Compelling evidences suggests (and my own personal experience) that starting off a meal with lemon juice can significantly reduce the blood sugar spike caused by your main course meal.
Studies show that as little as 4 teaspoons (either taken in a glass of water or as part of a salad dressing) lowered blood sugar spikes by as much as 30 percent. This appears to be related to the acidity. Other acids such as vinegar, unsweetened kefir, and unsweetened yogurt have similar effects. For years now we have known that acidity in food can dramatically impact the natural rate of stomach emptying, resulting in a slower delivery of food to the small intestine. Digestion of the carbohydrate in the food is therefore slowed and the final result is that blood sugar levels are significantly lower. (Lower blood levels mean less insulin produced which means weight loss.)
I usually put 3-5 teaspoons of lemon juice in a glass, add a pinch Stevia, some water and chug it down before a meal with any starchy carbs (beans, grains, etc.) Lemon juice can be hard on tooth enamel, so be careful. Some people use a straw. I just swallow it straight down – no swishing! Then I swish with clear water.
*On this diet you will always be thinking of ways to slow down your digestion. This includes lemon juice (or other acids) as described above, but also includes things such as not over cooking your vegetables. Actually, under cooking them a tad. Make your digestion work!
Lemons are an amazing food and have many more benefits than just slowing your digestion. Some of these include:
- Aid Digestion
- Cleanses your system/diuretic
- Boosts immune system
- Balances pH levels
- Clears skin
- Energizes you and enhances your mood
- Promotes healing
- Freshens breath
- Hydrates you lymph system
- Aids in weight loss (in other ways)
Beth over at Tasty Yummies did a great job writing about the benefits of lemons (she came up with the list above). Check out her post to learn even more.