When it comes to refreshing summer-time drinks, one of the first things that comes to mind is old-fashioned homemade lemonade. It’s tart, just the right amount of sweet and is super easy to make.
People often ask me what they can replace their cravings for sugary drinks like soda and fruit juices loaded with refined sugar. My answer? Raw homemade lemonade. This is actually one of my favorite ways to spike water so that it encourages me to drink more. It is also great for weaning kids off soda and adults who rather not drink alcohol at social gatherings.
This raw homemade lemonade doesn’t only taste great, but it is wonderful for maintaining your health. The original recipe is actually based off the one used in the Master Cleanse where individuals drink a mixture of water, lemon, cayenne and maple syrup for a period of 10 days (and that’s it!).
Seeing as how I’ve been through just about every cleanse out there, yes, I’ve done the Master Cleanse. The drink was delicious, and I have since been making it as a healthy alternative to soda drinks and other sweetened beverages since.
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Viral Effects of Lemons
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, a dietary component necessary for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is necessary to help build and repair blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone, and is therefore very helpful for those with osteoarthritis.
Lemons also contain other inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which is great for anyone dealing with chronic inflammation like fibromyalgia. Studies have actually found lemon as an effective anti-inflammatory, thanks to high concentrations of limonene (1).
Vitamin C also helps stimulate white blood cell production, which is vital for your immune system to function properly. So making sure you get enough vitamin C on the daily, will ensure your immune system is strong enough to keep colds and flu at bay.
Lemons, Cayenne Pepper and Weight Loss
Sipping on drinks made of lemon can help you shed excess weight, too. Lemons contain pectin, which helps you feel full for longer, and will reduce the amount of times you’ll go reaching for forbidden snack foods.
Cayenne pepper is another ingredient in this homemade lemonade, which contains the natural compound capsaicin. Researchers believe that capsaicin is a thermogenic chemical, meaning it helps speed up metabolism and decreases your appetite (2).
Capsaicin also helps boost metabolism, allows the body to burn more calories and helps increase feelings of fullness while reducing cravings (3, 4).
This raw homemade lemonade will also help boost your energy and mood, as well as aid in digestion and detoxification. The structure of the juices in lemon are similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach. As a result, the liver is tricked into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your gastrointestinal system with ease.
Lemon water is a mild diuretic, too, so it will help the urinary tract get rid of any unwanted elements. This will help improve kidney and liver function, and thus, aid in detoxification.
Raw Homemade Lemonade
This raw homemade lemonade recipe can be made the night before, or the day of. Drink it throughout the day, or all at once.
Ingredients: (serves 1)
– 2 cups cold, filtered water
– 2 tablespoons raw maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
– Juice of 2 lemons
– 1 handful ice
– 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a large glass jar and stir with a spoon. Enjoy!