You don’t have to limit this practice to only the mornings. Drinking lemon water 15 minutes before a meal will aid in the digestion of that meal. In his book, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., lists lemon water as one of seven steps to controlling candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast found in 1 out of 3 people! He states that the lemon water will enhance digestion. Don’t read “digestion” as just having a bowel movement; it actually means the entire process of digestion, which starts with the enzymes in your saliva before you take your first bite. Digestion also includes stomach acid breaking down your food and your body absorbing the nutrients of your food. When digestion isn’t functioning properly, no matter how well you eat, you’re not going to get the most out your meals.
I want to also tout briefly the other nutritional benefits of lemons. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. They also contain good amounts of vitamin B6, folic acid, flavonoids potassium and limonene. Limonene is a phytochemical being studied for the dissolution of gallstones and anticancer activities. Promising stuff!
Another random lemon water note: When my parents were visiting, my dad informed me that his dad started his day off with hot lemon water every morning also. This is something I never would have known because he passed before I was old enough to know him. He lived a long, healthy life though, with a strong constitution. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’m proud to share a habit with him that I know keeps me healthier.
Like anything, it’s a habit. Just like starting the coffee pot, waiting for it to brew and taking that first sip. Sitting down with a cup of tea. Checking your e-mail. The things you look forward to doing every day. This can be one of them. Leave the lemon squeezer, lemon and full teakettle out the night before as a reminder. Once you get into the habit of starting your day with hot lemon water, it will be easy to remember, and perhaps, like me, you’ll miss it dearly when you don’t have it.
And don’t get me started on plastic! Use a stainless steel lemon squeezer like this one: