Lemons are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin C, which provides a variety of health benefits for the body. Vitamin C aids in cellular detoxification and contains enzymes that assist with metabolic and organ function. It also clears waste from the digestive tract and enhances immune health. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of certain hormones and even enhances energy levels.
Because lemons contain very little fructose (fruit sugar), they’re also very easy to digest and do not cause bloating. In fact, lemons can actually reduce bloating because they are a natural diuretic and contain so many natural enzymes. Drinking lemon water is essentially the simplest way to take advantage of this fruit’s benefits.
And it doesn’t end there — let’s take a look at some other ways that you can reap this citrus gem’s therapeutic value.
Easy ways to use lemons to detox the body
Make a superfood tonic
If you’re tired of plain lemon water, make a cleansing tonic with lemons, honey, cayenne, water and apple cider vinegar. Here’s how to make it:
- Pour four ounces of cold filtered water into a glass jar, add two or three cubes of ice, the juice from one lemon, a 1/2 teaspoon of honey, a tiny dash of cayenne pepper, and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
This tonic has a variety of benefits: the vitamin C in the lemon juice boosts the immune system; the probiotics, prebiotics and enzymes in the apple cider vinegar aid digestion; the honey offers antifungal and antibacterial properties; and the cayenne pepper is naturally cleansing.
Drink it before a workout or within the first 30 minutes of waking. If you need to add a little more sweetener, add some raw honey.
Use it as a salad dressing
My favorite way to make a healthy salad dressing is to simply mix the juice of two lemons with a pinch of black pepper and a touch of raw honey. I sometimes also like to add apple cider vinegar and fresh herbs like parsley and oregano. Using lemons as the base for a salad dressing adds a lot of flavor to your salads without the need for unhealthy dressings or heavy oils. This tasty dressing is a wonderful digestive aid and will enhance the taste of salad greens.
Add it to a smoothie
If you enjoy making smoothies, then you’ll love this trick: Squeeze the juice of one lemon into your smoothie and blend as normal. It not only brings out the sweetness of berries and even greens, but it also promotes healthy digestion and boosts metabolism.
Juice with it
Green juice is a nice way to add essential nutrients to your diet. Use plenty of leafy greens, and if you wish to add a little fruit, try berries, apple or citrus.
Including mostly greens in your juice will help to avoid a spike in blood sugar. You can also add a whole lemon and a piece of ginger. This will give your juice a nice lemon-ginger flavor that will reduce the bitterness of the greens, as well as enhance its cleansing properties.
Make a lemon-ginger shot
You may not wish to juice greens every day, so try making a lemon-ginger shot in your juicer instead. Juice two lemons and one or two inches of ginger root. Toss in some cayenne pepper if you like, and enjoy this digestion-boosting, cleansing drink. It’s also a great way to combat the cold and flu since both lemon and ginger provide anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Add a dash of turmeric for even more health benefits.
Drink lemon-cucumber water
Another way to make lemon water more exciting is to enhance it with cucumber and perhaps some fresh mint. Steep a couple of frozen slices of cucumber (which act as ice) with the juice of one lemon, rinsed lemon peel and a fresh mint leaf. Drink this refreshing tonic that will leave you with a flat belly and a naturally cleansed feeling all day long.
Add it to herbal tea
Dandelion, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, rooibos and spearmint are just some of the most popular and powerful teas. One way to enhance herbal tea is to add the juice of a lemon before you drink it. If you need more sweetness, go with a touch of raw honey or a drop of pure liquid stevia. Enjoy hot or cold for digestive wellness after a meal or throughout the day.
Pair it with green tea
Lemon makes green tea taste great, and it also enhances its cleansing properties. The antioxidants known as catechins in green tea will be better absorbed due to the natural enzymes that lemons contain. Lemons and green tea are also two excellent remedies for stress, so pairing them together is the perfect way to take care of yourself when the going gets tough!
Squeeze it on your veggies
Whether you eat them cooked or raw, try eating your veggies with a squeeze of lemon on top.
Lemon juice not only enhances the taste of veggies but also aids in digestion. Since some vegetables can be hard for the body to break down, this is a simple and effective way to give your tummy some assistance without much work. You’ll also love the flavor!
These are just some of the simplest ways to use lemon to help with natural detoxification. If you would like to learn more, see these 21 ways to use lemons in and out of the kitchen.
Buying and storage tips:
Be sure to buy organic lemons when you can and rinse them before use. Also look for those that are somewhat firm in texture since softness can mean they are over-ripe. Lemons should be bright yellow and free from brown and moldy spots.
Store your lemons in the fridge inside the crisper drawer to help them last longer, or store them on the coldest shelf in your fridge, not on the counter where heat and sunlight can cause them to spoil more quickly.
Be sure to take advantage of the naturally detoxifying properties of lemons more often. Lemons are so versatile, why not make use of them whenever you can! Do you have a favorite way to use lemons to enhance your health?
Heather McClees is a professional health journalist and Certified Holistic Nutritionist from South Carolina.She received her B.S. Degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of of holistic health, showing others how to create healthy recipes based on their favorite foods, physical fitness and yoga, and creative writing.