As a Doctor of Acupuncture, I always try to practice what I preach. And, if you’re one of my patients, you’ve most likely heard me recommend drinking hot water with lemon. Years ago, I learned to drink hot water with lemon at every meal. So, when I go to restaurants, as I near the end of my order, you’ll always hear me add: “And a tea cup of hot water with lemon, please.” This has confused many a server in restaurants over the years, but for me, this drink is a must at every meal.
Why do I so strongly recommend hot water with lemon? Because of the many benefits this beverage provides:
First and foremost, lemon water aides in digestion. The lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials by encouraging the liver to produce bile, the acid required for digestion. When your digestion is functioning well, you are less likely to experience heartburn or suffer from constipation. In fact, lemon juice helps with all forms of elimination. It also functions as a diuretic, releasing toxins via a faster rate of urination.
Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which provides many benefits to the body. We all know that Vitamin C is great for fighting colds, but did you know that Vitamin C also decrease wrinkles, blemishes, and stress? Lemon water purges toxins from the blood, keeping skin clear. And, since high Vitamin C levels are crucial for helping the body manage stress, you can consider lemon water a natural stress reliever too.
Lemons aren’t just high in Vitamin C, they also contain lots of potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function and helps to control blood pressure. You may not think of lemon as a “fiber food”, but the fruit is high in pectin fiber, which helps to fight hunger cravings. That’s why people drink lemon water when trying to lose weight.
Many people believe that lemons are highly acidic, so they are surprised to learn that drinking lemon water will actually balance their pH levels and reduce the body’s overall acidity. Lemons do contain citric acid, but that citric acid does not create acidity in the body once it has been metabolized. In fact, lemon water is one of the most alkaline beverages you can drink!
When you smell lemons, doesn’t it feel like you can breathe easier? There’s a reason the lemon scent seems to open up your nasal and respiratory paths–it does! Warm lemon water helps to reduce the symptoms of a chest infection or cough and can also promote improved breathing for people with asthma and allergies.
Finally, lemons naturally freshens one’s breath! Lemon juice can also relieve tooth pain and gingivitis.
If you would like to join me in the practice of drinking warm water with lemon, start by finding a nice china mug. Fill it with warm water and add just a wedge of fruit (approximately 1/8 of a lemon). Remember that like coffee, warm water with lemon is an acquired taste. That first sip may be surprising, but after a few weeks, you’ll adjust to this new habit and wonder how you ever lived without you hot water and lemon. As for getting restaurant servers to comply with your request, well, you’re on your own for that one!