Dealing with gut bloat, digestive issues, difficulty losing those pesky pounds, and trying to balance nutrition can feel like a high-wire act sometimes. It seems like society is shouting so many different rules and opinions, which change depending on which expert is speaking.
Some people advise cutting out meat, while others promote eating more meat through low-carb and Paleo diets. This happens with just about everything, from carbs and sugar, to how much protein and fat you need and whether a vegetarian or vegan diet is a good idea.
However, one thing remains true which everyone agrees is essential as part of a successful health journey is to drink more water.
While it is good to have as much water as you can (within reason) throughout the day, by adding one simple thing to your water, can boost the immune system, jump-start your gut health, beat the bloat, and promote weight loss.
This simple magical element is adding…LEMON.
Yes, lemon! Adding lemon to your water is a simple, easy and effective way to boost your gut health which in turn can generate multiple health benefits that will help you to give your body love and support.
Gut Health Benefits of Lemon Water
Lemon water is one of the easiest ways to give your gut some love anytime of the day, whether you prefer a mug of warm lemon water or cold lemon infused water.
“Each morning before you put anything in your stomach, you should drink a warm cup of lemon water to activate your digestive system.”~ Dr. Oz
Drinking lemon water can give your gut a jump-start in the morning and makes sure that your digestive system functions smoothly.
The citric acid within lemons helps to keep general digestive problems at bay. It will interact with the other essential enzymes in your stomach and stimulate the secretion of gastric juices.
From helping you to lose weight to improving your digestion, you will notice the positive impact it has on your body very quickly!
Lemon Water Has Tons of Nutrition
Lemon water is loaded with nutrients, including many vitamins and minerals. One of the best vitamins is vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which protects the cells against free radicals, and has the potential to reduce gut inflammation and boost the immune system.
Lemon water is extremely low in calories, with a small amount of sugar as well. It has a lot of potassium, copper, and magnesium, along with some fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. These are all nutrients from the lemons themselves, so the more concentrated your lemon water is, the more of the vitamins and minerals you will be consuming each day.
It is Great For Digestion
If you have been having difficulties with bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues, then lemon water is the perfect addition to your daily routine.
Drinking more regular water in general can really help improve your gut health to get things moving and decrease abdominal cramps and other digestion issues.
However, when you add in some lemons to your water, you are giving your gut an extra little boost. The reason it helps so much is because there are digestive juices inside your stomach, similar to the structure of lemon juice. They work together really well, so while you might be concerned the acidity of lemons would make you feel ill, it usually has the opposite effect.
Immune System Booster
Nearly 70 percent of your immune system is housed in your gut.
Lemon water is ideal for giving your immune system a nice boost through elevating your gut status. Lemon water has a good amount of lemon juice, which as you know, is an excellent source of vitamin C. This is the vitamin that helps keep you healthy and will help to prevent cold, flu, and other immune system illnesses.
Within the gut there are certain cells that spend their lives excreting massive quantities of antibodies into the gut, which elevates your immune system.
Your Skin Will Thank You
The vitamin C in lemon water is not only good for your immune system; it can also support your gut!
This can have a big impact on the appearance of your skin, including spots, inflammation, eczema and rosacea. The gut microbiome influences your overall health, especially your skin.
Beginning your day with a glass of lemon water has numerous benefits, including elevating the amount of collagen in your skin. Collagen helps to produce fewer wrinkles, and the vitamin C from the lemon can also fight off toxins that can cause breakouts.
Weight Loss Jump-Start
Drinking lemon water can boost your weight loss efforts when combined with other healthy gut practices.
Lemon water can also help to raise your metabolic rate, which helps you burn fat much faster.
Lemons also have diuretic properties, which help in detoxifying the body, thereby helping burning fat.
How to Make Lemon Water
There are two ways to make lemon water: Warm lemon water and cold infused lemon water.
Contrary to popular belief, just putting a few lemon slices or wedges into a glass of water does not mean you are drinking lemon water. While this is a great way to make water taste good when you are trying to hydrate and drink more water, you won’t get the same health benefits as making real lemon water. This is because it isn’t just the flavor of the water, but the concentration of the lemon juice that gives your gut the health benefits.
You need the actual juice of a lemon in order to get all the vitamin C and other nutrients.
In the morning, to boost your metabolism, try to drink at least one small cup of warm lemon water. Then the rest of the day, enjoy your cold pitcher of lemon water or infused water with lemons.
Easy Lemon Water Recipe
To make a single glass of lemon water, you need a mug, juice from ½ lemon and warm water. Add the lemon juice to your empty glass first, using a lemon reamer or handheld juicer to extract as much lemon juice from it as you can. Fill your mug up with warm water and enjoy!
For a stronger brew, add the actual lemon to your mug and let it steep for about 3-5 minutes and remove. This will increase its concentration.
SUCCESS TIP ~ make sure you do not add boiled water as this would destroy some of the therapeutic properties of lemon.
Infused Lemon Water 101
Creating infused lemon water is an easy process with all those amazing gut-health benefits!
The trick here is to slice the lemons just right. Slicing the lemons in thins sections will allow more of the lemon juice to hit the water, giving you all those nutrients. You don’t want to use lemon wedges, because so much of the lemon is covered in the rind, where not much of the actual lemon juice is released into the pitcher of water. This won’t taste as concentrated as when you use lemon slices.
How to Make Infused Water
Before getting into some recipe combinations, let’s discuss the basic steps to making infused water. It is really easy to make, and when you start finding your own flavor combinations, it can be a lot of fun too! Here are the basic steps to making infused water:
Use a Glass Cup or Pitcher – While you can put your infused water in a plastic container, glass is highly recommended. This makes it taste fresher for longer, and plastic has some health disadvantages. However, it is more important to make sure whatever container you use, is food-safe. Mason jars are great for smaller amounts of water, as well as tall glass pitchers.
Gather Your Ingredients – When choosing the ingredients for the infused lemon water, try to use fresh produce that isn’t visibly bruised. Also avoid produce that is a little older. You should try to get produce close to being ripe, then make the water quickly. Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic if possible, are good for infused water. The same goes for herbs; try to find them fresh.
Prepare the Produce and Herbs – For infused water, you want to get as much of the nutrients from your fruits and veggies as you can, which usually means the juice and zest. As you know with lemons, you want to slice them but also use as much juice as you can.
For these, the recommendation is to first cut the lemon in half, then add as much lemon juice to the container as possible. Then slice each half thinly, and add those to the pitcher.
With most produce, you can slice it up so you get as much of the juice or inside of the produce as possible. Muddling herbs can be good in order to release the vitamins and minerals. Add all the prepared ingredients to the pitcher or cup, then cover with water.
Add Lemon Zest
Another great thing to do when you are making lemon water is to add some lemon zest to the glass or pitcher of water. The zest from a lemon comes from the rind. The rind not only has a lot of lemon flavor, but it also contains quite a bit of vitamin C and other nutrients. Use a zester to add a little bit of lemon zest to every glass or pitcher you make.
Leave the Water Overnight – After everything is added to the pitcher, you want to leave it overnight. The infusing process doesn’t happen quickly. If you can, leave it out on the counter for an hour or so, then place it in the refrigerator overnight. Remember also that you can use the same pitcher or cup multiple times. Keep the fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the container, and when the water is empty, refill it a few times to keep getting those nutrients and the yummy flavor.
Tips For Drinking Lemon Water Daily
Before finishing up, there are just a few more things to know about lemon water and adding it to your daily healthy habits. Here are some additional lemon water tips for your gut-loving life!
Drink Lemon Water in the Morning
Start your day with a mug or glass of lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (before your coffee or tea).
Lemon is a strong detox agent. Consuming your amazing lemon water first thing in the morning will flush out all the toxins from your system.
Try it Between Meals to Fill You Up
Another way to drink more lemon water is to enjoy it between meals. When you are hungry for a snack, drink a full glass of lemon water first, then decide if you are still hungry. You may find that it is enough to keep you full until your next healthy meal, helping you to lose weight and get all those nutrients at the same time.
Make Infused Water the Night Before
Infused lemon water is good for getting a lot of concentration from the lemons and other ingredients. Making it the night before lets the fruits, veggies and herbs release their nutrients, but it also makes it convenient for you to pour a glass when you wake up the next morning.
Enjoy your lemon water and all the awesome that it brings to your day. Remember small actions can add up to big results!