Written by contributor Nicole Bennett of Gidget Goes Home.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned water with lemon as one of my basic habits to boost my immunity. Last winter I really felt like it helped me fight off viruses that were going around. Plus, I love the taste of lemon! So now, I thought it would be helpful to go into a little more detail as to why I do this.

Alkaline, not Acidic

One of the most important features of lemon is that, once digested, it is an alkaline food. This surprised me, because my common sense told me that lemon was acidic. But in terms of body pH balance, it is actually one of the best foods we can eat to help alkalize our body, or keep it at the correct pH level.

To put it most simply, alkalines help keep the oxygen in our blood at a safe pH level, and this helps our body heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off unwanted sickness.

Just Another Reason to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies…

Not surprisingly, many of the acid-forming foods are the ones we should be trying to avoid anyways, like refined sugar and grains and artificial sweeteners. Many of them are not bad, in and of themselves though (like cheese, beans and coffee).

Remember, we are seeking a balance. We do need both acids and alkalines, but it is important to eat more alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in order to keep the balance in your body. A body with an overly acidic pH level could have a compromised immunity, among many other issues.

As a bonus, starting your day off with a glass of water with lemon squeezed into it does even more than just give you a morning alkaline boost.

Lemons have also been said to be good for the bones, skin radiance, digestion, and fighting cancer; plus they have a great amount of vitamin C and potassium and is antioxidant-rich food. Limes are a great alternative if you have them more readily available.

Lemon Water Tips

My naturopathic doctor recommended a half a lemon squeezed into water every morning. I drink mine at room temperature, because hot lemon water doesn’t appeal to me. In the summer, I’m often drinking cold lemon or lime water throughout the day as a refreshing beverage. For starting your day and preparing your body for digestion, luke-warm or warm is probably the best way to drink your lemon water.

Worried about the effect of the citrus on your tooth enamel? Drink your lemon water through a straw!

my little tree- almost ripe!

Sour, Yet Sweet

My favorite variety is the Meyer lemon. It’s a bit sweeter than other lemons and really has a delicious flavor. Lucky for me, my parents have a tree that produces abundantly in the winter (I love how God designed citrus to be available when we need it most!), and I’m also nurturing a baby potted Meyer lemon in my own backyard. Meyers are easy to find at the market though, too, and they are also great for baking and cooking.

Save Some For Later

When lemons are in abundance, I’ll also juice some and freeze them in ice cube trays to have “fresh” lemon juice at my disposal at all times. I do recommend straining out most of the pulp before freezing, so the cube dissolves easier in a glass of water.

Do any of you, dear readers, start your day with lemon water? Have you noticed any of its benefits?