Nothing beats the heat like a tall glass of ice water. Except maybe ice water with a little lemon twist. It’s the perfect drink for hot summer days, when those high temps trigger greater fluid loss from your body. Did you know that lemons are loaded with electrolytes? Or that the juice from half a lemon contains only six calories? So say goodbye to overpriced, artificially flavored sports drinks and get squeezing!
Besides electrolyte minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium, lemons are rich in vitamin C, with a half cup providing almost 100% of the recommended Daily Value. Lemons are also a good source of folate, and they’re low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.
Pick Your Pucker
When shopping for lemons, look for bright yellow color and smooth, shiny skin. Small, heavier lemons tend to yield more juice. Pick one up and give it a squeeze. Feel firm? It may not be as juicy. Look for lemons that “give” a little. And, of course, go for organic, especially if you’ll be garnishing a glass with peel-still-on slices.
Roll for Flow
To get the most juice, let your lemons warm up to room temperature. Give them a good roll on your countertop, pushing down gently as you work back and forth. When it’s time to cut, slice from stem to navel, not across the middle. This will give you better grip for squeezing.
Drink it Down
Add as little or as much lemon juice as you’d like to your water! For a touch of flavor, try a dash of turmeric and a few sprigs of cilantro. Or, to sweeten things up, sprinkle in some stevia or stir in spoonful of raw honey. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice may also be frozen—just fill an ice cube tray, give it a few hours and pop the cubes into your drink.
Short on time? Get 100% natural, organic, fresh-squeezed lemon juice at Vitacost.com.
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of TheHealthyApple.com; she is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free and dairy-free ‘Clean’ recipes using whole foods. Amie recently healed herself from six years of chronic pain, exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too. Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Visit Amie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest; she’d love to hear from you!