For several years now, I’ve been starting my mornings off with a cup of lovely warm lemon water because of its long list of health benefits. Recently, though, I’ve started drinking turmeric and lemon water instead. Here’s why.
Lemon water on its own has many health benefits, including the fact that it helps detoxify the body by giving the digestive system a kick first thing when you wake up. Unfortunately, my morning cup has become more of a necessity than a relaxing luxury. I truly need this daily detox after so much travel.
So I began looking for a way to jazz up this morning ritual (to help me stick with it). After a bit of research, I discovered that adding turmeric to lemon water not only gives my morning pick-me-up a different taste but also adds lots of health benefits too.
If your morning routine currently involves throwing back a coffee before you bolt out the door, why not swap out your cup of Joe for a super healthy turmeric lemon water?
It’s equally quick to make, and unlike coffee, it is rich in things your body actually needs, like vitamin C, flavonoids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. And, if you’re wondering how to take turmeric because you’ve read about its benefits, this is an easy and tasty way.
Note: Always check with your doctor before starting a new health regimen or adding supplements to your diet.
What Is Tumeric?
This cheerful yellow spice, which gives curry its color, is native to South Asia and is part of the ginger family, but it’s more than just a flavoring agent. For thousands of years, turmeric has been used in traditional ayurvedic medicine, but the health benefits of turmeric are only just now being fully examined by Western scientists. Researchers are finding fascinating things.
One study published in the Journal of Nephropathology found that “Turmeric…might reemerge as a remedy and/or preventive tool for various illnesses including different type of cancers, obesity, type-2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, CKD [chronic kidney disease] and ESRD [end stage renal disease].” Your morning coffee certainly can’t do all that.
Ground turmeric is more readily available and easier to use than sourcing and grating fresh turmeric root. However, doing the latter will result in a richer flavor profile. You can also buy premade turmeric tea.
What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric is a potent nutritional supplement thanks to chemical compounds called curcuminoids, of which curcumin is the most beneficial.
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory agent (which means it’s helpful for arthritis, among many other conditions) and an antioxidant. Additionally, it helps the body absorb other antioxidants.
Curcumin has also been linked to delaying or reversing brain diseases in rats, and it improves the ability of the lining of the blood vessels to function correctly, which means it may actually reverse cardiovascular disease.
What else can the turmeric in a cup of my lemon and turmeric drink do? Some people find that consuming turmeric regularly helps them fight depression and many other mental health conditions. And curcumin has been shown to benefit cancer patients because it inhibits the growth of almost all types of tumor cells.
Given all that, I figure it can’t hurt to add a bit of turmeric to my warm lemon water in the morning.
What Is Tumeric Water?
Turmeric water is water mixed with turmeric. You can use powdered turmeric or grated turmeric root.
The flavor of this healthy spice is quite strong, so you’ll need to find the right ratio for you based on taste and overall health. You can also flavor your turmeric water, as I do with lemon.
How to Drink Turmeric
A trendy way to take turmeric is hot, through turmeric tea. You can boil water, add the powder or root, let it simmer for a few minutes, strain (if necessary, and drink it this way.
Easy Warm Lemon Water with Turmeric Recipe
I prefer to drink turmeric using this easy drink recipe.
- 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of organic turmeric powder
- warm water
- a dab of raw honey or maple syrup (optional)
- a pinch of black pepper (optional)
- Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon into a mug.
- Add the turmeric powder.
- Add warm water.
- Stir well. (Note that the turmeric will not dissolve.)
- Add a pinch of black pepper.
- Add raw honey or maple syrup to taste, if desired.
- Keep a spoon in the cup as turmeric will fall to the bottom so the drink will need to be mixed again.
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Turmeric Benefits Can Be Enhanced by Black Pepper
Black pepper contains piperine, which has been shown to aid in curcumin absorption by up to 2000%. Therefore, it is likely beneficial if you can add a few dashes into your morning lemon and turmeric water. I haven’t yet been able to find a specific dosage recommendation, so a dash or small pinch is what most people add.
Speaking of peppers, some people add a pinch of cayenne pepper to kick start their digestive system and add a kick to their healthy concoction.
The Tools You’ll Need for Perfect Lemon and Turmeric Water
The perfect tools for a nice cup of lemon and turmeric water include organic turmeric powder as well as a stainless steel lemon squeezer that won’t corrode like the plastic or painted kind (been there, done that).
What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
Many people are hesitant to try warm lemon water because they’re worried they won’t enjoy citrus’ sour taste in the morning. On top of this, they aren’t sure what turmeric tastes like either. Adding turmeric actually masks the intensity of the lemon and adds a complex peppery flavor.
Turmeric tastes bitter and strong on its own. If you find the flavor of turmeric water with lemon to be surprising or too strong at first, use a smaller amount of turmeric and then gradually add more as you get used to the taste. Some people offset the flavor with a dash of cinnamon.
There’s one more good reason to start with a smaller amount of turmeric in your turmeric lemon water. This spice can profoundly impact your digestive system (which is good), but you don’t want to overdo it. In other words, some people are sensitive to it.
And if you’re not embarking on a total detox, you can try whisking in some raw honey (do not use it on a vegan diet), maple syrup, or coconut nectar to offset the taste. Just remember that a little sweetness can go a long way.
To get used to the turmeric flavor, you can do a couple of other things if you don’t want to dive in cold turkey. Start with a premade turmeric tea in tea bags. You can go for a straight turmeric tea or opt for an herbal tea with turmeric and ginger or another ingredient to temper the taste.
Some people also sprinkle it into green tea first and then graduate to lemon water. Others add it to smoothies. If you’re going to do the latter, a little goes a long way.
Health Benefits of Turmeric and Lemon Water
There are lots of reasons you should give this powerful morning elixir a try. Here are just a few.
1. It Promotes Weight Loss
Drinking turmeric water (with or without lemon) has been shown to prevent the accumulation of fat. And sipping a healthy hot beverage in the morning that tastes interesting and looks cheerful may keep you from overindulging at brunch. What more do you need to know?
2. Turmeric Improves Digestion and Metabolism
Drinking a turmeric drink (whether it’s turmeric and lemon water or something else) can enhance your body’s ability to produce bile, a crucial component of a healthy, well-functioning digestive system.
3. Turmeric and Lemon Water Is a Detox Drink
The liver uses bile as part of the process by which it eliminates toxins from your body. Bile also keeps your liver healthy. Meanwhile, the citric acid in lemon juice helps your body maintain the proper pH levels for wellness, and lemon itself is a natural diuretic that will help your body flush away toxins in your urine.
4. It’s an Antioxidant Powerhouse
Illness and premature aging are both thought to be caused, in part, by oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. Antioxidants protect your body from the effects of free radicals — and both turmeric and lemons are full of them!
5. Turmeric May Relieve Arthritis Symptoms
The curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract the symptoms of chronic inflammatory disorder, rheumatoid arthritis.
6. Drinking Turmeric and Lemon Can Help Protect You from Infections
The antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties of turmeric paired with the immune system-boosting vitamin C and potassium in lemon juice mean there is a lot of illness-fighting power in every warm cup of turmeric and lemon water.
7. It May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
Numerous studies have shown that compounds in turmeric can positively impact cholesterol levels, though it’s still not clear what the optimal dosages should be.
It might also help prevent heart disease! Given that there are virtually no downsides to adding turmeric to your diet, why not see what this spice can do for your cholesterol levels.
8. And Even Help Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Turmeric prevents the degradation of neurons by increasing the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (a hormone that seems to keep the brain healthy), which may, in turn, keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay in those people more susceptible to it. The curcumin in turmeric may even improve memory!
9. Finally, Drinking Turmeric and Lemon Will Keep You Looking Young
Starting your day with a turmeric drink is an easy way to keep your skin hydrated, but that’s not the only reason to add this beverage to your beauty routine. Antioxidants to slow the aging process? Check!
Anti-inflammatory compounds to keep you looking and feeling vibrant from the inside out? Turmeric and lemon water will give you a beautiful, healthy glow!
FAQs About Lemon Water with Turmeric
Here’s what else you need to know about how to take turmeric, whether it’s with lemon water (my favorite), turmeric tea, or even in coffee.
How do you put turmeric in lemon water?
Turmeric powder will not dissolve in your lemon water, so have a spoon or a mini whisk on hand to give your drink the occasional stir.
If you do not prefer to use a powder, grate turmeric root and simmer it in water to make a turmeric tea. Then you can squeeze a lemon into it.
When should I drink turmeric water?
Sipping lemon water with turmeric first thing in the morning will kick start your digestive system, but you can enjoy this drink any time of day. The same goes for turmeric tea.
Can you take turmeric on an empty stomach?
Yes, you can take turmeric on an empty stomach, especially if you’re taking supplements. However, some people report sensitivity when consuming it before eating. In this case, it’s best to take it with food.
Can turmeric help with weight loss?
Yes! While turmeric doesn’t aid in weight loss directly, it can combat the inflammation that is strongly linked with obesity and belly fat. Drinking lemon water with turmeric (especially in place of soft drinks or diet soda) throughout the day can help you stave off cravings that lead to midday snacking.
Is turmeric bad for your kidneys?
Turmeric and lemon juice are good sources of potassium, which people with kidney disease often need to limit. However, most people who drink lemon water with turmeric are not consuming the spice in harmful quantities. You will need to check with your doctor in advance.
What else can I add to turmeric and lemon water?
One of the most popular other root ingredients to add is ginger— fresh ginger if you have the patience to peel it. If you like the taste of ginger, I would recommend it, simply because it adds another delicious flavor profile and some extra amazing health benefits from lowering cholesterol to relieving indigestion. Some people also add apple cider vinegar.
Can you put turmeric in coffee?
Yes. In fact, turmeric and coffee are cult favorites of baristas because their natural bitter flavors compliment each other well. Even Starbucks makes turmeric coffee pods for Keurigs. These coffees also usually have cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper in them.
The best thing to do is to ask your doctor if turmeric is safe for you. Have you tried turmeric and lemon water? What did you think?