Wait… lemons and limes have health benefits?? I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me at first, I definitely didn’t believe it either. They just seem like fruit that is full of sour water. But they are deceptively healthy!
Let’s start with the main (and most confusing) fact about lemons and limes: they are alkalizing. I’ve seen this in a few places but very few people actually describe what that even means. Well, alkaline, also known as basic, is the opposite of acidic. Although lemons and limes seem acidic (and they are in their natural state), when you digest them, they leave behind “a residue of alkaline ash in the bloodstream” (4). What makes a food acidic vs alkaline all depends how the body digests/metabolizes the food. Long story short, the more alkaline that’s in your body, the more healthy it is. Research has actually shown that in acidic environments diseases like cancer can form. So you want more alkaline and less acid in your body to be as healthy as you can be!
Just in case you’re curious in general most foods fall in the following categories:
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol
- Neutral: Natural fats, starches, sugars
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables
This doesn’t mean you can never eat meat, but make sure you’re balancing out the acid that forms in your body from eating things like meat with alkalizing foods like fruits and vegetables!
Which brings us back to lemons and limes. Most of their health benefits stem from the fact that they are alkalizing and they also have a high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is one of nature’s main antioxidants. When inside the body, Vitamin C essentially protects healthy cells from being damaged by harmful cells that exist in the body for a variety of reasons.
– Help in the absorption of sugars and calcium and cuts down your cravings for sweets
– Increased energy levels
– Support healthy immune function
– Detoxifies body, aids in digestion, and relieves bloating
– Reduce inflammation in the body and relieve symptoms from inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis, and sciatica
– Reduce heartburn
– May help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon (based on laboratory studies with animals and human cells) (2)
– Prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
– Skin clensing, prevents formation of wrinkles and acne due to its high antioxidant content
– May aid in workout recovery by reducing the buildup of lactic acid and preventing soreness and tiredness. Also helps to replenish your body’s salts lost after a workout.
After all these benefits, why not try to work more lemons and limes into your diet?! Well you may be wondering how do you do that. One super easy and great way is through infused waters! We all need to drink more water anyway, so try adding some lemons and/or limes to that water to make it more tasty and more healthy. I never really thought I would like flavored waters until I discovered this lemon, lime and cucumber water. It is SO refreshing and now I am obsessed! I drink some in the morning and a bunch at night when I get home from work and the gym. It is 100% getting me to drink more water too. Win-win! Try it!
Lemon, Lime and Cucumber Water
Makes four 24 oz servings
1 bunch of mint
Slice all ingredients and divide them between four 24 oz water bottles. Muddle ingredients together slightly to allow flavors to come out. Add water! So simple. 🙂 The flavor can be pretty strong, so adjust as preferred.
Do you have any other favorite infused water combinations?