If you look at detox water cleanses, a lot of detox water recipes include citrus fruits. One of the more popular citrus fruits used is lemon. Why? Because this fruit is one of the most beneficial foods that you can include in any diet. (1) The citrus fruit also carries a very distinct flavor, which gives a pleasant taste to any drink.
This is why many people have started putting slices of lemon in water long before detox diets were even a thing.
That’s probably one reason behind the popularity of lemonade and lemon-flavored sodas. However, most lemon-flavored drinks not only lack the benefits that lemon can provide but are also loaded with sugar and chemicals that are detrimental to your health. (2)
You are better off with homemade lemon detox water recipes or find ways to incorporate lemon directly into your diet.
Below, we lay out the 10 biggest health benefits of lemon, along with how you can include it in a detox water recipe for further benefits.
10 Health Benefits of Lemon
1. Lemons can help prevent weight gain and obesity.
One of the most interesting reasons to add lemons to your detox is their effect on weight gain. Research has shown that lemon can slow down the rate of weight gain, effectively fighting obesity. (3)
This was originally one of the reasons people started adding lemon slices to their water glasses. With obesity becoming a rising problem all over the world and a growing number of people looking to get skinnier, lemon detox water is a simple, effective place to start.
2. Lemons can protect against developing type 2 diabetes.
Another great health benefit lemons offer is the ability to reduce insulin resistance. (4) Lemons do this indirectly through fighting weight gain and directly through improving insulin sensitivity.
This means that the cells are better at absorbing blood sugar, which helps regulate insulin levels and prevents the occurrence of type 2 diabetes caused by chronically high insulin levels.
3. Lemons can help prevent kidney stones.
Lemons can also help prevent the occurrence of kidney stones. (5) These are small stones made from calcium that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, both in the body and when passing through urination.
Including lemons in your diet can help you avoid a particularly unpleasant experience, especially if you’re an elderly individual at higher risk of developing kidney stones.
4. Lemons contribute towards your daily fluid intake.
A lemon’s high water content and plentiful minerals, which act as electrolytes in the body, mean that it is great for increasing body hydration levels. This has a wide range of health benefits, including helping heart health and aiding brain function. (6)
This makes water and lemon a great combination in the summer: it’s easier to keep sipping on something refreshing and lemony—and as a bonus, it hydrates you a little extra.
5. Lemons can help fight infections.
Along with being packed with minerals, lemons also have strong antimicrobial properties. (7) This means they can be used to fight off infections and speed up recovery from illnesses like colds and flu.
This, along with the anti-inflammatory properties we’ll discuss below, makes it a great fruit for recovering from sickness.
6. Lemons help fight inflammation.
As mentioned above, lemons are also great for fighting inflammation. (8) This is due to the high amount of vitamin C contained in the fruit. This can help in recovering from stress, reducing muscle soreness, and boosting overall health.
7. Lemons help maintain oral health.
One of the reasons sailors used to take limes while out to sea was to protect their teeth and prevent scurvy. (9) This is due to the high level of vitamin C limes have. Lemons have similar amounts of this nutrient, meaning they can also have a beneficial effect on dental health and protect your teeth.
8. Lemons help maintain joint health.
Along with helping your teeth and fighting illness, the vitamin C contained in lemons also helps promote the creation of new collagen in tendons. (10) This will help keep you free from nasty injuries, particularly if you do regular training or enjoy an active lifestyle.
Collagen is also a key material in the skin and nails, so taking in lemons each day may help keep you looking young and complement the anti-aging effects we’ll discuss below.
9. Lemons help fight aging.
Through boosting collagen creation and fighting inflammation, lemons can help slow down the aging process. This is because vitamin C helps protect cell health and prevent breakdown, while the minerals in the fruit help maintain the nervous system.
10. Lemons help maintain cardiovascular health and function.
Along with keeping hydration levels up and maintaining nervous system function, the potassium in lemons also helps maintain cardiovascular function. (11) This can help protect you against cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, which can become serious risks as you get older.
Have we convinced you to buy a bag of lemons yet? We sure hope so! Once you have some of these yellow gems, you’ll need some delicious recipes to add them to. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.
Lemon Detox Recipes
1. Lemon and Lime
You’ve likely heard of this popular combination before. The mixture of the two citrus fruits will double your vitamin C intake, and provide a wider range of vitamins and minerals for a more powerful health kick. Just squeeze half a lemon and half a lime into your water and enjoy.
2. Lemon, Ginger and Orange
This mixture provides a unique taste along with a wide range of benefits. The ginger provides phytonutrients and antioxidants, while the orange doubles down on the vitamin C and gives a sweet taste to the water.
3. Lemon, Strawberry and Mint
For a “fruitier” flavor, you can add strawberry to your detox water for a sweet taste and some extra benefits like added fiber and vitamins. Meanwhile, the mint can add more benefits by including vitamin A and a range of minerals, giving the drink a pleasant smell and aftertaste.
4. Lemon and Honey
This is a good choice for those with a strong sweet tooth. But the honey does double duty: it adds sweetness but also brings some antimicrobial properties to further help fight infections. The natural sugars also help boost energy levels.
For colder weather, heating the water is a good option to add more flavor (and coziness!) to the drink.
5. Lemon, Cinnamon and Honey
The addition of cinnamon to this drink is a simple change from the above formula, but with a big difference, both for taste and nutrition. The spice can help further improve insulin sensitivity and increase copper intake.
All of this leads to a tasty, sweet and healthy drink that can help with weight loss and well-being.
Lemons are one of the oldest health foods in the world. When looking at the benefits, this should come as no surprise. Regular inclusion of lemons in your diet—through food or detox water recipes—can help improve everything from heart health to weight loss, and add some great flavor to your meals and drinks while doing it.
Overall, this citrus fruit is an easy, accessible and relatively cheap detox water ingredient that you should always keep on hand.