As an alternative to my early normal morning coffee, I started a new routine, part of which is hot water and lemon. I squeeze a half a lemon and include some of the fibre of the fruit and top up with hot water.
I normally do the squeezing the night before and leave the glass ready to be topped up with hot water.
Lemons are best known for their vitamin C content which will help support the immune system (frequency of colds), but their fibre and acidity also slow digestion, causing a steadier rise in blood sugar levels. One lemon gives 30.7 mg vitamin C. The recommended daily amount is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.
Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning stimulates the digestive system and improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. For example, if you need to boost your iron levels eating iron rich foods WITH vitamin C rich food such as lemon juice, will aid the absorption of the Iron. In addition, poor absorption of nutrients can cause you to feel hungry, even when you are not.
Lemon water cleanses your palate on the way down. Once in your body, it helps to gently flush your kidneys and your liver of wastes and toxins. It also can help cleanse your lymphatic system, another body system that eliminates toxins.
The American Diabetes Association lists citrus fruits, including lemons, as a top 10 diabetic super food.
You can spice up this drink and further rev your metabolism by adding a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground ginger.
TOP TIP - Storage
Lemons will keep for up to 10 days at room temperature, so you can shop for them weekly. Sliced and frozen flat, they can then be stored in a freezer bag without sticking and popped into a glass of water.
You also can store fresh lemon juice in an ice cube tray without losing any of its potency.
But I still love my coffee...........................
My morning coffee now comes later in the morning after the nutrients from breakfast and my vitamins have had a chance to do their work. But all that is for another blog. Suffice to say, coffee is still a big part of my life. Favorite coffee spots are The Limeleaf in Derry, Cafe Storm in Limavady and the Takk Espresso bar in the Hatch in Manchester.