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Lemon Juice in the Morning: All-Purpose Cure?

11 January, 2016 ,

Who has not heard that drinking a large glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning can solve all kinds of problems? I’m sure I’m not the only one! That’s why I wanted to figure out if there is any scientific reasoning behind this fancy cure, or if it’s only an old wives’ tale.

Promises

Weight loss

Have you been assured that drinking a glass of water with lemon will “melt” your fat? I’m afraid this is not true. Lemon juice is indeed acidic, but not enough to melt anything, and certainly not the fat stored in the human body.

Hydration

This is a no-brainer! Drinking water, with or without lemons in it, will help in hydration, that’s for sure. Do lemons have a special hydrating quality? Not to my knowledge. Having said that, if lemon-flavoured water makes you want to drink more, go right ahead!

Anti-cancer

You may have seen the infamous chain of emails which promised that lemons are 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy in the fight against cancer. Quite an assertion! This is actually a misinterpretation of a scientific article pertaining to lab tests on cancerous cells with antioxidants in much higher concentrations than what is naturally found in citrus fruits. Such data cannot be extrapolated in humans, especially not with just a few drops of lemon juice in a glass of water.

Detox

Lemon juice in the morning = detoxification of liver and kidneys? The very principle of detoxification itself leaves me baffled… The body is in fact capable of eliminating its waste on its own, so no need to give it a helping hand with lemon juice. Unless you are suffering from a serious liver or kidney-related disease, the body is fully capable of fulfilling its “self-cleaning” function!

Benefits of lemon juice

jus-de-citron-lemon-juice
Although most of the claims attributed to it are false, lemon juice can nevertheless be included in your diet. When added to your recipes, it helps promote the absorption of iron, since it is a good source of vitamin C. Lemon juice also contains several compounds like flavonoids and limonoids which, although present only in small quantities in the juice, have antioxidant properties.
Last but not least, a dash of lemon juice can make water taste more refreshing, and all this without adding calories. It is therefore great for your health as it keeps you properly hydrated throughout the day.

References

Passeport Santé. (December 2014). Encyclopédie des aliments: Citron et lime. Retrieved from http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Nutrition/EncyclopedieAliments/Fiche.aspx?doc=citron_lime_nu

Extenso. (August 3rd, 2015). Le citron est 10 000 fois plus puissant que la chimiothérapie. Retrieved from http://extenso.org/article/le-citron-est-10-000-fois-plus-puissant-que-la-chimiotherapie/

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Author

Jef L'Ecuyer

Jef L’Ecuyer

Registered Dietitian, RD at SOScuisine.com

Jef is a nutritionist and member of the OPDQ and Dietitians of Canada. Newly graduated and passionate about culinary arts, Jef offers a simple, efficient, and practical outlook on planning daily meals. With this perspective, she is works in tandem with the SOSCuisine team.

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