I am amazed time and time again that foods that are so incredibly inexpensive are often times the best for us. Now that’s not to say that the more expensive ones like quinoa and avocados aren’t good, but I’ll save that topic for another day.
If you’ve ever walked through the glorious produce aisles of your grocery store, there’s one thing you’ll most likely notice immediately.
Fresh produce isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s often more expensive to buy a few peppers than it is to buy a box of cereal.
There’s a catch…there are actually quite a few inexpensive produce items that are packed full of nutrients and benefits for our bodies.
- herbs (parsley, cilantro, watercress, etc).
The best part is that these can all be purchased for less than a dollar! Imagine that. It’s not always the most expensive fruits and vegetables that are the best for us (but you should still eat those too!)
“Fruit is the most life-enhancing food we can put into our bodies. It has the highest water content of any of the food groups and supplies us with vital amino acids, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids. Because fruit breaks down the fastest in our system, while leaving no toxic residue, it supplies us with readily available energy that can be used for immediate fuel.
Of all foods, fruit is the strongest cleanser. We can think of fruits as the cleansers for the body and greens and other vegetables as the builders. Fruit helps to dissolve toxic substances and cleanse our tissues and system, stirring up old toxic residue inside of our bodies.” -source
Lemon is lower in sugar than most fruits and it is an amazing cleanser with over two hundred enzymes. It is one of the most restorative foods for the liver. Lemons prevent sepsis, or bacteria buildup, in the body. They are also anti-scorbutic, a term referring to their ability to prevent disease and to help purify the body of impurities.
Having a cup of hot water with liver supporting lemon first thing in the morning supports our cleansing process. Lemon and lime can be squeezed into water or used in food preparation on a daily basis. They are traditional “liver cleansers.” Their bitter and sour flavours act to break down stagnant material in a swollen liver and gallbladder.
The Morning Elixir
Upon awakening, one is often thirsty but not hungry (ha! I’m usually starving when I wake up). Because of dehydration during sleep, and the fact that sleep is an internal process, one will often desire expansive liquids to satisfy dryness and bring the energy up and out of its dormant phase. When the body is stiff and the mind unclear after rising, it means that the liver has not completed its necessary blood purification. This condition reflects either habitual or recent overeating, consumption of too many animal products, intoxicants, or poor-quality food, improper food combining, and/or late eating.
Even healthy people, however, are usually a little thirsty after sleep. When one awakens with high energy and a clear mind, then only thirst needs to be satisfied. This can be done with a small amount of herbal tea or water. Typical beverages, which are called “elixirs” because of their refreshing and detoxifying qualities, are listed in the following chart according to their cleansing nature.
|less cleansing||warming teas||ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, spearmint|
|vegetable broth||cabbage, parsley|
|micro-alga drink||spirulina or chlorella|
|water||plain or with squeezed lemon|
|vegetable juice||carrot, celery (fresh)|
|fruit juice||apple, prune, grape, orange|
|barley/wheat-grass juice||freshly extracted, or from commercial wheat- or barley-grass powders|
|wild micro-alga drink||freeze-dried wild blue-green micro-alga|
|root teas||burdock, dandelion, chicory|
|more cleansing||flower teas||chamomile, red clover blossoms, orange blossoms|
Although lemon water isn’t the most cleansing on the list, I personally like it because it’s easy to find in the grocery store, and it’s much cheaper (compared to a freeze-dried wild blue-green micro-alga drink).
Lemon water dissolves uric acid and other poisons in the liver, liquefies bile and helps relieve malaria cases. Lemons are high in potassium and are extremely effective in treating biliousness, a symptom of liver disorder, which causes constipation, headaches, vomiting of bile and loss of appetite.
Lemon water kick starts your digestive system by encouraging the liver to produce bile which in turn aids digestion. Lemons can also relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, bloating, gas, and cramping. Drinking lemon water regularly will aid in the cleansing of the bowels, which helps eliminate constipation and diarrhea. A teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water is known to help relieve heartburn. The juice of three to four lemons can also help ease the pain and decrease the flow of excessive menstruation. It is best to mix the lemon juice in room temperature or warm water. Avoid extremely hot temperatures of water as they can damage gastric stomach lining and extremely cool temperatures as they can shock your body.
Let’s recap shall we?
- cleanses your system
- stimulates and restores the liver
- kick starts your digestive system
- aids digestion
- prevents bacteria buildup
- purifies the body
- tastes delicious and sweet
Pour 1-2 cups of warm water into a glass, then squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the water. Give it a stir and enjoy first thing every morning. It’s important to drink this before you have your first meal of the day. Drinking this after you’ve already eaten and digested your first meal will not have the same cleansing and restorative effects on your body. For even more benefits you can drink lemon water throughout the day.
Isn’t it amazing how something so small can have such a huge impact on our body?