The Truth About Boiled Lemons

Lemons are more than a fruit that adds a little flavor to a dish or a drink. You can add lemon to marinades, sauces, dressings, summer drinks, baked goods, and much more. Lemons are excellent for your health as they're loaded with vitamin C, which may lower the risk of getting certain types of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements

It's easy to prepare boiled lemons. Use 1 liter of water and four lemons. Rinse the lemons well, chop in half, and squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice into a large pot for boiling. Chop the squeezed lemon, add to the pot with 250 milliliters of water, and boil for three to five minutes. Allow to cool and add your lemon juice, water, or choice beverage and enjoy. You can make more and store it in your fridge for the week ahead by quadrupling the recipe. Aside from adding great flavor to a drink, boiled lemons have multiple health benefits. 

Aids digestion

Shape recommends drinking warm boiled lemon water first thing in the morning for the best benefits. Particularly, lemon water helps aid digestion.

As we age, the amount of stomach acid that we have decreases, which means our stomachs don't effectively break down food as they once did, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so adding warm lemon water compensates for the lower levels of acid, helping with digestion. The citrus flavonoids found in lemons work in conjunction with your body's naturally occurring acid while the warm water you ingest helps the intestines contract, breaking down food (via Shape).

A 2016 study in Gastroenterology Nursing supports the claim that warm — or even hot — lemon water will help your intestines better remove waste. The participants in this study drank 200 milliliters of water at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The water's warm temperature helps food and waste products through your intestines by energizing peristalsis, also known as muscle contractions. 

Prevents kidney stones

Kidney stone disease is a urological disorder, and it occurs when substances within the kidney crystallize and impede normal kidney functions (via Advances in Urology). About 12% of the world population suffers from kidney stones. Symptoms include cramps, back or side pain, blood in urine, urinary tract infections, and blockage of urine flow. You may also experience nausea or vomiting. While doctors can provide pain relief, there is no cure for kidney stones so prevention is essential. Drink about 2 liters of water daily, per Advances in Urology, to help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, water dilutes the substances found throughout urine that ultimately form into stones. The UCF recommends incorporating lemon into your daily water intake. Try adding frozen lemon to your water instead of ice cubes to supply color and flavor. Add lemon and honey to hot water during cooler weather. These drinks can combat kidney stones because lemon contains citrates, which prevent crystals from converting into full-fledged stones.

Improves skin appearance

According to a 2017 review published in Nutrients, vitamin C is vital to your skin's health. Your skin has two layers to shield your internal organs, muscles, and tissues against the harsh environment. The external surface, also known as the epidermal layer, serves as a barrier to the outside. The internal or inner dermal layer provides nutritional support to the external layer and makes the skin elastic. Intertwined within these layers are high levels of vitamin C, which boosts collagen synthesis and antioxidants to help protect skin against aging, among other stresses. Finally, the review noted the correlation between vitamin C from foods (like fruits and veggies) and optimal skin health. 

A 2016 study published in Food Chemistry showed the positive impact of citrus juice and its vitamin C properties on the skin through oral ingestion and topical application. Researchers found that a citrus-based juice mixture may lessen damage to skin cells, reduced skin thickness, staved off wrinkle formation, and improved the look of wrinkles. In addition, the utilization of boiled lemon water within the study illustrates that vitamin C may stop premature skin aging and have a long-lasting positive effect on skin health.