Struggling to rise and shine in the morning?
Here’s how to make my favourite lemony apple cider vinegar drink and all its benefits.
Hippies and nutritionists have been touting about the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning for years. Apple cider vinegar (commonly abbreviated to “ACV”) has been around for years and known for its health benefits, but as of recently it has made its way to be the trendy “cure-all” for basically all of your health ailments.
Let me be clear, this post is not to persuade you to think that lemon juice and ACV are two miracle ingredients that will make your life free from blemishes or disease. Like anything, there can be potential side effects or contraindications based on current health or prescription medications when taking ACV or lemon juice (yes, even lemon juice!), but there are quite a few interesting facts and nutritional benefits from consuming these two ingredients and they can definitely contribute to improving your health!
There are many ways to use lemons and their juice. Make lemon tarts (no, those aren’t very “healthy”, but damn are they good!), squeeze a little juice to finish your savoury meal with a bright finish, balance the acidity in your dish, add to smoothies to add some freshness and balance, or simply enjoy in some water (or enjoy in a cocktail, I won’t judge!).
Health benefits of lemons:
- A good source of vitamin C: Vitamin C is a primary anti-oxidant that helps protect your cells from oxidative damage.
- Improves skin: Juice from lemons may help to reduce wrinkles on the skin as we age and reduces skin damage. In addition, adding lemon juice to water increases hydration which directly helps improve the quality of your skin.
- Helps your hair, skin and nails: Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient that is required for collagen production, which plays a vital role in the elasticity and health of your hair, skin and nails.
- Aids your digestive system: Drinking water with lemon juice added to it first thing in the morning helps aid digestion and may prevent constipation. In Ayruvedic medicine, the sour lemon taste helps to stimulate “agni”, and a strong agni helps to jump start the digestive system. This allows your body to digest food more easily and prevent a blockage of toxins in the bowels.
- May prevent painful kidney stones: Lemons are high in citric acid and contain a component called citrate. Citrate paradoxically makes urine less acidic and is recommended to help break down painful and stubborn kidney stones. Adding lemon juice to water also hydrates your body and that helps to prevent and pass kidney stones.
- Can lower cholesterol: Lemons contain 2 plant compounds (hesperidin and diosmin) that have been found to lower LDL cholesterol.
- Prevent anemia: Anemia is also known as iron deficiency. While lemons are not a good source of iron, they are a good source of vitamin c and citric acid which helps to the absorption of both heme and non-heme iron.
Lemon juice is a little bit easier to start using daily or to incorporate into dishes, but what about ACV?
First, let me explain what apple cider vinegar is.
Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar (duh) that is made by exposing crushed apples to yeast which converts sugar to alcohol. Then, bacteria is added that further ferments the alcohol and turns it to acetic acid, which is the main component in apple cider vinegar.
Flavour/culinary wise, ACV is known to be sweeter than white or malt vinegar and it doesn’t matter if you use unpasteurized and pasteurized as the taste remains the same after processing.
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is the one you want to buy if you are looking to reap the health benefits from ACV. When left unpasteurized and still containing the “mother” (a substance composed of cellulose and friendly bacteria), it can have a lot of health benefits that I explain below.
Apple cider vinegar is perfect for making delicious homemade mustards, marinades, salad dressings, or adding to your bone broth to help extract all the minerals from the bones or for adding to your morning lemon water of course!
Health benefits of apple cider vinegar:
- Helps control acne: ACV is slightly acidic, and may help to balance the pH of the skin. It is important not to use it directly on the skin and to dilute it first if using as a toner or as a topical treatment for acne.
- May lower blood sugar: Everyone, but specifically those with Type 2 diabetes may benefit from consuming apple cider vinegar with a high carbohydrate meals, as a small study showed it can improve insulin function and balance blood sugar.
- Aids in weight loss (specifically belly fat): Recently, there have been studies that show that vinegar can increase the feeling of being satiated, leading you to eat few calories. If you have a struggle with overeating, perhaps this might be a safe method to help control cravings.
- the studies showed the consuming 1 tbsp of ACV led to 2.6 lbs of fat loss, and 2 tbsp led to 3.7 lbs. It’s not significant and a healthy balanced diet and staying active will always be the best way to lose weight, it may be an easy way to lessen belly fat.
- Helps with indigestion: Raw apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that help with indigestion and bloating so taking it before meals can help to digest food better.
There are more claims that say that ACV can help with heartburn, however research is limited and effectiveness varies.
As I stated earlier, you should always do your research when you start taking something new as there may be side effects. Potential side effects of lemon juice and ACV include:
- Both lemon juice and ACV are very acidic and can contribute to enamel erosion. The bests way to lessen this chance is to dilute these two ingredients in water.
- If you have a potassium deficiency (known as hypokalemia) you should avoid taking ACV as prelimary studies suggest it can worsen the deficiency.
- If you have a damaged esophageal lining, you should take very diluted concentrations of both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
- You should never use ACV that is not diluted directly on the skin. It is actually so acidic that can actually cause burns and irritation.
- If you are on cholesterol controlling medication, you should avoid citrus completely as it can interact with the medication.
Okay, I’ve gone through all of the nerdy stuff, and by now you should probably know if adding lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to your morning water is for you or not! Here is the recipe to my favourite morning beverage to help me rise and shine.
- I love using my soda stream to make my own sparkling water. It’s so much cheaper than buying bottled sparkling water and it is much less wasteful as well!
- Braggs is my favourite brand of apple cider vinegar to use and it is very easily accessible in most grocery stores or you can get it on Amazon.
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Morning Apple Cider Vinegar & Lemon Water Drink
- June 1, 2020
- 3 min
- Print this
- 750-850ml filtered water (I love using sparkling water fro my soda stream!)
- 2-3 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 7-10 drops stevia or monk fruit extract
- optional garnishes
- fresh mint
- pinch of turmeric
- slice of ginger
- Step 1
- Add all ingredients to a large glass and stir together.
- Step 2
- Garnish if desired, then sip away!