As if you needed anything else to add to your morning routine….
When it comes to feeling healthy and full of energy, it always pays to start your day the way you mean to carry on, and beginning with a big cup of lemon and warm water is one of the most simple and effective ways to cultivate a healthy body inside and out.
The natural benefits of fresh lemon juice include moderate levels of vitamin C, pectin, potassium, and antioxidants. Vitamin C is important for stimulating collagen growth and repair, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin and connective tissue, whilst pectin is useful for keeping things moving along through the intestines. Pectin acts a little like a scrubbing brush in the intestines, which is incredibly important for gut health, as many diseases and gastrointestinal problems are caused by a build up of toxins in the digestive system.
The Detox Drink….
Most of us know how it feels to wake up feeling a little groggy and congested, especially if the night before wasn’t exactly a picture of health. If you’re in the habit of eating late at night, or consuming things that are difficult to digest like heavy meats, raw food or – for some people – dairy products – at night, then waking up with digestive issues or a tongue coated in white matter is probably something you’ve experienced before. That coating on the tongue isn’t just unsightly however, it represents an issue further down the line, most likely in the gut or intestines. If the body hasn’t been able to digest food properly, toxins build up and create bacteria in the mouth, which is then returned back into the body if it isn’t removed by properly cleaning the mouth (this is where oil pulling and tongue scraping come in handy!).
Other than physically removing bacteria from the mouth, there is something you can do each day to prevent a build up of toxins in the first place, while also giving the body a little immune boost, lowering levels of inflammation, and also helping lower blood pressure: Pour yourself a cup of warm water and add the juice of half a lemon.
If you have a sweet tooth or just want to add the benefits of honey (like phenolic compound antioxidants, phytonutrients, antibacterial and antifungal properties, aiding in digestion), then be sure to purchase raw honey, which contains over 5000 enzymes, including amylase, which is an important enzyme in digestion of carbohydrates. If you want to boost your beverage even more, add a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, which has always been thought of as a cure for all sorts of remedies. Scientifically though, it’s been proven to lower blood sugar levels, blood pressure, improve symptoms of diabetes, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and help maintain healthy skin and hair. (Again, not all apple cider vinegars are made equal: opt for the brands which contain ‘mother’ – strands of friendly bacteria, proteins, and enzymes). Warm water is important, as cold water can actually prevent healthy digestion, and warm water aids in delivering the vitamins and minerals more efficiently to the body, and is more easily absorbed to help maintain hydration.
Other benefits of drinking warm lemon water include reducing acidity in the body, which can quickly lead to inflammation. Lemons may be one of the first things you think of in terms of ‘acidy’ foods, but when they’re ingested, they’re actually a powerful alkaline food. While the conversation around whether food actually has the ability to help with the ph balance of the body, it’s worth adding more ‘alkaline’ foods to the diet, as they’re often easier to digest and promote physical healing.
Spring Clean The Systems
Particularly for this time of year, when the Spring weather can cause the body to enter into an ‘accumulation’ state; where it’s easier to feel bloated, tired, feverish, congested, and the likelihood of experiencing allergies is higher, lemon water is effective for helping encourage ‘detox’ effects. The natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties of lemon help remove toxins and bacteria from the body’s various systems, but it’s especially effective for helping hydrate and decongest the lymphatic system – which is responsible for actually enabling the body to ‘detox’ well in the first place. When we’re constantly faced with ‘toxins’ from the environment, it’s useful to know we’ve taken small yet significant steps to help protect the body right at the beginning of the day….
So, whether you do it for the health – boosting benefits, as a way to replace your morning coffee habit, or as a self-care ritual so you know you’ve done at least one good thing for yourself today, try a simple cup of lemon water each morning and see how you feel after a couple of weeks!
My morning drink:
- 1 cup warm water (previously boiled)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar with Mother
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- occasionally: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or cumin if I feel congested, or turmeric and black pepper if I’m feeling achy