The Hidden Healing Power of Lemonade

For generations of Americans, nothing shouts “Summertime!” like a tall, cold glass of lemonade. Medical experts now tell us that this sweet and tangy treat can help resolve or prevent a passel of serious health problems. That’s because lemons are rich in phytonutrients that are associated with the prevention and/or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death in Western countries: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

What’s more, although lemons are acidic, they increase the alkalinity of our bodily fluids — and an alkaline system is key to maintaining good health. Here’s a sampling of the fabulous feats that a daily glass of lemonade can perform for you:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Cleanse your system of toxins and impurities
  • Conquer cravings for cigarettes and alcohol
  • Improve your mood
  • Increase your energy level
  • Prevent kidney stones
  • Protect against adult asthma
  • Reduce acid reflux
  • Speed weight loss

In addition to offering up loads of physical health benefits, sipping a glass of lemonade on your front porch while you visit with neighbors, or simply watch the world go by, can dramatically lower stress and anxiety levels. This is the ultimate twist on an old-time recipe:

1 cup of water (for simple syrup
1 cup of sugar (or less to taste
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
3-4 cups of cold water (to dilute)
1 cup of fresh blueberries, slightly crushed (optional)

Make a simple syrup by heating 1 cup of water in a pan, and then stirring in the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar is dissolved. Mix the syrup and the lemon juice in a pitcher, and add enough cold water to reach the desired strength. Refrigerate, covered for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the crushed blueberries, then take a sip. If the lemonade is too sweet for your liking, add more straight lemon juice, and use less sugar next time. Serve it up in ice-filled glasses, garnished with lemon slices.Cheers to good health!