If you regularly consume lemon juice, you should know that there are lemon benefits and side effects. These citrus fruits aid digestion and supply vitamins and minerals, but they can erode tooth enamel.
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Overall, the benefits of lemon water in the morning far outweigh the side effects, so you may want to consider waking up to a tall glass of water with a slice of lemon as part of your morning routine.
Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Like oranges, lemons supply a hefty dose of vitamin C. According to the Better Health Channel of Victoria, Australia, lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Cleveland Clinic recommends juicing half a lemon into your morning glass of water, which will give you more than a sixth of your recommended daily vitamin C.
The Better Health Channel also points out that lemons contain vitamin B6, which is important for regulating nerve function and metabolizing food into energy. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), B6 can play a role in cognitive development and immune functioning. Lemons also supply a healthy amount of magnesium, a mineral that keeps bones strong and is involved in muscle, heart and nerve functioning, says the Better Health Channel.
Moreover, lemons provide potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, says the Better Health Channel. Without potassium, explains Cleveland Clinic, your body cannot function properly. This mineral is essential for transporting nutrients and waste and for nerve-muscle communication.
One small December 2013 study of 101 middle-aged women in Hiroshima, Japan, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, even found that the amount of lemon intake per day correlated negatively with blood pressure. In other words, an increase in lemon consumption decreased blood pressure levels.
Read more: Benefits of Lemon Water
Digestion, Oxidation, Kidney Stones
The acid in lemon can help you break down food in your stomach, points out the Cleveland Clinic. Drinking lemon water or lemon juice can be especially helpful as you age and your stomach acid declines.
And even though lemons don't have any direct weight loss benefits, it wouldn't hurt to replace your sugary soda, orange juice or sweetened tea with lemon water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it could mean the difference between 180 calories and zero calories.
Among the many benefits of lemon water is the prevention of oxidation and kidney stones. Cleveland Clinic states that drinking lemon water can help you avoid painful kidney stones, which may occur in those deficient in urinary citrate, a form of citric acid.
In the same way that an avocado browns when exposed to air, your cells can "rust." This is called oxidation, and can be prevented by consuming lemons in water or juice, which contains phytonutrients, powerful antioxidants.
Read more: What Vegetables Should Help Kidney Stones?
Lemon Juice Side Effects
Despite its many health benefits benefits that range from supplying vitamins to aiding in digestion, lemon juice has side effects, namely the effect it can have on the teeth. According to a June 2015 study in the journal PLOS One, lemon juice was associated with high tooth enamel erosion compared to other drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, apple juice and Red Bull.
In the study, 100 enamel and 100 dentine specimens were placed in 200 milliliters of various liquids, such as Sprite, Red Bull, orange juice, tap water, Coca-Cola, lemon juice and more. Fluids were ventilated at 37 degrees Celsius for seven days. After seven days, the specimens were weighed to determine exactly how much the teeth had eroded.
Lemon juice showed significantly higher erosivity than all other drinks aside from Sprite and apple juice, according to the study. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, showed the lowest values for erosion.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Rethink Your Drink"
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin B6"
- PLOS One: "Influence of Various Acidic Beverages on Tooth Erosion Evaluation by a New Method"
- Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism: "Effect on Blood Pressure of Daily Lemon Ingestion and Walking"
- Better Health Channel: "Lemon"
- Cleveland Clinic: "7 Reasons to Start Your Day With Lemon Water"