Drinking lemon water as part of a detoxification routine has been tried in a variety of ways by many people around the world – including celebrities such as Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Angelina Jolie. But how can drinking lemon water help you?

Why drink lemon water in the morning?

Having a glass of water containing lemon for detoxification is not just a modern-day fad. It has long been a common practice in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic healing system which originated in India around 5,000 years ago. The practice requires you to drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice at the start of your day. It's said this enhances digestion, aids internal detoxification and relieves some forms of abdominal discomfort.

Drinking this simple tonic may hold a lot of other benefits which could make it a great addition to your morning routine. Lemon water is said to help cleanse the liver, boost the immune system, reduce the likelihood of getting kidney stones, reduce nausea, support weight management, stimulate the digestive system, improve circulation, as well as helping to cleanse the liver which eliminates toxins from the body.

The health benefits of lemons

As a citrus fruit, lemons are rich in Vitamin C which provides antiviral properties that can increase immunity against illnesses such as colds and the flu, and help relieve congestion. Lemons also contain Vitamin A which helps maintain healthy teeth and bones, and the health of your hair, eyesight and skin.

Other vitamins found in lemons include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, folic acid and folate.

The minerals lemons contain include potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium and calcium.

How to drink it

Simply add the juice of half a fresh lemon to a glass of lukewarm water and drink it in the morning. It could be a substitute for drinking tea or coffee at the start of your day.

It’s important that you drink your lemon juice diluted with water as the juice itself is highly acidic and regular consumption of it on its own may affect the enamel on your teeth.

If you want to increase the health benefits of your lemon water drink, you could sweeten it with manuka honey which has antibacterial qualities, or add a little grated ginger which is thought to help increase blood circulation. Some lemon water fans add a pinch of cayenne pepper to their drink as the capsaicin in it may help raise body temperature which speeds up metabolism.

NZ Real Health is an online magazine where you can find practical information and advice on health, wellbeing and fitness. For more articles like this, visit www.nzrealhealth.co.nz.