When we wake up in the morning, our bodies may be physically awake but it can sometimes take our minds a little time to catch up. So it’s nice to have a little morning routine to awaken our mind and get a fresh start to the day. I’m one of those really annoying morning people and I have a little morning ritual that I try to follow everyday, which sets me up for the day. I always try and make time for it, regardless of how late my alarm goes off or whatever the reason may be that I am running late. As a freelancer and part-time worker it is my one constant that gives my day some structure, regardless of my daily agenda, and it definitely makes my day more productive.
Without boring you with the details of my exact steps every morning, one of the key elements of my morning routine is my mug of warm water and lemon. This simple step that takes about three minutes has numerous health benefits and I thought I would share them with you in the hope that you start this simple habit every morning.
Boosts your immune system and prevents you from getting sick
Lemons are high in vitamin C, which fights colds, and potassium, which stimulates your brain and nerve function and helps to control your blood pressure. Stimulating your brain and battling colds first thing in the morning can only be a good thing, right!?
Despite common belief, lemons are actually a very alkaline food. Although acidic on their own, once ingested they become alkaline. As such, warm water with lemon helps to balance the pH of your body. Why is this good? If your body is in a very acidic state, it will naturally try and restore balance and may draw nutrients from your bones. When your body pH is balanced, benefits include: better sleep, healthy skin, boosted immune system, better digestion, reduction of candida, being more alert and having more energy.
The concept of balance through acidic foods and alkaline food stems from the Eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang, which emphasizes the need for balance in our diet. However, it noted that disease was more preventable when we have a slightly more alkaline diet.
Assists with weight loss
Lemons are naturally high in pectin fibre which helps to combat hunger cravings. As such, drinking warm water with lemon in the morning can help to curb those unnecessary hunger pangs we have for foods that aren’t as nutritious as we’d like them to be! It has also been shown that people with a more alkaline diet are able to lose weight faster and lemons are an extremely alkaline food (see above).
Warm water also increases your body temperature which in turn increases your metabolic rate. This increase in your metabolism enables your body to burn more calories.
Aids with digestion
Warm water helps to cleanse your body by removing toxins, helping to break down the food in your stomach and keeping your digestive system functioning well. Warm water improves blood circulation so toxins that are circulating throughout the body are flushed out.
Acts as a natural anti-aging remedy
Lemon juice is high in Vitamin C, which studies have shown to be associated with fewer wrinkles. It has the ability to fight off free-radical damage and thus can protect your skin. Along with the hydration from the water, which enables your skin to stay more supple, it provides a youthful appearance. Your skin is an organ and like any other organ in your body, it performs at its best when it is hydrated.
Aids liver function
Like your skin, your liver needs to be well hydrated to be able to function at its best and to do its job, flushing out toxins, properly. The citrus flavonoids in the lemon may also protect the liver against toxins and reduce fat in the liver, ensuring your liver is in the best possible state to do its job as your filtration system.
Boosts your potassium levels
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, Potassium is one of those elements that is essential for cell function, metabolism and the transmission of nerve signals. As an electrolyte, it helps to conduct electricity around the body. Lemons are a fantastic source of potassium (not just bananas!) and so are a great way to start the day!
So there you have it – the simple morning ritual that boosts your immune system, balances pH levels, aids with digestion and acts as an anti-aging remedy! Start your day off with a mug (I have a favourite mug!) or cup of warm water and lemon.
Do you have any morning rituals that you swear by? I’d love to hear about them!