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Drinking Lemon Juice: Cure-All Or Risky?
Many claim that drinking lemon juice every morning is a disease cure-all remedying ill health and making the body more alkaline. But is that true?
Though lemon juice contains a lot of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals, it’s possible to consume too much of it.
Lemon juice is very acidic, and it does not make the blood of the body alkaline. It does make the urine a bit more alkaline after drinking and this is likely due to the body compensating for the acidic juice. The kidneys control the body’s blood pH, and a dramatic shift in the pH is all but healthy for you.
Lemon Juice’s Benefits
Lemon juice is high in vitamin C. This vitamin is critical to the immune system, and helps the body build important tissues, such as bones, skin and blood vessels.
Lemon juice also contains potassium, a necessary mineral for muscles, the heart, and for maintaining blood pressure levels.
Lemon Juice’s Drawbacks
1. Tooth damage
The acidity of lemons can wear away tooth enamel, allowing damaging sugars and other foods to harm the tooth, and causing extreme sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods. Be sure to dilute the juice of one lemon in one cup of water, and drink through a straw to avoid eroding the enamel of your teeth. If you already have enamel damage, skip lemon juice altogether.
2. Too much lemon juice can cause dehydration
Vitamin C increases urination and defecation, and so it is great if someone is suffering from a urinary infection or needs to remove toxins. However, too much vitamin C can cause frequent dehydration, so ensure you are drinking well-diluted lemon juice and also to up your water intake.
3. It can trigger migraines
Those with serious, chronic migraines note that citrus fruits can bring on a migraine due to the tyramine. This is a protein-like substance that can trigger this sort of headache. If you suffer from migraines, consider cutting out citrus fruits from your diet entirely, and then adding them back in with small amounts. Learn the amount that triggers a migraine and be sure to stay well under that quantity of citrus consumption daily.
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4. Ulcers, and more
Lemon juice can cause ulcers in the mouth (canker sores), the esophagus, heartburn, and upset stomach or ulcers of the stomach.This is due to the high acidic content, as well as promoting pepsin, the stomach acid produced to process proteins. If you suffer from any digestive issues, skip lemon juice as a daily supplement.
5. It can throw off your iron balance
A substance in lemons increases the absorption of iron in your body. That’s great if you need more iron, but not good if you already have enough and begin to accumulate too much as you consume lemon juice daily. Symptoms of iron overdose include joint pain, heart pain, and irregular heart rhythm.
6. Watch out for a wax coating on the peel
This can be petroleum based, and is also found on many other citrus fruits. If you consume the peel, you will want to be sure to wash this off with a produce brush and hot water.
7. Lemons are acidic
Too much acidity in the body can wreak havoc. Consuming too much lemon juice can weaken tooth enamel, cause canker sores or stomach ulcers, migraines, and heartburn, summing up in other words – making all things work wrong.
8. High content of vitamin C
The high vitamin C content in lemon juice lends to its acidity, landing lemon juice with a pH of 2. However, too much vitamin C can upset the stomach and work as a laxative. Most bodies can handle well over the overdose limit of 2,000 mg a day of vitamin C, which is over 20 cups of lemon juice. But if you are taking supplements or consuming other foods and beverages high in vitamin C, you may reach that limit easily.
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Healthier Daily Drink Ideas
Though lemon juice does contain some healthy boosts, it is not healthy for everyone and should not be overindulged. Consider trying out some of these healthy alternatives.
- Opt for a high protein, high green smoothie in the morning to replace both your morning drink and breakfast.
- Try out an herbal tea, such as dandelion root, which has the nutty, rich taste of coffee and assists the liver with detoxification.
- Add a dose of brain power to your daily coffee or tea, by adding coconut oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter right into the brew.
- Kombucha is a fermented drink that contains loads of probiotics – the bacteria that fill our gut and boost our immune system. It can be brewed easily at home from store-bought kombucha, tea, and any fruit flavorings you love.
Too Much Lemon Juice – What to Watch Out For
You may experience headaches, tooth pain, or diarrhea if you consume too much lemon juice. Be sure to fully dilute it, and discontinue use if you begin to experience symptoms of too much lemon juice. While consuming lemon juice, be sure to also monitor your vitamin C levels to not overdose.