get your zen on

LemonsSometimes, after a long day at the office, or an insane week of both professional and personal ups and downs, one needs to enter an unusually deep state of relaxation. There are a few things to help me relax after a long day, but this little trick is a favorite of mine to brighten my day and give my mind some breathing room.

I am big on drinking water, but I always love the calming feeling of cucumber lemon water (ya know, the stuff you sip on while waiting at the spa). I like to slice up cucumbers from my dads garden and lemons from my grandma’s grove and toss them in a pitcher of ice water and keep it in the fridge. Not just for those end of the day wind down’s, but also to serve as a nice refreshment to guests who stop by the house.

Water with lemon has many other uses too. According to Mind Body Green, drinking warm lemon water has even more benefits than it’s cooler cucumber infused cousin. Check out this lengthy list of pro’s for this delicious drink:

  • 1. Boosts you’re immune system: Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
  • 2. Balances pH: Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
  • 3. Helps with weight loss: Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
  • 4. Aids digestion: The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
  • 5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic: Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
  • 6. Clears skin: The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
  • 7. Hydrates the lymph system: This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!

On top of all these fabulous benefits of drinking lemon water, the mixture is even more useful in other ways. Some of the other practical applications of lemon water include using the mixture on your sink to remove stains and get rid of funky smells (if it is really bad, chuck the lemons down the garbage disposal once you’re done squeezing the juice), using as a generic household cleaner, moisturizing dry skin when applied directly, killing weeds in the yard, adding to your laundry load for removing stains and making clothes smell nice, brightening your nails and of course, highlighting your hair! So next time life gives you lemons, make good use of them!

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