It is that wonderful time of year: holiday parties, cookie exchanges, mulled wine, and late nights. While I advise all of my clients to listen to their body and not overdue it, I also try and offer tips to help prevent illness and weight gain during this time. One of the best things you can do to promote natural health is simple, easy, and tastes great this time of year when temperatures dip: start your day with a glass of hot lemon water.
Upon waking, squeeze half a lemon in hot (or as warm as you can tolerate) water and consume before eating any other foods or drinks. Some, but not all, of the benefits of hot lemon water include:
1) Cleanses your liver and kidneys of waste and toxins.
2) Improves digestion. Lemons encourages the liver to produce bile, which is an acid needed for digestion
3) Promotes weight loss because lemons are high in pectin which is a natural appetite suppressant
4) Improves your skin. Lemons cleanse the blood of toxins as well which helps clear the skin
5) Balances the pH in your gut. Even though lemons contain citric acid, they are extremely alkalizing. Alkaline foods help reduce acid levels in the body caused by a diet high in processed and refined foods.
6) Helps curbs coffee and food cravings. This naturally energizing drink diminishes the need for caffeine for most. It also allows you to ask yourself if you are truly hungry or just feeding yourself unconsciously.
7) Boosts your immune system since lemons are high in vitamin C and potassium.
Remember, this should be done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Try and wait at least an hour before eating breakfast.