Lemon water and healthy eating
Much has been said about Lemon water and the benefits of the liver and renal cleansing qualities of the humble lemon and only slightly less about the green cousin, the lime. The origins of this unique fruit is unclear, but it is a common perception that they have their roots in Burma, China and India. From here it is believed lemons were taken to Europe in the late 2nd century A.D.
Lemon juice in its pure state is well-known for its antioxidant properties and it is thought that this is due to its acid pH factor of around 2 as well as its high vitamin C content. Lemon juice is rich in ascorbic acid and is essential to the assistance of a well functioning immune system.
Lemon water aids digestion and rids the body of toxins that create a sluggish, unhealthy metabolism. Lemon juice is known to have many curative properties and some even believe in its ability to assist in the prevention of heart failure. IE cleansing the blood.
However, lemon water is no lazy cure all ! Lemon juice will not create weight loss on its own !! But like green tea, it will assist the suppression of appetite; while ridding the body of toxins.
So with a sensible eating plan, the weight loss will; or should occur. The best way to use the benefits of lemon juice, is by consuming a glass of lemon water; first thing every morning.
Lemon juice and healthy Living
I have been doing this for 12 years, (give or take) and I first started this practice as an antidote; to my overindulgence of alcohol and my worry, of what damage I may have been doing to my liver. I believe that this single action, coupled with the fact that I have always eaten an antioxidant rich diet; has saved my health.
My doctor is quite astounded at some of my test results, given the fact that she realises; that I used to bash the bottle a little bit, to coin a phrase. All good things must come to an end and so I substituted lemon water for alcohol.
Lemon water does not have to be confined to the early-morning cleanser and the days pick me up drink. A glass of lemon water 15 to 30 minutes before each of the 3 main meals of the day, assists the gut in having a stable acid level for the processing of the nutrients; that are about to be consumed.
Lemons neutralise acidity
There is a myth out there, that is being perpetuated by some health gurus; that lemon juice consumed outside the body as an acid, somehow mysteriously turns to base once consumed. That is not so!
I read a very interesting article recently, from a very world renowned chemistry buff and columnist named Kat, on the blog, the “Chronicle Flask”.
Some other self proclaimed Health expert had stated, “Lemons neutralise acidity.”
Kats response, you can see in the enclosed link.
Her condensed version goes on to outline, that basically lemons are acidic as they contain about 5% of citric acid by volume/weight and have a pH factor of about 2. This makes them a weak acid.
The accepted theory of what pH stands for, is Potential of Hydrogen ions.
From my old school days at an agricultural college, I learned that every change of one on the pH scale was in fact by a factor of 10. The example being that if you tested one patch (A) of soil, where the pH value was 7.5 and then you tested patch (B); which had a pH value of 5.5, then patch B was 100 times more acid than patch A.
So prior to planting the crop, patch A would only need a small amount of agricultural lime to bring the pH value up to around about 8 to 8.4.
Patch B though,would need to be heavily limed and also treated with slow-release dolomite; to help neutralise the acid soil, to get it anywhere near a pH value approaching 8.
So the point Kat is making, is that neat lemon juice has a pH value of around 2 and when it is added to a glass of water it is probably a lot closer to neutral which is pH 7 or over that which is “base”. So when you drink that glass of lemon water, or a glass of mineral water with some Bi-Carb, for a very short time; they would dilute the acid level of the stomach.
The bottom line then is that drinking acidic lemon juice, is not going to neutralise the acid content of the stomach; nor change the acid level of your bloodstream.
To quote Kat “can lemons neutralise acid? No.
Can what you eat ‘alkalize’ your blood? (It’s terrifying just how many websites there are about this.) No. Absolutely not. Under no circumstances.
If you were to eat a lot of indigestion tablets, they would neutralise the acid in your stomach; but that would have no effect on your blood. Literally no effect.”
Now to the positive effects of lemon juice:
- Lemon juice supports the immune system, is rich in vitamin C and it assists the bodies metabolism by absorbing iron into the bloodstream.
- Lemon juice aids digestion and stabilises the acidic pH levels in the stomach. It is considered an anti-inflammatory, due to its antioxidant properties. That is why a glass of lemon water first thing of the morning is a good way to start the day and crank up the body’s metabolism.
- Lemon juice is nature’s diuretic and it encourages the production of urine and so helps to clean the urinary tract and bladder.
- The antiseptic properties of lemon, help to kill the bacteria and germs in the mouth that cause bad breath.
- Lemon water has a calming effect due to its potassium levels which assist serotonin and brain function capabilities.
- The high vitamin C content of lemon helps to promote healthy bones, healing of tissue and cartilage and helps to ward off inflammation of the bodies cellular structure.
- One of the most important roles that lemon juice plays, is the detoxifying of the liver and the bodies vital organs. It cleanses the gallbladder, assists with bile flow, helps to dissolve gallstones and helps to cleanse the lungs of mucus. Lemon water supports the removal of toxins from the body, by cleansing the renal glands.
What cannot be guaranteed about lemon juice, are all the wild claims that are made about its weight loss capabilities. Like green tea, lemon juice is simply an aid to a sensible exercise and weight loss eating plan; as both are simply appetite suppressants.
Note: There have been many cleansing plans over the decades involving the use of lemon juice. One of the oldest in the modern era, dates back to the days of the US naturopath Stanley Burrows some six decades ago.
Radical plans that encourage people to lose weight by purging, without eating any food for days at a time, are simply foolish and potentially dangerous.
In this modern day and age there are far too many impurities in the air and in the food we eat. These can cause unknown illnesses or conditions, which should be overseen by a hospital physician or your family GP.
To be not eating a sensible reduced intake of protein and carbohydrate, throughout the duration of any diet; is simply inviting more illness. If the dieter feels the need to take a break from solid food, then it’s quite simple. Consume juices made from super foods, that are explained in more depth in our “Nibbling on the Mild side” Ebook due for release in March 2017.
Lastly, Do you realise why birthdays are so good for you?
Seems People who have the most, live the longest.
Take a big breath an then take it easy. Cheers mike
This weeks Health Tip.
The health benefits of iodine play a very important role in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the base metabolic rate of the body. In fact, without iodine, thyroid hormones could not even be synthesized.
Other Food sources of Iodine
Iodine is an Essential micro Mineral which can be gained from consumption of Saltwater fish species and other Antioxidant rich Foods as set out below
COMMON SOURCES OF DIETARY IODINE
Iodized table salt
Seaweed (including kelp, dulce, nori)
Do we need to consume Iodised Salt?
Sodium is required for muscle contraction and nuero-muscular activity and is essential for the bodies correct fluid balance. However too much salt in a diet will increase blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. Only use Iodised salt or sea salt for the Iodine content.
Salt should never be added to cooking as the sodium requirement of a hard working man out sweating in the sun or a Teenager engaged in physical sport or training is vastly different to that of a mum doing office or house management or kids doing schooling. Tip Number Two: Put the salt and pepper on the dinner table and use salt as it was intended. Sparingly !!
So yes, muscles require sufficient sodium, but in moderation !!
In the following link Dr Gus Mercola talks about Iodine doses as per the USDA.
It is important to realize that the current US daily recommended allowance (RDA) for Iodine are not in milligram doses but in micrograms:
- 150 micrograms (mcg) per day for adult men and women
- 220 mcg for pregnant women
- 290 mcg for lactating/breastfeeding women
However, this RDA was set with the intention to prevent goiter only. Dr. Flechas makes a compelling argument for it being completely insufficient for overall physical health and prevention of diseases such as thyroid disease, fibromyalgia, and cancer. Iodine actually induces apoptosis, meaning it causes cancer cells to self destruct. Dr. Flechas is adamant that absence of iodine in a cell is what causes cancer, and statistics tend to support this view. In his lecture, he shows the results of a number of NHANES surveys.
For example, between 1971 and 2000, the average iodine levels declined by 50 percent in the US. During that same time, cancers specifically associated with iodine deficiency—such as cancer of the breast, prostate, endometrium, and ovaries—increased. He also points out that the RDA completely ignores the presence of increasing amounts of goitrogens in the environment. The following halides compete for the same receptors used in your thyroid gland and elsewhere to capture iodine, so if you’re exposed to too many of these, your thyroid hormone production can be severely disrupted, resulting in a low thyroid state:
The importance of your childs diet relies on what is in their lunchboxes
The importance of the diet and what is in the lunchboxes of your kids is defined by a varied list of parameters, none really any more important than the fact that many behavioural conditions can be controlled by a correct and healthy diet implanted early in life. This diet generally can be summed up in three words, Mum then Dad. Generally speaking, by the time children are getting ready for school and lunchboxes are being packed; it is usually Mum who is doing the heavy lifting, as Dad has gone to work. Although the home environment is where your child’s dietary habits start, it is the lunchbox that becomes the blueprint; for the rest of your child’s life. For it is here, that the child’s food and diet memory is implanted for Good or Bad, for life? Just as an elite athletes body performs by muscle memory, so too are the childs memory of those early eating years; memories which remains deep within us all and so then go on to programme us in the most basic fashion, forever !!
I refer to some paragraphs from “Nibbling on the Mild side” that touch on that very subject and how Parental supervision of Dietary needs are even More important in children with behavioural or learning difficulties.
No Sugar and preservative-free Food means less behavioural issues
My young life was a frenetic world of impulsive and hyperactive behaviour, which seemed more confusing on some days more than others. No matter how hard my poor Mum tried, it seemed like I would always manage some way to find the optimum amount of mischief to indulge in. As I grew older these crazy urges always seemed exacerbated by one of two constants. Sugar !! I came to realise over time that the life of a hyperactive child would always be different to those kids that did not suffer chemical and hormonal imbalances and who were considered by “the grown ups” to be ‘normal’. What I did not realise then however, was that there was a very strong correlation between my hyperactivity and and the addictive behaviour that would go on to rule my adult life. Not enough has been written, studied or put into print about the differences between Hyperglycaemia (diabetes) and the appearance of a deficiency of sugar in the blood which is known as Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). What became abundantly clear to me, as I lived thru this roller coaster into adulthood; was that my deficiency was the result of an overactive pancreas whipping up a bit of insulin here or there and tossing it into the mix and thereby creating the wildly fluctuating mood swings that initiated the so called irrational behaviour and socially unacceptable consequences that flowed on from it. The remedy? It was so simple that it defied proper logic !! Remove the all too common additive rich and sugar laden or fatty foods and replace them with 5 or 6 mid portion servings of Antioxidant rich foods. Foods such as salads, fruit and vegies, lean meats such as chicken, lamb, pork or beef or fillers such as sardines, beans, asparagus, avocado, eggs three times a week, wholegrain biscuits and sensible portions of dairy products.
The beauty of the carbohydrate diet is that, the carbohydrates are able to break down over several hours after a snack or a meal and so it is a sustained period thru the day which keeps the bodies blood sugar levels stable. That was it ! It seemed too simple, but the correct foods were the answer that helped eliminate the need for so many amphetamine based medications and their damaging side effects, that are now given to so many kids.
Benefits of dairy products for young sportsman and girls
I am an absolute believer in the benefits of dairy products, for as a young person I worked in the dairy to put myself through Agricultural College, and you guessed it, the drink of the day was pure milk. Pure creamy milk and over four decades later I still drink milk daily and my recent cholesterol readings were between 2.7 to 4.8. Recent science has totally proven the benefits of milk on young athletes who are training hard in their chosen field. The beneficial qualities of milk have been proven to stop the calcium being leached out of the young sporting persons bones and ligaments, when under fatigue and muscle stress and when there is a build up of lactic acid. So it is essential that an athlete in hard training and also lactating or expectant mothers, should drink full cream milk at least twice daily. Woman and older people should drink a glass of full cream milk daily to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Even though I decry the use of vitamin D pills and supplements, pregnant ladies or lactating mothers should also consider extra supplementation of Folate and consider getting adequate amounts of exercise in the open sunlight (folate), in the earlier hours of the day or later in the evening; when the harmful UV rays of the sun have abated.
Food is the oldest Medicine
It was only later when I made it safely thru to my mid twenties, that I became intent on understanding how I could control my mood swings and behaviour by consuming the correct foods that would supply a natural and constant flow of blood sugar. A supply gained by the breaking down of the carbohydrates in the antioxidant rich foods that I regularly ate and so converting them to natural sugars. It is this simple process of stroking the bodies metabolism, like one might do to their favourite pet, that can cure many of the ills of this modern day society. Mother Nature has endowed us with every known vitamin and mineral and even phytonutrient based sugars that can be found in plants like Stevia, if a quicker blood sugar rush is required!! So we should make absolutely no mistake, that a paper bag full of white or brown sugar added to our families food, or teaspoons of it ladled into teas, coffees, cereals or desserts can have only one consequence. That is the breaking down of our own or our childrens and families health. There is no saving grace for the addition of extra sugars, salts, artificial fats and chemically produced vitamin supplements, that can not be gained from what is so blindingly obvious !! Natures “fresh” Produce !!
Nature gives birth to vitamins and minerals, not laboratories.
Essential trace elements. vitamins and minerals are that which have evolved from the soils of our planet, from our oceans and our rivers and our clear mountain streams. Clean natural foodstuffs, whether from the red wines of Bordeaux or from the vitamin rich fresh New Zealand parmesan cheese or perhaps the sweet salmon fillets from the wilds of Alaska down to the plump zinc rich rock oysters from the pristine beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness. Health can be just as simple and pure as the clean sweet oxygen in the crisp icy breaths high on a mountain ridge or in the unspoiled Amazon rainforest, home to the native Brazil nut that provides five times the amount of the DNA building block Selenium, than the next best; that wild Alaskan salmon.. It never needs to come from overly processed foods nor out of a greasy bag from a conveniant drive thru or from a capsule. “Everything in moderation, except moderation itself”.
Sickness from Adulterated Foods
The second constant that I referred to above ?? That was a series of poisons that evolved and accelerated from the Fifties, that the esteemed American Pediatrician Doctor Ben Feingold was to discover and label !! These were to be proven to go on to be some of the leading causes of the breakdown of the mental well being and health of the youth of our society causing some thru those times to even be institutionalised !! This was to all come about from what was being introduced into the Western diet and which eventually evolved to be our biggest pollutants. The culprits? Food and Drug companies churning out preservatives and food colourings, especially reds and yellows; along with the single most damaging of all !! Sugars!! These three Irritants were found and proven by Dr Feingolds groundbreaking studies to be the three leading causal effects that were linked to so many types of behavioural disorders amongst the young, effects that were directly proportionate to the growth of the fast food industry and the evolving packaged and so called health and vitamin Industry. The Feingold Foundation is an esteemed Organisation dedicated to carrying on and spreading the work and words of this wonderful human being. I Rue the day, that I agreed to let my ex-wife’s doctor prescribe Ritalin as a trial; to my then slim hyperactive son, who is now lethargic and overweight with a poor diet and even worse behavioural problems. I urge you, that if you are even thinking about it; use this link ( www.feingold.org/ ) to convince yourself, that your child can eat their way out of their hyperactivity disorder or behavioural problem by Eating healthy antioxidant rich carbohydrates and whole grains and natural foods that will supply adequate blood sugar.
Take slow deep breaths and take it easy, 🙂 mike