Warm Water and Lemon

2012-12-30

This time of year we can feel pretty sluggish. The cold weather keeps us indoors more than we’d like, and our meals are often heavier as we enjoy stews, roasts, casseroles, and hearty root vegetables with butter and even gravies and sauces! Not to mention the drinks we may imbibe in with our dear ones over the holidays: wine, beer, and alcohol add a lot of calories and can add to the stress that our liver and kidneys are going through in processing all that over-indulgence.

hot lemon waterTo counter-balance this, I am delighted to suggest one very simple step for helping our bodies regain equilibrium and balance gently and easily as we enter a new year:

Warm water with fresh lemon juice. That’s it. Yes, it really can be that easy!

honey spoonfulWell okay, if you find it too tart to be palatable (like my hubby) a small teaspoonful of honey can be stirred into your mugful of very warm water that’s had the juice of one lemon squeezed into it. People who weigh less than 150 pounds can use half a lemon, and those over 150 should use a whole lemon. Let’s start our day with this comforting beverage to help wake up and enliven our digestive systems, and give our day an energizing start!

Bowl of lemonsFirst of all, when selecting your lemons at the store, remember that heavier lemons are believed to be more full of minerals. Once you get home, give them a good scrubbing to remove any wax and contaminants from their peel. Keep your citrus fruit on the counter rather than in the fridge, as studies have shown that many nutrients in citrus (as well as taste) are lost through the chilling process. I like to buy my fresh citrus on a regular basis and go through them quickly.

It’s this simple: grab one of your lemons from the bowl and roll it firmly on the counter or cutting board – this helps loosen up those juices inside. Then slice it in half and squeeze all the juice out of it! Feel free to use your hand and drip the juice over your other hand to catch any seeds, the way the TV chefs do it, or feel confident in pressing and twisting the lemon half onto the cone of a hand juicer and then through a sieve. Regardless of how you do it, you want to extract as much juice as possible – without any seeds.

I don’t like using hot water from the tap for human consumption due to the fact that I live in an older home that has a great likelihood of lead having been used in the plumbing. Cold water is much less likely to release any of the lead, the way hot water can, so I use cold water and heat it for consumption. Over the stove, or in the kettle, I bring water to the boil, allow to cool a bit, and pour over the lemon juice waiting in the cups. Stir and enjoy (add a touch of honey if needed – but personally I adore the bright taste of lemon).

Enjoy another cupful of this warm drink at bedtime to help support your liver and immune system while you sleep.

Here Are Some Of The Proven Health Benefits:

Vitamin C
Warm water with lemon juice gives our bodies loads of vitamin C. Three wedges provide 12% of the daily amount we need. Vitamin C helps keep our skin, bones and connective tissues healthy, helps our body heal after injuries, and aids in the absorption of iron.

Cold and Flu Relief
Warm water with lemon is a tried-and-true old home remedy for colds and flu, especially for sore throats that often come with these illnesses. Holding a warm mug while breathing in the vapours of hot water with honey and lemon is comforting and helps break up congestion while preventing dehydration, an important concern when we don’t feel well.

Cold-Weather Hydration
With more than half of our body weight being water, every part of our body from the smallest cell to the largest organ, requires water to function properly. However drinking a big glass of cold water is the last thing we want to do when winter snows are howling outside. Sipping on a mugful of hot water with lemon is a lot more tempting, and helps us get the eight glasses of water we need every day.

Weight Control
If we drink warm water with lemon instead of sugar-sweetened warm beverages, it can help us keep our weight under control. Water, of course, has no calories, and one lemon wedge contains only a single calorie. Compare this with the 150 calories in a small latte from a popular coffee chain, or the 230 calories in a hot chocolate with 2% milk.

 

lemonsSo let’s help boost our immune systems and relieve the sluggishness from the over-abundance we’ve enjoyed during the holiday season with two simple ingredients: lemons and water. It truly works for me, and I’m sure it will help you feel refreshed as well.

12 responses to Warm Water and Lemon

  1. 

    I have been doing this for years. First thing each day upon rising. Warm filtered or spring water with fresh lemon. Good blog.

    • 

      Thank you for sharing that! I’ve only recently discovered it but it’s now my only way to start the day. I feel so much better since implementing it 🙂 Thanks again.

      • 

        Many years ago, I was reading an article about a 95-year old man who was healthy as an ox, for his age. He started his days for the past 20 or more years with lemon in hot water 1st thing. A shot of whiskey a day and a cigar. Sounds good to me!

        • 

          That is Awesome! What a great life he was living, undoubtedly happy and enjoying the finer things, and especially how he started his day! It’s just after 7am, my kettle has boiled and is cooling and I’m going to go squeeze half a lemon and think of what brings me joy – to follow his example. Thank you so much for sharing! Cheers (lemon mugfuls clinking)

  2. 

    Thank you so much for the reminder, Gina. I’m going to go make a cup right now!

  3. 

    Thanks for the ideas on handling the lemons. This something my grandmother used to do, but I haven’t. Time to start, I think.

  4. 

    Oh, you are a practical keeper of great information too. I love my lemons!

  5. 

    My grandfather taught me to use warm water, lemon and honey to combat a cold or flu. It works every time. The honey has antibiotic properties which have eliminated my need of any antibiotic prescriptions since I was a teen, with the exception of after a surgery when the doctor insisted I had to take it).

    • 

      Oooo… such a bummer that your doctor insisted on antibiotics but I guess there was a good reason (? 😦 ). Yes I agree completely that warm water and lemon with honey is a healthy panacea that helps us get through the long winter months in good shape. I enjoy drinking it even when I feel great! It is wonderfully habit-forming. 🙂