© Unsplash / Lauren Mancke Is Lemon Water Actually Good For You?
Many of us know that when life gives you lemons, you should add them to your water. Along with soothing a sore throat, aiding in digestion, and flushing out toxins, drinking lemon water yields a number of health benefits . . . right? To find out whether adding a few slices is actually doing your body any good, we consulted Autumn Bates, a certified clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. Spoiler: the perks of lemon water are not a myth, but there are best practices when it comes to getting the most out of each squeeze.
How much lemon should you be using for results?
According to Bates, you can still reap the benefits of lemon water as long as you incorporate the whole lemon, including the peel. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that certain polyphenols found in a lemon peel aided weight loss in rats with a high-fat diet. In addition to potentially helping you shed pounds, the fruit is packed with vitamin C. “One lemon contains a high amount of vitamin C that is needed to produce collagen in your body, boost your immune system, and regenerate glutathione (your body’s powerful antioxidant used in daily detoxification),” Bates told POPSUGAR.
Bates recommends adding at least half a lemon (sliced) to eight to 10 ounces of water.
Is it best to add lemon to cold, warm, or hot water?
Warm water all the way. This temperature helps extract vitamin C and polyphenols from both the lemon and its peel. According to Bates, although vitamin C isn’t heat stable – meaning it can degrade once it reaches a certain temperature – even a boiling temperature isn’t hot enough to negate the fruit’s benefits. However, warm water is ideal as its easier to drink in large quantities, while hot liquids have been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization.
What’s the best time of day to drink lemon water?
Our body is extremely dehydrated by the time we wake up, so Bates says to grab a glass first thing in the morning. “While we sleep, we lose a lot of water through breathing,” she said. “Hydrating with a warm glass of lemon water is best right when you wake up to help replenish what was lost overnight and start your day off on the right foot.”
In addition to adding flavor to your water (and helping up your intake as a result), lemon can boost your immune system and form collagen in your body (which promotes skin and joint health), thanks to its high levels of vitamin C. But be warned: you may also be running the risk of thinning out your teeth’s enamel by drinking lemon water all day, every day. Bates also shared that those with high levels of iron in their blood should limit their intake, as lemon can increase your body’s ability to absorb iron.
Slideshow: 29 hacks for weight-loss success (Courtesy: PopSugar)
DIY Smoothie Packs
The hurdle of having to prepare you protein- and fiber-packed smoothie can make you want to skip it for a scone. So prep all the fruits and greens you use in your smoothies and freeze individual DIY smoothie packs. It not only makes a fast breakfast even faster, but it ensures you stick to a portion-perfect calorie amount.
Skip the Pasta – Bring in the Veggies
Cut carbs and bring more nutrition to your plate by swapping pasta for veggies. Check out these veggie noodle recipes to see how to make best use of your spaghetti squash, zucchini, and more. We love the carrot fettuccine because you don’t even need a fancy spiralizer.
Pack (Crisp) Salads For a Full Week
Bring Beans to Dessert
Considering beans’ fiber, protein, and iron content, everyone should include more legumes in their diet. If you’re having trouble stomaching a bowl of beans, you can still reap the healthy benefits without your taste buds even realizing it. There are tons of bean-loaded dessert recipes, like these chocolate chickpea doughnuts, to appeal to your sweet tooth.
Freeze Your Greens
Tired of tossing greens week after week? This ice-cube hack is a must. Pick up some BPA-free ice cube trays or baby food trays, and buy a variety of greens. You can puree them separately in a food processor or blender or puree them together, adding a little water to yield a smooth consistency. Pour the puree into the little wells, attach the lids, and freeze them. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, just grab a few and throw them in your blender – it’s a great time-saver. You can also freeze greens as is in baggies – just be sure to wash and reuse them.
Bake With Applesauce
Save on fat and calories by subbing applesauce for butter. If a recipe calls for half a cup of butter, simply sub in half a cup of applesauce. Try out this banana apple chunk bread – the applesauce complements the other fruity flavors while keeping each bite naturally sweet and moist.
If you’re into protein in the morning to sustain your energy and always seem to be running out of eggs, this freezer hack is for you. Just scramble a dozen eggs, freeze them in muffin cups, and they’ll stay good up to six months.
DIY Vegan Greek Yogurt
This two-minute hack turns regular almond, soy, or coconut milk yogurt into a thicker Greek-like yogurt that’s totally vegan. Just mix in protein powder and that’s it!
Freeze Pureed Veggies
Not just for baby food, freeze pureed veggies like green beans, butternut squash, and carrots and add them to soups and sauces to increase the fiber and other nutrients.
Make-Ahead Overnight Oats
Freeze Cookie Dough
If you love to bake but know you can’t just stop at one cookie, whip up your cookie dough and freeze the batter into ice cube trays. That way you can pop out one or two, bake those in your toaster oven, and you’ll indulge a little without the temptation to keep reaching for more.
Add Tofu to Smoothies
This smoothie hack is a win-win. Adding tofu to your blender not only makes for a supercreamy consistency, but it adds protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied all morning long. If you’re not a fan of vanilla, go for this chocolate smoothie instead.
Almond Milk Ice Cubes
Why add plain ice cubes to your smoothie when you can increase the calcium and protein with almond milk ice cubes?
Steel cut oats are lower on the glycemic index than quick or rolled oats, which means they’ll stabilize your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer. They take over 40 minutes to cook though, so make a batch of this pumpkin pie overnight steel cut oatmeal and it’ll be ready for you first thing in the morning.
DIY Ice Cream
Skip the fat and calories of a regular pint and make your own ice cream using frozen fruit and a blender or food processor. This cherry chocolate chip ice cream is made with frozen cherries and frozen banana, and is 126 calories per serving.
Losing weight is so much about taking time to plan out your weekly meals. If you know you’re eating oatmeal for breakfast and mason jar salads for lunch, then you only need to think about dinner. Spend time over the weekend looking over healthy recipes and planning out your week’s dinners. Then take a shopping list and hit the grocery store so you have everything ready by Monday.
All that meal planning won’t do you any good if you don’t actually follow through. One way to make each dinner happen is to get a head start on the prep. Sunday night, cut up veggies you’ll be using for all your recipes, like peppers for roasting, or carrots, celery, and onion for soups.
If you’re a fan of steel cut oatmeal for keeping you full all morning long, this freezer hack is a huge time-saver. Just make a big batch on the stove and freeze smaller portions using a muffin tin. Pop the little oatmeal pucks into a freezer bag and a week of healthy, fiber-full breakfasts is ready.
Don’t stop at oatmeal! You can cook up other grains such as quinoa, rice, millet, and barley and freeze those, too. You can even combine two or more grains, and it’s a great, quick way to get some protein and fiber into your meal without having to spend 20 minutes cooking them up each time.
Use Avocado Instead of Butter
For baked goods that are soft and moist, skip the butter and use mashed avocado instead. This pumpkin muffin recipe is living proof that just may convince you to never want to bake with butter again.
Use Tofu in Place of Cheese
For a creamy consistency, save on calories and fat by replacing cheese with tofu. It works perfectly in this recipe for vegan stuffed shells.
Veggies in Smoothies
Don’t stop at just kale or spinach! Broccoli, beans, carrots, and sweet potato can also be added to your blender. Here’s a week of veggie-packed smoothies to give you some ideas.
Keep Track of Calories
Packing your lunch and snacks for the day is one of the most effective ways to lose weight because it allows you to be in control of the calories you consume. Take your planning one step further by labeling food with the time you should eat it and the number of calories it contains.
Protein Powder Is a Miracle
Coconut Water Ice Cubes
Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender, throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a simple way to add more essential electrolytes to your smoothie, but more importantly, it increases the sweet flavor without adding tons of calories.
29 Hacks For Weight-Loss Success
Also watch: Is lemon water actually healthy? (Provided by Health.com)
Is lemon water actually healthy?