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What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water With Lemon or Lime Juice & Olive Oil?

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water With Lemon or Lime Juice & Olive Oil?
Lemons and olive oil cannot cleanse your liver. Photo Credit Inßcio Pires/Hemera/Getty Images

Separately, lemon or lime juice and olive oil have their health benefits. The juices are low in calories and good sources of vitamin C, while the oil is rich in vitamin E and heart-healthy fats. But when taken together with water, proponents claim that they help cleanse your liver. There's no evidence to support this liver-cleansing benefit, however.

About the Cleanse

The lemon or lime and olive oil cleanse is touted as helping rid both the liver and gallbladder of chemicals and germs. It's also reported to help prevent and treat illnesses, including liver cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Proponents of the citrus juice and olive oil cleanse recommend you drink the mixture for at least two days, sometimes while fasting, once or twice a year to flush the liver. The cancer society reports the drink causes you to have several bowel movements.

Truth Behind the Cleanse

There is no scientific evidence to support the claims that drinking lemon or lime juice with olive oil mixed in water cleanses your liver, let alone cures diseases such as cancer, according to American Cancer Society. In fact, when in good health, your liver, along with your kidneys, naturally rids your body of toxic substances on its own and eliminates them through your urine, stool and sweat. Additionally, many of these types of cleanses can be dangerous to certain groups of people, including children and teens and people with chronic illnesses.

Benefits of Lemons, Limes and Olive Oil

Lemon or lime juice with olive oil and water may not be beneficial as a cleanse, but the juices and oil make healthy additions to your diet. The juice from one lemon or lime has only 11 calories and meets more than 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, which as an antioxidant that helps your body's fight against damaging free radicals. Monounsaturated-rich olive oil may help improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels when you use the oil in place of saturated fats. Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E, meeting 10 percent of the daily value in a 1-tablespoon serving.

Using Lemons and Olive OIl

Drinking lemon or lime juice and olive oil with water may not cause any harm, but there may be better ways to use the juice and oil and still get the benefits. Both lemon and lime juice can add flavor to a plain cup of water or tea. They also add go well with raw or cooked vegetables and seafood. You can add olive oil to your salad or use it as your cooking oil for sauteed vegetables, grains or meats.

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