Published 2 years ago

7 Ways Your Body Benefits from Lemon Water

benefits of lemon water

Lemon water is all the rage these days.

Many restaurants serve it routinely, and some people start their day with lemon water instead of coffee or tea. There’s no doubt lemons are delicious, but does adding them to water make you healthier?

Health Benefits of Lemon Water

Much of the evidence supporting lemon water’s health benefits is anecdotal.

Little scientific research has been done specifically on lemon water’s impact on health as a whole, but some research exists on the benefits of lemon and water separately.

1. It promotes hydration.

According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the dietary reference intake for water is 91 to 125 ounces. This includes water from food and drinks.

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Water is the best beverage for hydration, but some people don’t like the taste of it on its own. Adding lemon enhances water’s flavor, which may help you drink more.

 

2. It’s a good source of vitamin C.

Citrus fruits like lemons are high in vitamin C, which is a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.

Vitamin C may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, and lower blood pressure. Research published in Stroke showed that people with low vitamin C levels, especially obese men with high blood pressure, have a higher risk of stroke. Vitamin C may also help prevent or limit the duration of the common cold in some people, although studies are conflicting.

 

While lemons don’t top the list of citrus fruits high in vitamin C, they’re still a good source. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1/4 cup raw lemon juice provides about 23.6 grams of vitamin C. That’s over 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

3. It improves your skin quality.

Vitamin C found in lemons may help reduce skin wrinkling. A study published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who consumed more vitamin C have less risk of wrinkled and dry skin.

How water improves skin is controversial, but one thing is certain. If your skin loses moisture, it becomes dry and wrinkle-prone. Whether it’s better to apply moisturizer to the skin or drink more water isn’t clear, but UW Health recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and rid the skin of toxins.

4. It supports weight loss.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons significantly reduced weight gain caused by a high-fat diet in mice. In addition, insulin resistance was improved.

While the same results need to be proven in humans, anecdotal evidence is strong that lemon water supports weight loss. Whether this is due to an increase in water intake and fullness or the lemons remains to be seen.

5. It aids digestion.

Some people drink lemon water as a daily morning laxative to help prevent constipation. Drinking warm or hot lemon water when you wake up may help get your digestive system moving.

Ayurvedic medicine believes the sour lemon taste helps stimulate your “agni.” In Ayurveda, a strong agni jump-starts the digestive system, allowing you to digest food easily and helping prevent the buildup of toxins.

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6. It freshens breath.

Have you ever rubbed a lemon on your hands to remove a powerful stench? It’s thought to neutralize odors. The same folk remedy may apply to bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.

Keep your breath sweeter by drinking a glass of lemon water after meals and first thing in the morning. Lemon is thought to stimulate saliva, and water helps prevent a dry mouth, which leads to bad breath caused by excess bacteria growth.

7. It helps prevent kidney stones.

The citric acid in lemons may help prevent calcium kidney stones. UW Health recommends increasing citric acid intake to decrease your risk of getting new calcium stones. Drinking lemon water not only helps you get more citric acid, but also the water you need to prevent stones.

Having 1/2 cup of lemon juice provides the same amount of citric acid you’d find in prescription varieties.

How to Make Lemon Water

In order to reap any health benefits of lemon water, you need drink it consistently, and you need more than just a single wedge of lemon in your mug.

 

When making lemon water, always use fresh lemons and not artificial lemon from a bottle. To make lemon water, squeeze half a lemon into 8 ounces of boiling, warm, or cold water. To make the drink as healthy as possible, use filtered water and organic lemons.

Infuse flavor to lemon water by adding:

You can also add slices of other fresh citrus fruits such as limes and oranges, or cucumber slices.

Having lemon ice cubes on hand is a great way to add lemon to your water fast. Simply squeeze fresh lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Drop a few cubes into a glass of cold or hot water as needed.

Start your morning with a mug of warm lemon water, and keep a pitcher of water infused with a few sliced, whole lemons in your refrigerator to drink throughout the day.

Side Effects of Lemon Water

Lemon water is generally safe to drink, but there are a few potential side effects to be aware of. Lemon contains citric acid, which may erode tooth enamel (an ironic twist for people using lemon to help bad breath). To limit the risk, drink lemon water through a straw, and rinse your mouth afterwards.

When it comes to heartburn, lemon water can go either way. The acidic citric acid may stimulate heartburn in some people. Others may experience relief from heartburn since lemons become alkaline in the digestive tract. If lemons aggravate your heartburn, avoid drinking lemon water.

Some people report more frequent trips to the bathroom when drinking lemon water. Although lemon juice is often referred to as a diuretic, a substance that increases urine production, evidence doesn’t show that vitamin C from natural sources like lemons has diuretic effects.

If you experience the need for extra bathroom breaks while drinking lemon water, it’s more than likely caused by increased water intake.

The Takeaway

Research shows lemon water has potential health benefits. But, in some cases, more studies are needed. Adding lemon to your water may help you drink more throughout the day to help you stay hydrated, which is critical to good health.

If you drink it hot, lemon water is a comforting alternative to other hot beverages. If you drink it cold, it’s refreshing and energizing.

No matter how you enjoy it, lemon water may give you a wellness boost.

Source: Healthline.com

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Published 2 years ago

Benefits & Uses of Coconut Oil

Wondering what coconut oil is good for? Well, this wonder oil benefits in skin care, hair care, weight loss, treating yeast infections, improving digestion and increasing immunity against a host of infections and diseases. The oil is used not just in tropical countries, where coconut plantations are abundant, but also in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. People are discovering the wonders this oil can create, and it is again gaining popularity throughout the world.

Let us look at some of the known benefits of this oil.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has several health benefits, the most important ones being its usefulness in hair care and skin care.

Hair Care

Do you know the reason for long and shining hair of women in tropical coastal regions? Yes, it is coconut oil. Women in tropical coastal regions of the world use this oil for their hair almost daily. This thick butter-like oil helps in healthy growth of hair and makes your hair shiny. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which if unchecked can lead to various unhealthy qualities in your hair. This is the reason why it is used as hair care oil, and in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Now you must be thinking how to use coconut oil for your hair? Just apply it topically on your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask.

Worried about damaged hair? Again coconut oil is the solution. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that it provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.

By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is dandruff free, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs (yes, some people do get lice in their hair).

Skin Care

Did you know that coconut oil works great for skin? Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of this oil. Therefore, it has been safely used for thousands of years for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. Yes, you read it right – thousands of years! Coconut oil usage may be termed as a recent fad, but it has been there since ages.

 

It also helps in treating various skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitiseczema, and other skin infections. For this exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care. What more? It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. The credit to this benefit goes to its well-known antioxidant properties.

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is useful for weight loss too. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that it helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest as compared to other edible oils and helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby, burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight. Several people focus on exercises to lose weight, from using indoor machines like leg press machines to outdoor exercises like running and playing sports. While this is a good approach to lose weight, including products like coconut oil enhances your weight loss efforts.

Improves Immunity

Coconut oil is also good for improving your immunity. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

coconutoilinfographicBoosts Digestion

Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system, and thus, prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats present in it have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

 

Dental Care

Calcium is an important component of our teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in developing strong teeth. It also stops tooth decay. Recent research suggests that coconut oil is beneficial in reducing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.

Prevents Candida

Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. Coconut provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans.

Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effect of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms or Herxheimer reactions (the name given to the symptoms accompanying body’s rejection of toxins generated during elimination of these fungi). But in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil, and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.

Speeds Up Healing

When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.

Keeping Organs Healthy

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids in coconut oil helps in preventing liver diseases. This is because those substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing the workload of the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat. It also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones. Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in keeping pancreas healthy by treating pancreatitis.

Helps in AIDS & Cancer Treatment

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing the viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown an indication of this effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients.

Boosts Heart Health 

This is a controversial topic. There is enough research to prove that coconut oil is not good for the heart due to the presence of saturated fats. While there is also research that shows that coconut oil is good for the heart. Lauric acid present in coconut oil helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. A study suggests that intake of coconut oil may help in maintaining healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women. So, finally, is coconut oil good or bad for the heart? Well, if you are using coconut oil for edible purposes, check your cholesterol levels regularly. If you find them increasing, it is better to stop the intake. In any case, do consult a professional medical practitioner before you start consuming coconut oil. Never play with your (and someone else’s) heart!

According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea. Finally, coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.

Other Benefits

Coconut oil is strongly recommended for a number of other benefits that are explained below. Using coconut oil has been shown to mildly help the following:

Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing, and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying it to the head, followed by a gentle massage, helps eliminate mental fatigue. According to research virgin coconut oil gives relief from stress and has antioxidant properties.

Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also promotes the effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby, preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the development of bones. Thus, it is very useful for women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Boosts Energy: Coconut oil is often used by athletes, bodybuilders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that it contains fewer calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy, and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. It helps boost energy and endurance, and generally, enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease: The research conducted by Dr. Newport states that the oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this, there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge of coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. In fact, traditionally it wasn’t believed to boost the functioning of the brain in any form. The NIH has sponsored a study to check this claim.

Use as Carrier Oil

Carrier oils are those oils, which easily penetrate or absorb into the skin, facilitating seepage or absorption of other oils (such as essential oils) and herbal extracts through the skin when mixed into it. It is easily absorbed through the skin’s pores and thus is used as a carrier oil. Furthermore, being one of the most stable oils, it doesn’t go rancid, nor does it let the other oils, herbal extracts, or medicines spoil inside of it. It does not alter the properties of the oils and herbs mixed within it. It also protects the herbs and oils from microbial or fungal interactions. Coconut oil is expensive in several countries; however, in tropical countries, its cost is low enough to make it affordable as a carrier oil.

Composition of Coconut Oil

More than 90% of coconut oil consists of saturated fats (Don’t panic! It’s not as bad as it sounds, read until the end of this and your opinion may change), along with traces of a few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil is no different from this.

Saturated fatty acids: Most of them are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body’s systems.

-Lauric acid: It is the chief contributor, representing more than 40% of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin. Lauric acid is helpful in dealing with viruses and diseases.

-Capric acid: It reacts with certain enzymes secreted by other bacteria, which subsequently converts it into a powerful antimicrobial agent, monocaprin.

-Caprylic acid, caproic acid, and myristic acid: They are rich in antimicrobial and antifungal properties

Unsaturated fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids- linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids- oleic acid

Poly-phenols: Coconut contains gallic acid, which is also known as phenolic acid. These polyphenols are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of coconut oil. Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these polyphenols.

Derivatives of fatty acid: Betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters.

Derivatives of fatty alcohols: Fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulfate, and fatty alcohol ether sulfate

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals such as iron.

How to Use and Store Coconut Oil?

Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degrees Celsius or 76-78 Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperature rises considerably. It is often in this form, and obviously, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or soaking it in warm water. You can also take some oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (don’t use a microwave). Then, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you don’t need to completely switch to coconut oil because then you will lose other benefits of more traditional oils and dairy products.

In colder countries, coconut oil comes in good, broad containers. However, if you get it in a pack (tetra-pack or plastic pouch), after opening the pack, be sure to keep the oil in containers with a tight lid and broad mouth. This will help you scoop it out with a spoon if it solidifies. Keeping it sealed or lidded is necessary because there are other admirers of coconut oil too (ants, cockroaches, other insects and rodents just love it!).

I don’t like the taste of coconut oil. What should I do?: Try using it in a variety of different recipes. However, if you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself to eat it. As can happen with any food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it in that case.

Hope this will be of some help to you. Got any suggestions? Your comments are welcome! If you find it beneficial share this information with your friends too.

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