respected and you do not suffer from some conditions that will be mentioned later, drinking water with lemon is actually very good for you.
It is important to know why you should drink lemon juice with warm water (neither cold nor hot). This is mainly because drinking warm water promotes bowel movement. If the water is too hot, it could wipe out the lemon enzymes. Here are some benefits:
- It helps to cleanse the liver as citric acid increases the segregation of bile. This can have an indirect effect when it comes to losing weight, since it helps start the metabolism.
- It provides a great dose of Vitamin C (25% of the daily recommended amount per glass), which not only strengthens the immune system, but also has a great antioxidant effect giving us a bright skin. Attention to its abuse, a dose superior to 2,000 milligrams per day can cause stomach discomfort.
- Provides nutrients like flavonoids, fiber and has an alkalizing effect as it regulates the pH of the body.
- It has a diuretic effect, which together with a balanced PH helps prevent urinary tract infections.
- It can prevent obesity and cardiovascular diseases, since hesperidin (flavonoid) has vaso-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, lipid-lowering and diuretic actions that can be related to a potential prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases.
- It acts as a boost in the immune system. The vitamin C helps to create the material between the white blood cells which are essential for the proper development of the immune system. It is known that lemon water also contains citric, malic, acetic and formic acid, which can enhance the action of vitamin C and possess an antiseptic action. That is to say, it helps fight bacteria and other pathogens that threaten the body.
- It also helps to absorb iron better so it can help fight anemias if consumed with foods rich in iron.
- It improves digestion, especially if you have ingested high amounts of fat, stimulating a greater production of gastric acids. But do not forget that having a varied diet, eating the necessary amounts of food and performing moderate physical activity, are an essential part of a healthy life.
As for the consumption of lemon as a supplement to lose weight, you can drink the juice by squeezing a lemon and mixing it with a cup of warm water, in the proportions mentioned above. It can be taken in the morning, but depending on which cases, not with the stomach completely empty, since it can produce acidity and some types of ulcers if its consumption is too frequent. In any case, water with lemon will not make anyone thin, it is simply a good method in moderation to purify the body, eliminating toxic substances and strengthening the defenses.
However, if you consume more than one glass with this citric a day there are contraindications that you must take into account and that could affect your health:
- Weakening of dental enamel resulting from the excessive intake of citric acid, which in the medium term can generate sensitivity in the teeth.
- Frequent acidity when ingested in abundant amounts. Although the lemon helps to balance the pH of our body avoiding acidity, if we ingest it in excess we can get the opposite effect. If you have a slow metabolism, it can be consumed at intervals, but it is not necessary to exceed, being the most recommended in this case its maximum consumption of 10 to 14 days.
- It can lead to dehydration if its consumption is abused, because this drink is diuretic and should be taken in moderation to replenish liquids. Don’t forget to drink the right amount of water needed throughout the day.
Text: Nutritionist Isabel Cangas