Perhaps you have heard that a lemon and honey drink in the morning works wonders for health. Both honey and lemon contain powerful therapeutic properties that when combined, make an excellent health tonic.
The drink is really simple to make, and it doesn’t take much effort to drink it in one go. In fact, most people start looking forward to this energy drink within a few days of starting on it. Give it a try, and you just might turn into an advocate.
To make the honey- lemon drink:
Boil a cup of water and allow it to cool until it is just warm to touch.
Add a teaspoonful of organic, unprocessed honey and stir well to dissolve.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the honey water, give it a stir and drink up.
It is important that you drink the mixture immediately after preparing it, preferably on an empty stomach, to derive all the benefits. Do not reheat the mixture. According to Ayurvedic principles, heating honey makes it toxic. If that doesn’t make sense, we can at least acknowledge that heating this half-digested nectar may destroy the bee enzymes and other beneficial substances in it. They are what make honey a unique natural sweetener.
Let’s look at some very good reasons to start the day with this drink.
1. It is a healthy, low-calorie drink
Nearly everybody needs a morning drink to get going. It is coffee for some; it may be tea or orange juice for others. After long hours of starving during the night, our body, the brain, in particular, requires a boost of energy to get going.
Caffeine is a stimulant acting on the pleasure centers of the brain, temporarily giving the brain a high. This is usually followed by a mid-morning low, as many habitual coffee drinkers admit. Coffee increases acidity and causes digestive disturbances. It increases the heart rate and elevates blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Tea also contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts. Theophylline, Theobromine and L-theanine are three other psychoactive stimulants in tea. Caffeine and these other substances do have some beneficial effects such as improving focus and concentration. Also, both these beverages contain antioxidants that protect our body from free radical damage. However, drinking coffee and tea first thing in the morning can do more damage than good.
Fruit juices, especially orange juice, may offer many health benefits, but only if they are freshly squeezed and consumed with the pulp. But they have too much sugar, even when unsweetened. That’s why fruit juices are now considered not as healthy as they were once thought to be. Let’s not even talk about soda that contains high amounts of caffeine and a lot of sugar, as much as 7-10 teaspoons per 200ml.
Lemon and honey water is an easy to prepare drink that provides just the right amount of calories from the natural sugars in the honey, along with a host of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are in relatively small amounts, but they really count on an empty stomach.
The drink has no more than 20-25 calories, most of it coming from the honey, (1 tsp=7 gms sugar) and just 1 calorie from the lemon juice. It is neither too sour not too sweet. It just gives a pleasant twist to plain warm water that most of us would find even more difficult to gulp down.
2. It aids digestion
One of the first noticeable benefits of drinking lemon and honey water is improved digestion. The drink increases stomach acid production and bile secretion. They facilitate the breakdown of food materials and absorption of nutrients.
Undigested materials remaining in the digestive tract often cause bloating due to the action of gut bacteria that try to digest them. Their faster elimination from the body is also important in maintaining digestive health.