Nutrition Notes with Nicholas Whitmell, Nutrition Manager, Royal Oak
One routine I have been consistent with over the years is drinking a glass of lemon water in the morning and a glass before bed. This would be more preferable if you could consume this on an empty stomach and wait 15-30 minutes before consuming any other foods or liquids. Hold on to your hats because I am going to go through some of the benefits you will experience with adding this simple, yet quenching, drink to your daily routine.
Lemon water is very rich in vitamin C. It is also a relatively descent source of potassium and B6. This can help you enhance your immune function, help increase your absorption of Iron, and fight off various diseases including cancer. Lemon water can also help decrease the risk of developing kidney stones! The citric acid in lemons helps slowly break down the stones and prevent them by diluting the urine and increasing the citrate content. For anyone who has experienced the agonizing pain of passing a kidney stone, this little Timbit of information is worth a shot, of lemon juice that is.
Lemons can also help increase the friendly bacteria in your gut. Some of the pulp squeezed from fresh lemons will enter into the water, and the pectin from the pulp will help the good gut bacteria fight the bad gut bacteria. It is an easy and affordable way to create a crime fighting duo in your belly. Along with a healthy whole food diet, this will help promote good gut flora to combat inflammation and other illnesses.
Are you ever stressed? The stress of relationships, work, and finances can be taxing. Why not garnish it all with a little pandemic on top to heighten the issues even more. Luckily, the lemon aroma derived from the natural occurring oils in lemons can decrease stress and improve your overall mood. Explore some other essential oils for your mental health and mood. You would be surprised how much smell can affect your stress levels and overall mood. A topic for another time of course ha-ha.
For all of the expecting mothers out there, you may have read or have been informed of the importance of folate during pregnancy. Adequate folate levels are essential from preventing neural tube defects. A little lemon water is a great tool to maintain these levels, along with some good quality prenatal vitamins.
Now, let me get into some of the benefits of drinking lemon water, on an empty stomach, in the morning:
The night benefits are very similar to the morning benefits. However, drinking lemon water before bed will keep you hydrated and significantly reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke in the night. A lot of us don’t drink enough water throughout the day as it is. Your body slowly dehydrates itself and can have a harder time pushing out toxins throughout the night. If you are already dehydrated before bed, it can put you at a higher risk factor for an event like that to occur. Even having a glass one or two hours before bed is great, especially if you are prone to waking up to have to use the washroom in the middle of the night.
Try to aim for half of your body weight, in ounces, of water a day if you can. Water alone has amazing detoxification properties for your body, and will help you feel better and look better too. Lemon water is an added bonus for your body to help it function and preform as it should. Squeeze half or a whole lemon into 16 ounces of water in the morning, and then once again in the evening for optimal benefits. You can also look for fresh lemon juice, not from concentrate, and add about one ounce into your water.
Remember, when life gives you lemons, drink them with water. Everyone has been affected by this pandemic, myself included. The news continues to inform us of negative and fearful information day after day, leaving most of us wondering in the dark of what will happen next. Life has given us lemons, so let’s take these lemons and turn them into something good that will benefit us. Slow down, take a breather, and appreciate all the beautiful miracles you have in your life. Your family, your friends, your access to an abundance of food, water, and shelter. We do live in a pretty amazing country, and we are very lucky to have a lot of the opportunities and support that we have. Taking the time everyday to focus on all the positives in our lives, rather than the negatives or wanting more, will bring you much needed peace and calmness. It will give you the feeling of control and freedom that a lot of us are desperately trying to find with this pandemic going on. Love yourself, make yourself a priority physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your happiness starts with you.
We are all in this together, lets try to continue to see the beauty and miracles that continue to flourish our lives. Our Country Grocer family is here whenever you need us. We will continue to be open and serve you every day. Stay safe and take care of each other. Sending everyone lots of love from Country Grocer family here on the Island.