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digestive benefits of lemon water|lemon water digestive benefits|lemon water digestive benefits|

Health & Wellness

Digestive Benefits of Lemon Water

A nice drink of lemon juice mixed into warm water is a refreshing, popular home remedy that is touted as having a lot of different health benefits. Lemon juice in warm water is viewed as a remedy for everything from joint and muscle pain to toothaches and gastric distress. It is also often marketed as being a “detox remedy,” but is it as useful as people say? Let's take a look at the science behind lemon water.

 lemon water digestive benefits What’s in Lemon Juice?


Lemons are a fruit that is rich in vitamin C and that is also a good source of folate and potassium. They are low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but they do contain a lot of fruit sugars. 1

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and a water-soluble vitamin. This means that the body does not store it when it is taken in excess. Rather, it is passed out in urine. For this reason, it’s important to take in some vitamin C every day to avoid deficiency. 2

Lemons are also rich in flavonoids, which are thought to protect against a number of different diseases. If you drink lemon water, (lemon juice diluted with warm water) then you will enjoy the benefits of the potassium and the vitamins in lemon, but the sugar content will be diluted enough that it should not harm your teeth. Additionally, this way you won't be wasting too many calories of your daily allowance on liquids.

Benefits of Lemons


Lemons and other citrus fruits are perhaps best known for helping treat scurvy, a condition that sailors suffered from on long voyages, as their sea-based diets were deficient in vitamin C. There are other benefits to these fruits, however.

One particularly interesting benefit is that lemons have been shown to help reduce stroke risk in women. 3 It is thought that both the flavonoids and vitamin C in lemons have beneficial effects in terms of reducing the risk of ischemic stroke.

There are other more immediate and noticeable benefits to drinking lemon water, however. Lemons can help improve digestive efficiency and increase iron absorption. Iron deficiency is incredibly common, especially in women who are still of child-bearing age, although many men in the developed world are at risk as well because of their diets. If it is not managed properly, iron deficiency can lead to anemia. Consuming foods that are high in vitamin C can help improve the body's ability to absorb iron. 4

Lemon can also help promote weight loss. There are phenols contained in lemon which have been found to help reduce weight gain in rats. 5 It is unclear whether these phenols would have the same effect on humans, but the research on rats has proven promising. The phenols upregulate mRNA levels and promote the oxidation of fat tissue.

Another benefit of drinking warm lemon water is that it can help combat constipation. 6 The warmth of the water alone can help promote bowel movements and the antioxidants in the lemon water can help keep the digestive tract healthy.

Lemons are acidic, which this means that when you drink lemon water, it can stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid. This helps to improve digestion. The lemon water can also slow the absorption of other foods, giving your stomach time to break them down and process the nutrients in them. There is some evidence to suggest that lemon juice can help to reduce the symptoms of people who suffer from acid reflux. 7

Detox and pH Myths lemon water digestive benefits


As you can see, lemon water has a number of benefits in terms of aiding digestion, supporting fat loss, and soothing certain digestive troubles. In that respect, it is a great home remedy. However, lemon water also often gets promoted as being a “detox treatment.” “Detox” is a popular buzzword which is often used as an attention getter to promote positive behaviors such as cutting down on alcohol or making a point of following a healthy diet.

When detox is used in that sense, it can actually be a useful idea. It's true that you’ll feel better if you eat more fruits and vegetables and swap beer for lemon water. However, that doesn't mean that lemon is somehow magically clearing your body of toxins. Detox diets are a myth, and the science behind them is not sound. 8 The idea that there is something magical in lemon that will flush toxins out of your bodies is oversimplifying the role of the kidneys and liver. If your body is healthy, it will detoxify itself every single day. If it isn't, then no amount of juices will help you. 9

Lemon water is also often promoted as being a pH balancer. Again, this is not necessarily true. Lemon water has a pH of two, which is similar to the pH of your stomach acid. Everything you consume will be affected by the acid in your stomach and will be made acidic.

While some people support alkaline diets to control the acidity of the body, that is not how digestion works. The pH of your blood and the rest of your body will not be affected by anything that you eat or drink. If your diet could affect your blood pH, then you would be testing all of your foods carefully to make sure that you didn't accidentally kill yourself because even a minute change in the pH of your blood can be fatal. 10

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Lemon water and lemons, in general, are good for you. They are packed full of nutrients that can help boost immune system function and that can improve your wellbeing in many ways. Lemon water is good for helping keep you hydrated, and since it offers vitamins and potassium, as well as a modest amount of sugar, it can be a nice alternative to water. That's as far as the benefits go, however. Lemon water is not a miracle cure.

PhotoCredits: MaraZe/shutterstock.com, Oksana Mizina/shutterstock.com, Joshua Resnick/shutterstock.com, Robert Przybysz/shutterstock.com

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