Again about the health benefits of lemon water in the morning? And honey? Hasn’t it been said enough? Haven’t we all tried it for 2 weeks or 2 months and nothing happened?
Well, as simple and unbelievable this recipe may be, it seems that there is no smoke without fire. And if you have a problem, or don’t have a problem but want to improve your overall health state, then you should also remember 2 things:
1. be consistent
2. this is not a magical pill. It does nothing by itself. But combined with a healthy lifestyle it can make a difference. And by healthy lifestyle I don’t mean diet, but other things even more important in your life: joy, sport and sleep.
There are hundreds of blogs online about the benefits of this lemonade. The difference is that while they are all listing “15 health benefits of lemon honey juice” or “30 good benefits of honey lemon water”, research has proved there is indeed truth in some of these claims (at least in the ones they studied), but of course, under some conditions.
Fasting with lemon honey juice for 4 days
As I said, lemon honey water is not a magical pill. You cannot expect to drink a lemonade in the morning and than eat as much as you always do. This won’t change much, if anything. But combined with fasting here is what this lemonade can do to healthy people.
The study Does short-term lemon honey juice fasting have effect on lipid profile and body composition in healthy individuals?, by PrashanthShetty et al. from India, published on sciencedirect.com in 2016, evaluated the short-term effect of lemon honey juice fasting on total serum triglycerides, total serum cholesterol and body composition in healthy individuals.
During 4 days the subjects had nothing but lemonade 4 times per day (see the recipe below) and water at will.
After the 4 days of fasting, the subjects had 300-ml of sweet lime juice (in the morning) followed by fruit diet (papaya 200-g) in the afternoon, raw diet (sprouts 50-g and raw vegetables 100-g, and fruit salad 100-g) in the evening and normal cooked diet from day 6 on.
■ half lemon
■ a teaspoon of honey
■ 290 ml of water
A multifloral honey from the Western Ghats of Karnataka (Dharmasthala), a dark yellow multifloral honey (aka wild flower honey). The Western Ghats is a mountain range in India, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world. It has 7,402 species of flowering plants from which 5,588 species are native or indigenous. Among them 2,253 species are endemic to India and of them, 1,273 species are exclusively found to the Western Ghats.
The honey produced in this region is 100% organic, unpolluted and pesticide free, reported to have good quality, been also used successfully in traditional medicine. (See honeys in India.) It has the following characteristics:
pH = 3.48,
ash = 0.60 %
moisture = 15.54 %,
acidity = 20.0 meq/kg,
total sugar = 75%,
protein = 0.80mg/g,
phenol = 0.67mg/g,
alkaloid = 10.6%.
The results showed:
Significant reduction in weight, body mass index, fat mass, free fat mass, muscle mass, total body water and total serum triglycerides with insignificant reduction in fat percentage and total serum cholesterol compared to baseline.
Fasting is an important treatment modality of naturopathy, based on providing rest to the digestive system, diverting vital energy, otherwise utilized to digest food, to the process of healing body and mind. (It sound strange to say this, but this is something present in all religions: fasting clears the mind.)
Lemon honey juice fasting is a commonly used treatment modality in naturopathic hospitals in obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, dyslipidemia, alcoholic liver disorders.
During fasting the adipose tissue triglyceride is mobilized as an important adaptive response and it is the major source of body’s energy during food deprivation. This results obyained inthe study might be attributed to the effect of fasting on plasma insulin concentration which was reported to have an inverse correlation to antilipolytic activity in adipose tissue during fasting.
Firstly, because of Vitamin C
Low plasma levels of Vitamin-C are reported to be associated with the increased body mass index (BMI), central fat distribution, increased all-cause mortality, the risk of myocardial infarction, and gallbladder disease.
High Vitamin-C intake was reported to be associated with higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in women and prevention of coronary heart disease.
The results of the study might also be attributed to the effect of Vitamin-C, an essential factor for biosynthesis of carnitine, useful for subsequent fat oxidation by shuttling long chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane.
Because of its antioxidants properties.
The antioxidant content of honey is found to be equivalent to that of the fruits and vegetables and helps reduce lipids in normal as well as hyperlipidemic individuals.
The results of the study might also be attributed to the effect of honey, which has lipid-lowering property in normal and hyperlipidemic participants.
Is it safe?
Though eating nothing else, none of the participants reported any adverse effects except mild tiredness and mild giddiness in few subjects, which indicates the safety of short-term lemonade among healthy individuals.
The bad side of this study is that there was no control group and thus the results may not be attributed the lemon honey water intake, but only to fasting itself. Further clinical trials needs to be done.
What honey should we use?
Any raw honey is good. Preferably organic, if you can find some. Dark honeys have higher antioxidant content, so choose them. You can also have manuka honey, if you live in New Zealand or Australia, regular, simple one, with an UMF as low as possible (you don’t need to cure any infections in your body, you don’t need a higher antimicrobial factor). You can take wild flower honey (aka meadow honey or multifloral honey) or buckwheat, blueberry honey or what you can find on your locals. If you don’t have localbeekeepers, then you can find some good raw honey on Amazon.
Do we need to fast to see a change?
Not necessarily. The above study was done for a 4 day period. Yet, people tried taking it for a long time, with a normal diet, and had noticeably effects. At least this is what Crystal Davis reports for ElephantJournal. She drank warm lemon honey water in the morning on empty stomach, followed by regular breakfast for 1 year. She used wild flower honey from Tasmania, as she was living there. The effect materialized in 12 months with no cold, flu or digestive problem for her.
picture credit explorerbob via pixabay.com under CC
Can we lose weight with lemon honey water?
Not without intermittent fasting, or a changed diet and lifestyle. There was a time when it was thought that simply having honey and water in the morning makes you lose weight. Please read the article Can honey help you lose weight? The truth, please! to see what’s myth and what’s the real diet with honey involving in order to lose weight.
Always remember about the alternative medicine!
Our conventional medicine is really exceptional these days. It was developed in times when the leading causes of death were acute infectious diseases. Now it is everything we have in case of emergencies and surgery. But times have changed and now the leading causes of death are lifestyle-based chronic diseases. And alternative medicine offers more trustful and free of side effects solutions.
Chris Kresser’s book, Unconventional Medicine: Join the Revolution to Reinvent Healthcare, Reverse Chronic Disease, and Create a Practice You Love discusses the impact of conventional medicine on chronic disease and presents a certified program for clinicians and health practitioners in order to implemented and create a health care system capable of treating chronic diseases effectively.
Featured picture source pixabay.com