As a health conscious traveler, I am always searching for ways to take care of my body while I am on the road. Whether you are recovering from a conference (late nights, early morning, and maybe a little too much booze?) or trying to avoid catching a cold, taking care of your body should be a top priority. Believe it or not, it is possible to detoxify your body while you travel from your hotel room, rental car, airport, or airplane with one secret ingredient. This secret ingredient to health travel is readily available in just about every location-hotels, restaurants, and even on the airplane. And, it is even small enough you can pack a few with you if you.
Are you ready for me to unveil the secret?
The secret power food you need to detox your body during travel is…… LEMON!
Lemon is one of the most pervasive and powerful super foods. Lemons are full of vitamin C, potassium, B6, folic acid and antioxidants. Find a few lemon wedges and squeeze them into a mug with hot water and VOILA!! You have a cup full of goodness for your body (that was probably free). So, are you wondering why a glass with hot water and lemon is so great?
According to Dr. Michael Wald, the director of Nutritional Services at Integrated Medicine and Nutrition in Mount Kisco, New York, “Hot water may increase body temperature and therefore increase the metabolic rate slightly.” Warm water also increases your circulation which is an added benefit to your body when you are sitting on an airplane for long period of time.
Here are the ways that your body can benefit from drinking a warm cup of lemon water:
- Improves digestion-It is high in vitamins and minerals that flush out unwanted toxins from the body and your digestive track. The citric acid in lemon will stimulate production of gastric juices to get a head start on digesting your food and improve digestion. Additionally, improved digestion can relieve bloating, belching, and heartburn.
- Fights dehydration– Dehydration is common occur when traveling. Drinking water(lemon or not) keeps your body hydrated and staying hydrated reduces jet lag.
- Acts as a (gentle) diuretic– Warm lemon water flushes toxins out of your body keeping your urinary tract healthy. Constipation is a common issue for travelers due to time changes, diet changes, and dehydration. Warm lemon water is known to be a natural laxative because it releases toxins at a faster rate than usual and promotes your body’s production of digestive enzymes be the liver (this also detoxes your liver-which is a necessity after a long conference- just kidding-or am I….)
- Aids in weight loss-While nothing can replace a healthy diet and exercise, warm lemon water aids in weight loss efforts be increasing your metabolic rate. In 2005, the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” published an article explaining how vitamin C is inversely related to your body mass and individuals with adequate vitamin C intake oxidized 30% more fat during exercise. Lemons are also high in pectin fiber which is known to fight off hunger cravings. Additionally, drinking hot water may increase your metabolic rate aka increase your metabolism.
- Boosts immune system-Lemons are high in vitamin C which help your body fight off colds and packed with potassium to improve your brain and nerve function. Potassium also assists with controlling your blood pressure. Lemons also contain saponins, which help keep infections away due to antimicrobial properties.
- Natural energy source– Who couldn’t use a little pep in thier step while they travel? Just the smell of lemon can clear your mind and brighten your mood. And, it is one of the only foods that provides your body with more energy when it reaches the digestive track due to the high amount of negatively charged ions.
- Balances pH– Lemons are a high alkaline food and as a result will decrease the acidity of your body.
- Keeps breath fresh- There is nothing worse than talking to someone with bad breath. Don’t be that someone! Warm lemon water freshens breath and has been said to help with gingivitis. Your dentist will warn you that lemons can break down the enamel on your teeth so make sure you do not brush your teeth right after you drink the warm lemon water.
- Improves skin- Nothing makes my skin feel worse than airplane air. The vitamin C and antioxidants in the lemons rejuvenates your skin while fighting damage from free radicals. The detoxifying power of warm lemon water also reduces blemishes.
- Reduces inflammation– Drinking lemon water removes the uric acid in the your joints (one of the main causes of inflammation) and the absorbic acid in lemons has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking warm water also increases your circulation, which is a major benefit when you are sitting on an airplane.
The best time to drink warm lemon water is right after you wake up in the morning. I also drink it while I am flying, though it will be beneficial to consume at any time. I suggest squeezing half a lemon into one cup of warm water. On the airplane, use one or two wedges per Styrofoam cup. Lastly, using fresh lemon juice is preferable over bottled lemon juice. If you must use bottled lemon juice, find an organic one.
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