Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Lemon water is claimed to have powerful health and weight loss benefits. In fact, many celebrities swear by it and there are even diets based entirely on lemons.

But does it live up to the hype?

Lemon water is claimed to have powerful health and weight loss benefits.

This article uses scientific evidence to explore the benefits and myths of lemon water.

What is Lemon Water?

Lemon water is simply the juice from lemons mixed with water.

The amount of lemon you use depends on your personal preference and this drink can be enjoyed either cold or hot.

Some people also choose to add lemon rind, mint leaf or other ingredients.

Lemon water has become a popular morning beverage, since it’s been claimed to help improve your mood, energy levels, immune system and metabolic health.

This is what a glass of lemon water looks like:

Bottom Line: Lemon water is simply water mixed with fresh lemon juice. Additional ingredients can be added.

Lemon Water Nutrition Facts

For the purpose of this article, the definition of lemon water is one glass of water mixed with the juice from half a lemon (1).

This is the nutrient breakdown for one glass:

  • Calories: 9.
  • Sugars: Less than 1 gram.
  • Vitamin C: 25 percent of the RDI.
  • Folate: 1 percent of the RDI.
  • Potassium: 1 percent of the RDI.

One glass does not seem to provide a lot of nutrients, but drinking lemon water is a low-calorie and low-sugar beverage that can boost your vitamin C intake.

For comparison, if you replaced half a lemon with half an orange, it would double the calories and sugar in your drink (2).

Additionally, remember that the exact nutritional value depends on how much lemon juice you add, as well as any other ingredients.

Bottom Line: Lemon water is high in vitamin C, relative to its calorie and sugar content. It also contains trace amounts of folate and potassium.

Lemon Water Contains Antioxidants

Lemon water contains other beneficial substances and is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids.

Many have antioxidant properties that appear to help protect your cells from damage.

Flavonoids from citrus fruits are often linked with benefits for blood circulation, insulin sensitivity and other aspects of metabolic health (3, 4, 5, 6).

Lemon flavonoids also have the potential to reduce oxidative stress and damage, at least in rats (7, 8, 9).

All that said, there are no human studies to support these findings, so they may not be as useful in real life.

Bottom Line: Lemon water contains compounds that may protect your cells and improve metabolic health. However, human studies are needed.

Lemon Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid mineral formations that collect in the kidneys.

The most common type is made of a substance called calcium oxalate and is typically treated with a compound called citrate.

Increasing the amount of citrate in your urine is thought to prevent calcium from binding with other compounds and forming stones.

In short, citrate restores the urine’s ability to prevent kidney stone formation.

Lemon water contains high amounts of citrate and numerous human studies have found it can successfully help treat kidney stones (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

It appears to be most effective when used alongside potassium citrate, the supplement form of citrate. However, lemon water may also be a good alternative for those who don’t tolerate potassium citrate as a first-line treatment (10, 13).

Bottom Line: Studies show that lemon water can help treat kidney stones. It appears most effective alongside conventional therapy, but may also be a useful alternative treatment.

Lemon Water has the Benefits of Regular Water

Lemon water is water with a bit of lemon added, which means it has all the benefits of regular water.

Drinking plenty of water is known to have benefits for:

  • Mental health: Optimizes mood and memory.
  • Digestive health: Helps relieve constipation.
  • Exercise performance: Improves athletic performance.

Here’s more information: 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water.

Bottom Line: Drinking enough water has many health benefits. It can help you lose weight, feel great and improve your athletic performance.

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Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe with Coconut Oil and Cinnamon

Easy Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe with Coconut Oil and Cinnamon: Wake Up Right!

May 3, 2016 by Emily Monaco

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast food — and for good reason. It’s hearty, tasty, and it’s very simple to prepare. Steel cut oatmeal in particular has a chewy texture that rolled oats just don’t bring to the table. They may take a bit longer to cook, but they’re not high-maintenance, and the result is absolutely worth it.

The first key to the success of this oatmeal is combining steel cut oats with oat bran. The steel cut oats add the chewy factor you crave, but the oat bran adds a luxurious creaminess to the mix.

A dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt lend flavor, and when topped with extra-virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar, the steel cut oatmeal takes on a slightly tropical flavor. The former has staying power, keeping you full all morning, while the latter adds just the right amount of sweetness without sending your glycemic index through the roof.

You might think that steel cut oatmeal is too time-consuming for a weekday morning, but I enjoy this oatmeal pretty much every day: just set it on the stove and let it bubble over a very low heat as you’re getting ready, stirring a few times as you think of it. Adding the milk of your choice to the top has the added benefit of cooling the just-cooked oats down enough to eat them before having to get out the door.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Coconut Oil and Cinnamon

Serves 1

Ingredients
1/4 cup organic steel-cut oats
1/8 cup oat bran
1 cup water (more as needed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup milk (dairy, almond, soy…)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut sugar

Directions

Combine the oats, oat bran, water, cinnamon, and salt in a saucepan. Set over a low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. If you have the time to stand a the stove for a few moments, you can make this step go even faster by bringing the oats to a boil over high heat first, before reducing the heat.

When the oatmeal is cooked, pour into a bowl and top with the milk, coconut oil, and coconut sugar. Enjoy!

Basil- Herb That Protects DNA, Prevents Diabetes, Cleans Bloodstream, Destroys Cholesterol & Improves Vision

Basil- Herb That Protects DNA, Prevents Diabetes, Cleans Bloodstream, Destroys Cholesterol & Improves Vision

Basil is known as the king of herbs. Basil is an excellent source of a variety of key nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron. The chemical compounds present in basil leaves and flowers have disease preventing properties. They are not only delicious but offer the body a variety of health benefits, including the prevention of certain cancers and cholesterol problems.

Great Uses And Benefits Of Basil Leaf Herb

Kidney Stones

Basil can be used to strengthen your kidneys. In cases of stones in your kidney, the juice of basil leaves mixed with honey and taken daily for 6 months will expel them through the urinary tract.

Fight Viruses and Infections

Basil essential oils have been found to exhibit anti-microbial activity against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses. This means you can add protection against the candida virus and various forms of skin irritations to the long list of proven benefits of basil.

Headaches

Basil is a good headache remedy. Boil leaves in half a quart of water, cooking until half the liquid remains. Take a couple of teaspoons an hour with water to relieve your pain and swelling. You can also make a paste of basil leaves pounded with sandalwood to apply to your forehead to relieve headache and provide coolness in general.

DNA Protection

Basil leaves come complete with an array of antioxidants and other wonderful phytonutrients. Some of these phytonutrients, orientin and vicenin, which are in the flavonoid family, have been found to “protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.” – whfoods

Protects heart and blood vessels

This plant is high in vitamin B6 and magnesium. Magnesium prevents heart attacks and strengthens the cardiovascular system. B6 prevents the accumulation of harmful ingredients, like homocysteine. Moreover, it lowers the risk of arrhythmia and provides relaxation of the muscles.

Prevent Diabetes

Basil extracts reduce sugars as well as free radicals in your body. Studies were conducted regarding how basil extracts affect your glycemic index, which concluded that it may have the possibility to inhibit diabetes.

Boost Immune System

Eating fresh basil leaves regularly will give your immune system a boost. Studies show that the various chemical compounds in basil may improve the body’s production of infection-fighting antibodies by up to 20 percent. For best results, use fresh basil rather than dried versions.

Anti-ageing

Basil contains antioxidants that will fight off the wrinkles that can be caused by free radicals and it is also said to tighten and the firm up the skin, making it look more youthful and fresh.

Improves Vision

Just 100 grams of fresh basil leaves provide the recommended daily dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A has antioxidant properties and is essential for healthy vision. Fresh basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is commonly caused by Vitamin A deficiency. For sore eyes, put two drops of black basil juice into the affected eye daily before going to bed.

7 Alternative Grains and Seeds to Incorporate into Your Diet

7 Alternative Grains and Seeds to Incorporate into Your Diet

Filling and simple to cook, rice is a food staple in many cultures around the world. Yet, it’s just one of the many grains and seeds that are an excellent source of nutrition. mental_floss spoke with Melanie Sherman, Registered Dietician and founder of Westside Nutrition and Wellness, about the unique properties of seven often-overlooked grains and grain substitutes.

1. WILD RICE

Ready to leave white rice behind but wary of venturing too far out of your comfort zone? Wild rice (which isn’t technically a rice) contains almost twice the protein of brown rice and is high in several B vitamins, manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. According to one study, it has 30 times more antioxidants than white rice. It grows in lakes, bays and tidal rivers (although most commercial rice is grown in man-made lakes); these difficult growing conditions make it more expensive than other grains.

For best results, wild rice should be soaked before cooking. “Sometimes soaking can make the grain more digestible, or change the nutrient content,” Sherman says. This will also help eliminate phytic acid, which can limit the absorption of essential minerals like iron, zinc and calcium. Although Sherman says that not all grains need to be soaked, wild rice and buckwheat benefit from it. Whether or not you choose to soak your grains, Sherman adds that every grain needs to be washed before cooking.

2. AMARANTH

Amaranth is a small seed with a fine texture, making it a popular choice to add to baked goods, cereals, or porridge. According to the Whole Grains Council, its protein content is much higher than other grains at 13-14 percent, and amaranth is considered a "complete" protein because it contains the amino acid lysine (something missing in most other grains). It can be cooked by boiling it in water (for 20 minutes), but can also be toasted and sweetened for a dessert. You can also try popping amaranth like corn kernels for a popcorn substitute.

3. MILLET

A grain with a sweet, nutty flavor, Sherman recommends cooking millet as a porridge with dried apricots. (Sweeten the porridge with apple juice instead of brown sugar for a healthy twist.) It also works well in a hot pilaf with other grains and vegetables.

Sherman says, “Millet is highly nutritious, a good source of phosphorous and magnesium as well as copper and manganese.” She also notes that because millet is a goitrogen, a type of food that can have negative health effects on your thyroid, it is wise to eat it in moderation, especially if you have any autoimmune or thyroid conditions. Millet doesn’t typically serve well cold, as it tends to stick together as it dries, but it’s versatile and quick to cook (10 to 25 minutes).

4. TEFF

Grown mainly in Ethiopia and Eritrea, teff is a good source of protein, zinc, vitamin B6, and iron, and has a great balance of amino acids (although slightly lacking in lysine). The size of a poppy seed, teff has a notably high amount of calcium — about 123 mg per cup, the same amount found in 1/2 cup of spinach. The fine grains are ground into a flour and then fermented to make the flat crepe-like bread called injera (a traditional Ethiopian dish), on which hot foods like vegetables and meat are served.

5. WHEATBERRY

Wheatberry goes great with green vegetables or in a sweet salad with cranberries, orange, and cheese. It contains all the elements of a whole wheat kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm, which provide a wider spectrum of nutrients than do processed grains like white rice (which has the bran and germ stripped for a greater shelf life). Wheatberry is also a good source of iron and fiber.

Wheatberry takes about 50 minutes to cook, relatively longer than most grains, but if you make a whole batch it will keep throughout the week (it’s also great cold). You can also experiment with the flavor by toasting the wheat berries before cooking; just heat them in the pot before adding water.

6. QUINOA

You’ve likely seen quinoa on restaurant menus, but might not have tried cooking it at home—which is a shame, because the fluffy seed only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to cook.

“It is exceptionally high in protein, fiber, and is low on the glycemic index," Sherman says of quinoa. "It is also a great source of many nutrients including manganese, copper, phosphorous and magnesium.” She also notes that quinoa has a protective coating made of chemical compounds called saponins, which can cause a bitter taste. To prevent this, it should be washed under running water while rubbing the grain to remove any remaining bitterness. (Although most quinoa sold today is pre-treated to remove the saponin, many still like washing it just to make sure.)

7. BUCKWHEAT

Though it’s a seed, buckwheat is treated like a grain in a culinary sense.You could cook the buckwheat as a hot cereal for breakfast, or grind it into flour to make pancakes or crepes. The toasted version is used for kasha varnishkes, a traditional Eastern European dish of pasta noodles, kasha (toasted buckwheat), and onions.

“Buckwheat has similar health benefits to whole grains in that it’s high in fiber and vitamins and minerals," Sherman says. "It’s great in terms of cholesterol management, and blood sugar control.” Plus, it’s easy to cook—it takes just 20 minutes.

May 2, 2016 – 3:00pm