The lemon is a small fruit with many nutritional benefits. It contains many vitamins and minerals and can be used in multiple ways, from eating it raw to adding it to drinks or using it in recipes as varied as soups and desserts. Here are some of the many benefits of starting your day with a lemon.
Makes You Look Younger
The vitamin C in lemon juice might actually help your skin as well, definitely one of the benefits of lemon water. One study from the U.K. showed that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with fewer wrinkles. Because vitamin C is a nutrient that can fight off free-radical damage, it can protect skin. This could be due to vitamin C’s effects on collagen, which helps make up the connective tissue under the skin. In addition, the hydration from the water helps skin stay more subtle and provides a more youthful appearance. Your skin is an organ, and hydration helps it function at its best.
It increases your potassium levels
We generally associate potassium with bananas, but it turns out lemons are a good source as well. Potassium is found in large amounts primarily in fruits and vegetables. It is an element that is essential for cell function and metabolism, transmission of nerve signals. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, potassium, an electrolyte, helps to conduct electricity throughout the body. This nerve-muscle communication helps skeletal-muscular function—which is why you need it when you get a Charlie horse.
Aids in Digestion
Another one of the benefits of lemon water is that the acids help to digest food. The citrus flavonoids in lemon aid the acid in the stomach in breaking down food, which may improve overall digestion. Warming the water seems to provide the greatest digestive benefits. Aiding digestion is especially important as we get older because the amount of acid in our stomach declines with age. One study showed that over 30 percent of men and women over age 60 had atrophic gastritis, a condition marked by little to no stomach acid. In addition, if you add lemon slices and zest to your water, you may be able to harness some of the benefits of pectin, a fiber found in the pulp and peel. Many studies have shown fiber to improve digestion and gut health.
Lemon water gives you a vitamin C boost
Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a fourth of a cup of lemon juice yields 23.6 mg of vitamin C, about a third of the recommended daily allowance for women and a fourth for men. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radicals, and according to the National Institutes of Health, this could even help protect us again cardiovascular disease and cancer. And although we don’t think much about this ailment anymore, vitamin C prevents scurvy, a disease of weakened connective tissue that results in bleeding gums, among other symptoms.
So start your day with some lemon and see how much better you feel!