4 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
Why are people so wild about putting lemons in their drinking water? The reasons may surprise you.
Getting a lemon in your water glass at a restaurant is as natural as getting a bread basket before your pasta (though not as exciting). In fact, lemon water is something we’ve taken for granted, and most of us assume it’s just an embellishment or a way to make water taste less like water. But there are some great reasons for drinking lemon water, and they just might convince you to stock up on lemons.
1. All the nutrients without the calories
Lemons pack a great punch of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. Yes, oranges and other fruits and vegetables also contain vitamin C, but they often have double the calories and much more sugar. In addition to vitamin C, lemons contain flavonoids and evidence suggests these may decrease oxidative stress: in other words, that slice of lemon contains antioxidants to help your body combat free radicals.
2. Metabolic boost
Drinking lemon water won’t combat poor eating habits (as in, don’t expect to live on pizza and think lemon water will make you skinny), but it will provide metabolic support. Granted, the studies don’t tout lemon water as a weight loss miracle, but there is evidence to suggest citrus flavonoids help with insulin resistance and obesity. Plus, water in general has weight loss benefits, so if you’re likely to drink more water when it has a slight lemony taste to it, that’s all the more reason to add a little bit of zing to your drink.
3. Kidney stone warrior
If you think preventing kidney stones isn’t that big of a benefit, you’ve never experienced a kidney stone. Lemons contain citrate, which helps prevent calcium from building up and forming stones in your kidneys. Interestingly, the benefit doesn’t seem to be present in oranges, making lemon a unique tool in kidney stone prevention.
4. Skin helper
Remember how lemons have a great amount of vitamin C? Well, that handy little vitamin does more than just support your immune system—it also assists in the production of collagen. So, being consistent about adding lemon to your water can actually help your skin look and feel better.
You’re probably already thinking about how to get the above benefits without keeping a bunch of lemons in your kitchen. After all, the supermarket sells those little bottles of lemon juice right next to the actual lemons, so why not take a shortcut? Bad news—bottled lemon juice isn’t as good as the real thing. Vitamin C loses its potency when exposed to air, and bottled lemon juice has been heated (killing healthy live enzymes) before ending up on a store shelf. While the practice of keeping fresh lemons on hand may be difficult to get used to, the health benefits are obvious. Plus, regular water is boring—lemons will add some zest to your water and your life.
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