There are many reasons why adding the juice of a lemon to your water in the morning is a good thing and brings benefits to your health. Citrus fruits contain medicinal compounds that include flavonoids, alkaloids, limonoids, coumarins, carotenoids and phenolic acids as well as essential oils that boost health. These constituents act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-carcinogenic, and are neuroprotective and heart protective. Why not get a big dose of them in the morning, first thing when you get out of bed?
Check out the 10 different actions you can expect from this healthy habit:
1. Lemon Purifies the Body
Lemon contains free radical quenching antioxidants such as vitamin C and phytonutrients that decrease oxidative damage in the body.
Interestingly, animals have the ability to convert glucose into vitamin C, but humans do not. That means you have to have a daily source of antioxidants or your health will suffer.
When your body receives greater amounts of antioxidants from food, then it can use these free radical quenchers to overcome infections. Once that happens, you stay healthier and happier for longer periods of time.
2. Lemon Water, Like Citrus Fruit Water, May Help Minimize Kidney Stone Formation
Citrus juices are rich sources of citrate. This is good for those who tend to form kidney stones and here’s why:
Oral citrate is absorbed in the intestines and almost totally metabolized to bicarbonate, providing alkalinity, which increases the pH of the urine and the excretion of citrate. Thus, you end up with less of a chance of getting kidney stones with lemon water because kidney stones tend to form in acidic urine more than alkaline urine, researchers report.
3. Lemon Water Helps You Detox
U.S. scientists from a Texas university have found that one of the ways that citrus fruits are protective against cancer is that they influence the phase II detoxification enzyme processes in the body. This means they are essentially acting as a liver detox agent.
Nomilin, isobacunoic acid, and deacetyl nomilin were the active ingredients in citrus that revved up the body’s detox enzymes in the liver.
(Note: If you want to learn the secret 4-step colon cleansing system Master Herbologist and Nutritionist Dr. Donna Schwontkowski has recommended and used with her patients for over 20 years, you can check out the guide here.)
4. Lemon Constituent Limonin May Reduce Liver Damage
Egyptian researchers have shown that one of the active ingredients in lemons called limonin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in cases where there has been an injury to the liver from chemicals.
Inflammation interferes with a healthy, happy, and fruitful life. It slows you down, puffs up your joints, and makes you sluggish. Stop it all with lemon water.
5. Liminoids in Lemon May Help Prevent Fat Creation
Who doesn’t want fewer fat cells as they get older? In 2016, scientists in Japan discovered that limonoids, one of the active medicinal constituents found in lemon and other citrus fruits, repress the creation of new fat cells. This is important if you want to stay thin. Hooray for lemon water!
6. Lemon Can Help You Beat Anemia
Foods that contain vitamin C – like lemons – will help your body increase iron absorption from other foods such as meat, dark green leafy vegetables, and molasses.
In some cases, a big contributing factor to anemia is simply a lack of vitamin C. Anemia slows you down, keeps you out of breath (even from walking up stairs), and makes you look pale. If it gets serious, you can die of a heart attack.
7. Lemon May Help Minimize Gout Crystal Buildup
Excess uric acid accumulates in the joints and tissue whenever there’s gout. There it crystallizes and causes damage, pain, and inflammation. As mentioned previously, citrate is found in citrus juice. It combines with calcium to prevent kidney stones and also will react with uric acid. This means you get fewer joint crystals and less pain.
8. Lemons may prevent Cancer?
When you bite into a lemon, the tartness and somewhat bitter taste are due to the limonoids. These phytonutrients have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help manage the harmful free radicals which cause significant damage to the DNA in cells. As the damaged cells begin to reproduce, a tumor results, sometimes becoming cancerous.
Studies have investigated the effects of limonoids on estrogen-responsive breast cancer cells. The findings of the studies are promising, showing that 11 different limonoids are toxic to this type of cancer cell, especially those that are estrogen sensitive.
Another Japanese study from 2015 reported that one of the limonoids called limonin suppressed the development of intestinal polyps in mice. Their results showed a decrease of 26% of the total number of polyps in the experimental mouse group, which is pretty significant. The control mice didn’t consume any of the limonin that the experimental group did, and they suffered as a result. The mechanism for this positive benefit is that the limonoid affects B-catenin signaling in the body, thus affecting the activity of the T cells. The researchers concluded that limonin could be a preventative agent against intestinal cancer. Without drinking your lemon water, you might be putting yourself in a ‘control’ group!
9. Keep Your Bone Density Level High
It’s the limonoid called nomilin that is rooting for your bone density 24/7. Japanese scientists found that nomilin prevents osteoclastic differentiation in test tube studies. Osteoclastic differentiation means the growth of different types of bone cells that break down your bones and make them weak. The scientists concluded that this constituent has the potential ability to be used to prevent bone disorders. Pretty impressive!
10. Lemon Contains Limonoid That Prevents Blood Sugar From Rising
The same limonoid called nomilin in #9 works in another way in your body. It prevents your blood sugar levels from rising. One Japanese researcher reported that it plays a big role in keeping blood sugar levels normal.
Well, what do you think? Do you have enough evidence that drinking your lemon water just might help you in many ways?Sources:
1. Baba. S., et al. A limonoid khadanin B from immature citrus unshiu peels suppresses adipogenesis through repression of the Akt-FOX01-PPARy axis in adipocytes. J Agric Food Chem 2016 Dec 28;64(51):9607-9615.
2. Lv, X., et al. Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for humanity. Chem Cent J. 2015 Dec 24;9:68.
3. Kimira, Y., et al. Citrus limonoid nomilin inhibits osteoclastogenesis in vitro by suppression of NFATc1 and MAPK signaling pathways. Phytomedicine 2015 Nov;22(12):1120-4.
4. Shimizu, S., et al. Suppression of intestinal carcinogenesis in Apo-mutant mice by limonin. J Clin Biochem Nutr 2015 Jul;57(1):39-43.
5. Sato, R. Nomilin as an anti-obesity and anti-hyperglycemic agent. Vitam Horm 2013; 91:425-39.
6. Marti, N., et al. Vitamin C and the role of citrus juices as functional food. Nat Prod Commun 2009 May; 4(5):677-700.
7. Siener, R. Can the manipulation of urinary pH by beverages assist with the prevention of stone recurrence? Uroliathiasis 2016 Feb; 44(1):51-8.
8. Almaliti, J., et al. Natural products inspired synthesis of neuroprotective agents against H202-induced cell death. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2013 Mar 1;23(5):1232-7.
9. Mahmoud, M.F., Gamal, S. and El-Favoumi, H.M. Limonin attenuates hepatocellular injury following liver ischemia and reperfusion in rats via toll-like receptor dependent pathway. Eur J Pharmacol 2014 Oct 5;740:676-82.
10. Perez, J.L., et al. In vivo induction of phase II detoxifying enzymes, glutathione transferase and quinone reductase by citrus triterpenoids. BMC Complement Altern Med 2010 Sep 17;10:51.