Everyone’s looking for the next best thing when it comes to making their life better. It’s common to see people tout these so-called “life hacks” meant to make you more comfortable, make chores easier to do, or make you healthier. However, most of these are questionable when it comes to how much they can actually help you and their level of effectiveness.
The idea behind life hacks is sound: people’s lives are busy, hectic, and sometimes needlessly complicated, and as a result our overall health suffers. It’s only natural to look for quick, easy, and all-natural ways to restore some of that life balance so that we can live healthier, happier lives, and sometimes people will believe rather outlandish claims made by those offering “life hacks” that are about as effective as Punxsutawney Phil’s ability to predict whether we’ll be getting six more weeks of winter on Groundhog Day.
However, just because there are so many bunk life hacks out there doesn’t mean that there aren’t some that are absolutely true and accurate. One of the most amazing collections of these life hacks comes from one particularly unassuming source: the lemon, that humble little citrus fruit that most people think isn’t of much use besides flavoring food. Don’t discount the lemon, though; here are some amazing life hacks that can help improve your inner and outer health.
Squeeze a Bit in Your Water
Everyone knows that water is more or less the healthiest beverage you can drink on a consistent basis. There’s no salt, no sugar, no preservatives or harmful chemicals, and if you get it from a natural underground well or spring it’s usually loaded with high levels of helpful minerals. There’s little you can do to make water better than it already is – but if you add a bit of lemon juice to your water, you can unlock even more of its potential on your road to good health.
One of the best ways to start your day is with a nice, tall glass of lemon water. Make sure you dilute that lemon juice well, because the highly acidic nature of lemon juice can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel – only once it’s been mixed with water is it safer to drink regularly. One big glass first thing every morning – as much as half an hour before you eat breakfast – helps get your body going.
What Lemon Water Can Do
There are a number of positive effects that lemon water can have on your body. One of the biggest advantages of drinking lemon water regularly is that it can help to reduce your body’s overall acidity. This may seem counter-intuitive because lemon juice is on the acidic side of the pH scale, but the way lemon juice is metabolized by the body can help to normalize your natural pH. This can help in reducing the amount of uric acid built up in your body, a primary cause of many types of inflammation.
More than that, drinking lemon water can help with your digestion. Conditions like heartburn and acid reflux, excess gas and bloating, and other types of indigestion can be lessened by lemon juice, and lemon juice can also help to enhance the productions of toxin-cleansing enzymes in your liver as well. Additionally, the naturally occurring antioxidants in lemon juice can help restore your skin’s elasticity and may even aid in reducing blemishes and wrinkles if you apply it directly to the skin as well as drink it down as lemon water.
Finally, lemons (and lemon juice) have other positive health effects. Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C and potassium, which are crucial to healthy bodies. While the benefits of Vitamin C are well known in that it can help boost the effectiveness of your immune system, potassium is key for good nerve and brain function as well as a healthy heart. With the combination of the pectin fiber contained within lemon – a substance that helps you fight off cravings and hunger pangs – you can even provide yourself a boost if you’re trying to lose weight or stick to a new diet.
Inside and Out
There’s more to the benefits of lemon than just what it can do for you from mixing it in a little bit of water and drinking it down every day. There’s a myriad of health uses both inside and out, and the list goes on and on.
One oft-overlooked use of lemon juice is as a tooth whitening product when mixed with baking soda. Equal parts baking soda and lemon juice can create a frothy paste that can do wonders for whitening your teeth much in the same way that a store-bought tooth whitening kit can, but without the expense and the strange, possibly harmful chemicals, these kits contain. Simply rub the mixture onto your teeth with a Q-tip or a similar applicator and leave on for around 45 seconds (any longer and the acid in the lemon juice could lead to damage to your tooth enamel). Then, remove carefully but thoroughly with a toothbrush and a good rinse. Repeat this treatment regularly and your teeth will begin to brighten over time.
Lemon juice is good from your head to your toes. While it’s a great way to treat blemishes on your skin, it’s especially effective in rejuvenating tired, callused feet. The Vitamin C in lemon juice, which is also known as citric acid, has an exfoliating effect on the kind of calluses or scales that many people develop on their feet after walking or standing around all day because of work. It can be a fantastic way to relax after a long day by giving your feet a nice, long soak in a basin filled with water combined with the juice of around two lemons, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of milk. Twenty minutes of that and you’ll be able to simply file that dead, callused skin right off your feet. Take special care to get your heels and the balls of your feet, where most of the ground contact occurs; you’ll be astounded at the difference.
That’s not the only good combination with olive oil and lemon juice. The two substances, while combined together, have been known to make an excellent bug spray that keeps you from having to slather your skin in awful-smelling chemical sprays that make everyone want to keep away from you, much less mosquitoes and other insects. You can easily combine a drop of lemon essential oil together with ten times the amount of olive oil – or any other carrier oil – in a spray bottle and go to town. Just remember to use a carrier oil, as the essential oil won’t mix as well with pure water and you won’t get nearly as much bug protection power as a result.
Not In or On, but Around
Finally, there are benefits lemons and lemon juice can have in your life without actually putting the fruit inside your body – or even on it. The power of the lemon is such that it’s an effective method for cleaning some of the areas in your home that need it the worst at times – like your kitchen.
If there’s one thing that lemon juice can do, it can cut grease like a champ. If you’ve got a particularly nasty pile of dishes that seem to be utterly resistant to scrubbing with that harsh chemical dish soap, give your weary hand a rest and drop a bit of lemon juice on there and let it sit for a few minutes. You can even do this with your kitchen counters as well, as long as they’re not marble (lemon juice and marble don’t really mix) and then come back, combine the lemon juice with some baking soda, and give it a little scrub. The concoction will do for your plates and counters what it does for your teeth: brighten and clean without effort.
That’s not the only way lemon juice can benefit you in the kitchen, as it’s great for absorbing even the funkiest of odors coming from your refrigerator. While it can’t throw out those old leftovers you’ve been keeping in the back for weeks (you really should throw those out), taking a few cotton balls and soaking them in lemon juice before sticking them inside your refrigerator for a few hours will seriously cut down that funk by a noticeable margin. Besides, what’s better than a lemony-fresh breeze hitting you in the face whenever you open up your fridge?
Finally, the kitchen isn’t the only room in the house that lemons belong in. You can use around one quarter of a cup of lemon juice when you’re washing your whites in the laundry in lieu of harsh chemical whiteners; the addition does wonders for your clothes. When you finish a wash cycle, hang those whites out to dry and come back to see an amazing array of beautiful, shining clothes like you just had them professionally laundered.
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