HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As we roll into the New Year with new goals and aspirations – attention seems to focus on health. Maybe it’s because all of the Holiday binging has left us feeling slack and sluggish, maybe it’s because we’ve added a few pounds and the clothes Santa brought are a bit snug around the middle, maybe it’s just about fresh starts and clean slates, but whatever the reason magazines, television and yes – even us pesky bloggers – are promoting healthy and happy ideas to start your 2016 on a strong note.
I have a friend that raves about the benefits of drinking lemon water. She claims that it has helped curb her sugar cravings, has left her feeling revitalized and energized and that overall she has noticed a considerable difference in her body. We’re not talking weight loss here – I’ve done some research and lemon water has not been proven to aid in weight loss – more of an overall feeling of strength and energy that she was lacking before.
I’ve been thinking about this since she mentioned it a month or so ago – yes, it does take my brain awhile to process, digest and then implement “healthy” ideas – and now that I’m ready I wanted to do a bit of research before starting. No use trying, or promoting, the latest fad if the claims can’t be backed with research.
Surf the internet and you will find dozens of articles promoting the benefits of lemon water. Some are researched and footnote back to medical journals and studies, others ride the coat-tails of those formal articles… which is what I’m doing here. (Sorry guys, science was not a favourite subject of mine, but I promise I did fact-find through dozens of legitimate articles to come up with my list.)
The key to lemon water is to use real lemons. You’ll need half a lemon per drink, and make sure to remove the seeds. To reap the benefits of the lemon oils, you’ll want to include some zest in your drink as well – just think of it as a few stray coffee grounds and it will be easy enough to down.
Most articles promoted warm lemon water – not boiling hot, but a nice warmer-than-luke drink.
If you have a sweet tooth and find the idea of drinking lemon water boring or even distasteful (I hear ya), try adding a small amount of raw honey to your drink. Sweeteners (natural or otherwise) will negate a lot of the good the lemon water is trying to do, but raw honey has it’s own natural benefits that will work with the lemon water to boost your system further.
Drink your warm lemon water first thing in the morning and then don’t eat for 30 minutes. If you still want your coffee or chai latte afterwards, think of them as ‘dessert’; the best results and the most impact from lemon water come when it is consumed on an empty stomach and has time to work with your stomach acids and start it’s journey through your liver. Ideally, drinking your lemon water will actually leave you feeling a bit more full and eventually you won’t even crave that coffee or tea at all.
Lemon water can help cleanse your system of toxins which will leave your skin looking and feeling healthier, but if you want even better results do some research on applying lemon water directly to your skin. I won’t go into it here because it wasn’t a focus of my research, but there were claims that splashing lemon water on your face (avoiding your eyes) can increase collagen and help reduce the look of age spots. The image that comes to mind for me though is that hair lightener we used to use as teens – “Sun-In”? Do you remember? The lemon in the Sun-In actually bleached out your hair somewhat and so I’d worry about the bleaching effects this might have on your skin. Feel free to tell me I’m wrong – this is just my worry.
As a Mom of a child with thin enamel on her teeth, I will warn you that lemon water – any acidic juices actually – can and will damage the enamel of your teeth over time. To combat the acid deterioration that lemon water might cause, rinse your mouth (or drink) with plain water afterwards and/or brush your teeth…. just to be safe. No use having great skin if all of your teeth have rot out.
Am I going to try this lemon water craze? I’m already on Day 3. I couldn’t think of any reason not to? It seemed like a simple addition to my day and an easy habit to begin – besides there are at least 10 reasons above to give it a shot.
Let me know after trying it for 14 days if you’ve noticed a difference in your body/energy/health/vitality.
Have a great one!