A creature of habit, I’ve had the same morning ritual for years: get up, put on the kettle, and retrieve the lemon that’s always in my fridge. I squeeze a wedge of it into boiling water (mixed with a bit of cold so I don’t scald myself) before I’ve even had a chance to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I’d drink it whilst I put on my workout gear and then put myself through my paces at some class in the gym. Breakfast would happen afterwards, which is a good thing—you want to wait 30 minutes before you eat, as it gives your body time to absorb all the benefits from your drink without it having to think about much else. Warm lemon water and I have been morning partners for years, because this simple drink’s benefits include the following:
1. Kick starting my digestion
Our bodies like warm water. It helps to break down the food in our stomachs, encouraging it to pass on down through the intestines (which also means it helps with constipation).
2. Flushing toxins from my liver
2-3 litres of water a day helps to flush out the liver and also keep bodies hydrated. Warm lemon water is another way to make sure we’re getting enough.
3. Assisting with weight loss
Because lemon juice is a digestive aid and a liver cleanser, it may also help with weight loss. However, it’s no miracle cure, but it can help if it’s used as one of the tools in our armory.
4. Clearing up skin
This is down to the fact that as lemon water detoxifies, it helps to make the body more alkaline. Not only will our complexions benefit, but our entire bodies will too.
5. The hit of Vitamin C
Lemons don’t contain as much Vitamin C you’d think, so if that’s what you’re after you’re better off eating peppers or kiwis. However, they do still contain a small amount. And, as we all know, Vitamin C is good for us. It’ supports the adrenal glands, plus it is needed for the production of wrinkle-busting collagen.
6. The dose of potassium
Potassium stimulates nerve and brain function, which basically means it’s one of the minerals that keeps our bodies firing on all cylinders.
7. The high amounts of pectin
Pectin is a type of fiber that helps fight hunger cravings, making it another tool that could help if weight loss is a goal.
However, despite all of this goodness, something unexpected happened one morning. Without any warning, the back of my tooth simply fell right off. I immediately called my dentist. I’d never had not one problem with my teeth up until this moment—not so much as a filling. The dentist scratched his head and asked me lots of questions, all of which prompted a reply of “no”, until I thought to mention my daily mug of warm lemon water. It turns out my inkling was right—the acidity in the lemon erodes enamel. Even the simple act of brushing your teeth after consuming lemon (or any fruit at all for that matter) erodes the enamel.
So, what did I do? I stopped drinking it, of course…. until I began to miss it. We were partners, after all. I was sure there had to be a way to tweak it. After a bit of research, I realized I could adjust my old ritual a little to still get all the benefits but without the negatives. These days, it goes more like this: to begin with, I brush my teeth. This is the first step in safeguarding those teeth. Next comes the mug of warm lemon water and then, in the second step that ensures safe enamel, I rinse my mouth out with water. It’s easy, really! If only I’d known.
Now, not only is my health still benefiting, but I’m safe in the knowledge that when I’m at a ripe old age of 100 (which is going to happen), maybe I’ll also be in with a chance of having some of my own teeth left as well!