Lemonade: A Bone Builder?
August 20 is National Lemonade Day (there’s always a reason to celebrate) and with record-setting temperatures worldwide, a glass of lemonade sure sounds refreshing.
But before you break out the pitcher set, know that many store-bought lemonades aren’t really lemonade at all. Many contain artificial sweeteners, flavors and coloring. So save your money and skip the drinks and powders that are low on lemons and high on sugar.
Today, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your very own bone healthy beverage.
Not only will it taste better, but you’ll benefit from the powerful alkalizing antioxidant while you detoxify and stay hydrated. Of course, staying hydrated is especially important during the dog days of summer when heat and humidity cause accelerated water loss. Those headaches and feelings of fatigue you thought were associated with hot weather are more likely caused by dehydration.
When life gives you lemons… improve your bone health!
To support bone health, I suggest sipping distilled or reverse osmosis purified water with a few drops of lemon juice throughout the day.
Hydration is essential for life. At the cellular level, water acts as a solvent and conductor in the body allowing cells to efficiently transport and combine elements while helping the body maintain it’s electro-chemical balance. And lemon juice has an alkaline pH, which of course is important to bone health.
If you read the Save Our Bones Program, you probably know that lemons are one of the Foundation Foods. In addition to being alkalizing, lemons contain vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body. It’s necessary for the production of collagen, which maintains bones and cartilage. Just a quarter cup of lemon juice has almost half of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. As a bonus, lemon juice also contains calcium and magnesium (important for the proper absorption of calcium), as well as potassium. Potassium supports bone health by neutralizing metabolic acids, thus conserving the body’s calcium stores. 1 It also reduces calcium loss through urine.
The nutrients in lemon and fresh lemon juice have a positive effect on the liver too. The vitamin C in lemon promotes the production of glutathione, a compound that fights toxins in the liver. The powerful antioxidant also destroys free radicals created by the liver’s metabolic process thereby acting as detoxifying agent in the liver. And it’s important to note here that a study conducted in May 2010 by Rheumatology International, shows a definitive link between poor liver function and osteoporosis. 2
Furthermore, lemons are especially unique in that their juice carries a negative charge which binds to acidic waste in the body and flushes it out through the urine.
What’s the best water to drink?
I recommend using distilled water, or water purified through reverse osmosis for drinking and cooking. Tap water is filled with toxic chemical additives, such as chloramines and fluoride, which can have devastating effects on your bone health. What’s more, there is recent evidence that municipalities across the United States are adding fluoride imported from China which contains harmful levels of lead and arsenic. 3
Distilled water, on the other hand, is the closest you can get to pure rain water, and is heavy-metal free.
And don’t worry, distilled water won’t drain minerals from your body – that’s a myth. Mineral and spring water contain inorganic minerals that offer no real benefit to your health (for more on inorganic minerals read: Calcium and Heart Attack Alert: My Take).
And for more information on water be sure to read The Missing Link which is included free in the Save Our Bones Program.
Your Summertime Treat
Drinking a glass of distilled water with fresh lemon juice drops is a healthy beverage I enjoy all year round.
And for a special summertime treat, you can add stevia to the mix for a simple and sweet lemonade that can be enjoyed guilt free. A cup has only 15 calories, is delicious on a hot day and supports your bone health naturally.
Pure and Simple Lemonade
6 medium lemons, preferably organic
3 1/2 cups distilled water
Stevia to taste (optional – sweetness varies between powder and liquid)
Juice lemons with a manual citrus juicer or squeeze by hand. Avoid getting seeds in the juice. If you don’t care for pulp, strain juice. Mix with distilled water and add stevia to taste. Add ice or chill and enjoy! For a twist, add a few sprigs of fresh mint. It’s a tasty way to use mint from your garden.
Tip: How to choose a lemon
August is prime season for lemons, so selection should be good. A fully ripe lemon offers the most sweetness and nutrition. Look for a lemon that feels heavy for its size, is all yellow and has a thin skin, evident by a fine grain on the peel.
So happy National Lemonade Day and here’s to your good health!
1 Sellmeyer DE, Schloetter DE, Schloetter M, et al.” Potassium citrate prevents urine calcium excretion and bone resorption induced by a high sodium chloride diet.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 87, No.5
2 Wariaghli G, Mounach A, Achemlal L, Benbaghdadi I, Aouragh A, Bezza A, El Maghraoui A. “Osteoporosis in chronic liver disease: a case-control study.” Rheumatology International, Vol. 30, No. 7. May 2010
3 Bernard W. Miltenberger. “Chinese fluoride is a homeland security matter.” Cumberland Times News, February 27, 2010