Are you searching for a daily elixir that is all-around spectacular for your health? One great option is warm lemon water with a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds.
This is one beverage that’s great to sip throughout the day, due to its numerous health benefits. Lemon water alone is very healthy, and superfood chia seeds add even more to the nutritional punch.
The humble lemon has been around for approximately 2,500 years, and is the result of crossbreeding between a lime and a citron. This sour citrus fruit has been celebrated by many cultures for thousands of years. Throughout history, lemons were commonly brought on long voyages as a way to protect travelers from scurvy, which results from a deficiency of vitamin C.
Chia seeds are also an ancient superfood; they are thought to have been a staple of the Mayan and Aztec diets. One great benefit of chia seeds is that unlike flaxseeds and various other nutritious seeds, chia seeds do not have to be ground before you use them.
Let’s take a look at 11 reasons why warm lemon water with chia seeds should be a part of your daily diet:
Lemons are high in antioxidants
Lemons contain a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, citric acid, pectin, limonene, and bioflavonoids. All of these compounds work together to supercharge the immune system, and to keep our bodies functioning optimally.
The authors of a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis wrote:
“Several studies highlighted lemon as an important health-promoting fruit rich in phenolic compounds as well as vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, essential oils and carotenoids.”
Lemons have also been found to possess antibacterial and antiviral properties. Therefore, drinking warm lemon water with chia may help to keep seasonal bugs at bay. The drink may also help you to recover more quickly if you’ve come down with a cold or flu.
Lemon water is great for detoxification
Lemons have long been a staple in healthy, natural detoxification of the body. Now, we’re not suggesting a fasting cleanse here: Simply adding lemon water to a diet of whole, unprocessed foods can do wonders.
Fresh lemon juice is similar in composition to your body’s own saliva and digestive juices, and can therefore help your body to break down foods and other materials more efficiently. Drinking warm lemon water, especially with fiber-rich chia seeds, can help to ease a range of digestive disturbances, such as bloating and indigestion.
Lemon water is mildly diuretic in nature, and can thus help to cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria. It also stimulates the liver to produce bile. Since your liver is your body’s main detoxification organ, keeping it in tip-top shape is essential.
Lemons may help you to lose weight
Adding lemons to a balanced diet of whole foods, including plenty of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and fats may help with any weight loss goals you may have.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition tested the effects of lemon polyphenols on obese mice. A test group of the mice was supplemented with polyphenols derived from lemon peel for a period of 12 weeks.
On the results of the study, the authors wrote:
“Body weight gain, fat pad accumulation, the development of hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance were significantly suppressed by lemon polyphenols.”
Lemons can help balance your body’s pH
Although lemons taste acidic, they are actually alkalizing within the body. Due to their mineral content, they help to alkalize the blood. Because many people’s pH is too acidic (in many cases due to an unhealthy diet or poor lifestyle habits), lemon water can help a lot.
Balancing the body’s pH can help to lower inflammation and draw uric acid from the joints, which may help relieve certain cases of chronic joint pain.
Lemons may help you to look and feel younger
Because of their high antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content, lemons can help you to feel your best. They provide a healthy boost of energy, and can help you to have a more focused and productive day.
The vitamin C found in lemons is also highly important to your skin. It is key in the body’s production of collagen, and also helps to fight wrinkle-triggering free radical damage. All of this equates to healthier, more radiant skin.
A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested the effects of various nutrients on the skin aging of 4,025 women between the ages of 40 and 74. On their results, the authors wrote:
“Higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance… and senile dryness.”
Chia seeds are high in vital nutrients
Like lemons, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse! They are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium. They also contain vitamins B1 and B3, which are essential to a properly functioning nervous system. Additionally, chia seeds contain an abundance of antioxidants.
Chia seeds boast a wealth of omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing for our bodies! Omega-3s have been linked to cardiovascular protection, lowering inflammation, and boosting cognitive function. These essential fatty acids, which must be derived from food sources, have also been associated with lowering insulin resistance, and potentially relieving depression.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a diet high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived omega-3, which is found in chia seeds, may help lower all-cause mortality.
Simply put, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may help you live a longer, healthier life.
Chia seeds are full of heart-healthy fiber
It has long been known that fiber is vital to a healthy heart — and to healthy weight loss, for that matter. Chia seeds contain both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, which can keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Fiber also helps you feel fuller for longer, thus preventing the urge to have unhealthy snacks.
Chia seeds may reduce insulin resistance
A 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested the benefits of chia seeds on insulin resistance and dyslipidemia (a high amount of fat and/or cholesterol in the blood). The study was performed on rats who were fed a sugar-rich diet.
The researchers found, “Dietary chia seed prevented the onset of dyslipidemia and IR [insulin resistance] in the rats fed the SRD [sucrose-rich diet] for 3 weeks… The present study provides new data regarding the beneficial effect of chia seed upon lipid and glucose homeostasis in an experimental model of dyslipidemia and IR.”
Chia seeds may help tackle stubborn belly fat
The above-mentioned study also found, “Dietary chia seed reduced the visceral adiposity [belly fat] present in the SRD [sucrose-rich diet] rats.”
The dangers of carrying excess fat around the tummy area have been widely studied. One of these dangers is a potentially higher risk of heart disease.
The authors of a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) wrote:
“The regional distribution of adipose tissue is an emerging risk factor for cardiometabolic disease, although serial changes in fat distribution have not been extensively investigated. VF [visceral fat] and its alterations over time may be a better marker for risk than BMI in normal weight and overweight or obese individuals.”
Chia seeds may halt cancer growth
On top of these other wonderful benefits, chia seeds may help slow the growth of certain cancers, according to some research.
A study published in 2007 in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids tested the effects of various polyunsaturated fatty acids, including chia seed oil, on “the growth and metastasis formation of a murine mammary gland adenocarcinoma.”
Results of the study revealed that the chia seed oil, “decreased the tumor weight and metastasis number” of the cancer. The study authors wrote:
“Present data showed that ChO [chia seed oil], an ancient and almost unknown source of omega-3, inhibits growth and metastasis in this tumor model.”
There you have it: 11 reasons to make warm lemon water with chia seeds a part of your day!
So… start sipping!
This concoction couldn’t be easier to make. Start with warm, purified water, squeeze in the juice of half an organic lemon, and add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds. The chia seeds will form a gel-like consistency in your glass, and are easy to sip.
Have you tried this great beverage yet? If so, what benefits have you noticed? Let us know!
Tanya is a writer at The Alternative Daily with a passion for meditation, music, poetry, martial arts, and overall creative and active living. She has a special interest in exploring traditional Eastern remedies and superfoods from around the globe.