For daily cleansing, nothing beats lemon water first thing in the morning.
I first discovered this fat-burning, detoxifying wonder in The Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman. According to Gittleman, fresh lemon juice in water "helps to thin out bile and tone up both the kidneys and liver."
Lemons are a rich source of vitamins and minerals available all year, which makes them ideal for the master cleanse (lemonade diet).
But you can experience a mini cleanse every day just by adding a squeeze of lemon.
Don't let the citric acid and tart flavor fool you. Lemon juice is actually a wonderful alkalizer for the body.
Being overly acidic results in a weakened fatigued body which is prone to disease. If you are tired, achy, and sick all the time, you likely have chronically low pH.
There are whole diet plans to normalize pH, but this daily lemon detox is an easy step in the right direction.
Lemon juice is a natural diuretic, which means it increases urine flow to encourage proper water balance and cleanse the kidneys.
Lemon juice even dissolves kidney stones.
Lemon juice stimulates saliva and produces digestive enzymes in the stomach for better nutrient absorption. The citric acid helps relieve gas and constipation and can destroy intestinal worms.
Some foods encourage mucus production, such as milk products. But lemon has the opposite effect and actually dissolves mucus throughout the body. Try it next time you have sinus congestion. You may even feel the mucus melting away.
Lemon has a cleansing and stimulating effect on the liver and liquifies bile for better fat metabolism. Lemon juice is high in citric acid and vitamins B12 and B3, which help break down fat cells.
Lemon juice is a good source of bioflavonoids, especially quercetin. Quercetin is known to stimulate insulin production and help regulate blood sugar levels, which makes you feel better physically and emotionally.
Balanced blood sugar also reduces cravings and encourages healthy weight loss.
The vitamin C and quercetin in lemon juice promote healthy immune function, and its strong antiseptic and germicidal qualities naturally ward off disease. Lemon juice also helps dissolve uric acid and other toxins.
The method I prefer is to squeeze half a lemon into a cup of filtered water and heat it slightly. You want it warm enough to stimulate your liver, but less than 145 degrees F to avoid destroying the enzymes. It should be cooler than you expect for a hot beverage.
A stove is probably the safest way to heat the water, as there is growing debate over the safety of using a microwave. Never drink or cook with warm tap water from your water heater, which is a toxic breeding ground for bacteria.
After you drink your lemon water, wait at least 30 minutes before eating a meal to allow the lemon to break down mucus and work its magic in your kidneys and liver.
Just one glass in the morning is all you need for a simple daily cleanse. For those times you're not feeling well, keep the lemon water coming throughout the day for faster healing.