Limes – sour, round and bright green citrus, but what are the benefits? They are a powerful source of nutrients – high in vitamin C, antioxidants and other nutrients.
There are many varieties of limes such as Cue Lime ( Citrus aurantifolia ), Persian Lime ( Citrus latifolia ), Desert Lime ( Citrus glauca ) and Kaffir Lime ( Citrus hystrix ). Each of these species has unique characteristics. For example, lime is smaller, more acidic, and more fragrant than the more common Persian type.
Because limes contain a lot of nutrients, they can help boost your immunity, reduce risk factors for heart disease, prevent kidney stones, absorb iron, and improve skin health.
In this article we will look at what a lime is, the benefits and harm to the human body, what healing properties limes have and much more.
Lime Nutritional Value
Despite their small size, limes contain a large amount of nutrients, especially vitamin C.
One medium-sized whole fruit (67 grams) contains:
- Calories: 20
- Carbohydrate: 7 grams
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Cellulose: 1.9 grams
- Vitamin C: 22%
- Iron: 2%
- Calcium: 2%
- Vitamin B6: 2%
- Thiamine: 2%
- Potassium: 1%
Lime also contains a small amount of riboflavin, niacin, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. Lime is sometimes confused with lemon , however, it is two different fruits.
Limes are rich in vitamin C, providing more than 20% of your daily needs. They also contain small amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, and many others.
Health benefits of lime
Eating lime fruits or eating lime juice has many health benefits.
1. A good source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are important compounds that protect cells from molecules called free radicals. In large quantities, free radicals can damage your cells, and this damage has been associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer.
Lime has many active compounds that act as antioxidants in your body, including flavonoids, limonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, and ascorbic acid.
2. May enhance immunity.
The benefits of lime are largely due to its high content of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps strengthen the immune system.
In vitro studies, vitamin C has helped increase the production of white blood cells that help protect your body against infections and diseases .
Vitamin C supplementation has helped reduce the duration and severity of colds in human studies.
In addition, vitamin C can help the wound to recover faster, reducing inflammation and stimulating collagen production. Collagen is an important protein that helps wound healing.
In addition to vitamin C, limes are also an excellent source of antioxidants that help strengthen your immune system by protecting cells from damage by free radicals.
3. May promote skin health.
Lime has several properties that can promote healthy skin.
First, they are rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and strong. Average lime (67 grams) provides more than 20% of the norm for this nutrient.
For example, one study involving more than 4,000 women found that those who ate more vitamin C had a lower risk of wrinkles and dry skin with age.
Secondly, there are many antioxidants in limes that can help fight age-related skin changes.
Oxidative stress is a condition resulting from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. This can lead to signs of premature aging.
A study in mice showed that citrus drink ingestion had a positive effect on some of these signs, for example, by reducing wrinkles and increasing collagen production.
4. May reduce the risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Studies show that limes benefit heart health and can reduce certain risk factors for heart disease. For starters, limes contain a lot of vitamin C, which can help reduce high blood pressure, the main risk factor for heart disease. In addition, vitamin C can protect against atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaques accumulate in the arteries, making them too narrow.
An animal study found that feeding rabbits with skin and lime juice helps slow the progression of atherosclerosis.
5. Can prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones are small mineral crystals that are often painful. They can form in the kidneys when the urine is very concentrated or when the urine contains a large amount of stone-forming minerals, such as calcium.
Citrus fruits, such as limes, contain large amounts of citric acid, which can prevent the formation of kidney stones, increasing citrate levels and binding stone-forming minerals in the urine.
One study found that people who ate more citrus had a significantly lower risk of kidney stones.
6. Increases iron absorption
Iron is an essential nutrient necessary for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body. Low levels of iron in the blood can cause iron deficiency anemia. Signs of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, breathing problems during exercise, paleness, dry skin and hair.
People who follow a vegetarian diet are at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia. Because plant foods contain a form of iron that is not digested as well as iron from meat and other animal products.
Foods high in vitamin C, such as limes, are beneficial for preventing iron deficiency anemia by improving the absorption of iron from plant foods.
For example, one study on people on a vegetarian diet showed that drinking a glass of lemonade (8.5 ounces or 250 ml) along with plant foods increases iron absorption by up to 70%.
7. May reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal cell growth. Citrus fruits have compounds that have been associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer. In particular, flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, can help stop the expression of genes that promote cancer progression.
Moreover, in vitro studies show that citrus fruits can inhibit the growth or spread of colon cancer, throat, pancreas, breast, bone marrow, lymphomas, and other cancer cells.
Lime can help improve immunity, reduce risk factors for heart disease, prevent kidney stones, improve iron absorption, improve skin health, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
How to use limes
There are infinitely many ways to use lime.
They are appreciated for their juice and floral aroma. This is one of the reasons why they are considered the main ingredient in Southeast Asia and Mexican cuisine. In other parts of the world, such as India, lime is often pickled to increase shelf life, and then added to dishes to enhance flavor.
Pulp and lime juice are common ingredients in desserts and pastries, such as lime pie, biscuits and ice cream.
This citrus can also be used in savory dishes and add flavor to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Outside your kitchen, lime is used as a natural cleaning agent and neutralizes odors. Some studies show that lime has antimicrobial properties. Lime juice can be mixed with vinegar and water and used as a surface spray for non-toxic cleaning.
Limes are sold in grocery stores – they can often be found next to lemons and other citrus fruits. Choose citrus fruits that seem heavy for their size, have bright color and minimal color change.
There are many ways to use lime in food and in everyday life. They add flavor and zest to your dishes and can be used as a natural cleaning agent.
Potential harm of limes
Despite the health benefits of lime, there are some situations where it is better to avoid eating these citrus fruits.
Limes are generally safe to use and have virtually no side effects. However, if you are allergic to other citrus fruits , avoid limes. Because they can cause symptoms of food allergies, such as swelling, hives and difficulty breathing. In this case, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition, some people may experience acid reflux when drinking lime or drinking juice because of its acidity. Other digestive symptoms may include heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Limes are very sour and are best consumed in moderation. Eating large amounts of lime can increase the risk of caries, as acid from lime and other citrus fruits can destroy tooth enamel. To protect your teeth, be sure to rinse your mouth with clean water after drinking lime.
In some cases, applying lime directly to the skin can make it more sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and cause inflammation. This is known as phytophotodermatitis.
Lime is generally safe to eat, drink and touch, but some people may have an adverse reaction to eating or applying them to the skin.
So, we considered the benefits and harm of limes for the human body. Let’s summarize.
Limes are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that can be beneficial to health.
Eating lime can improve immunity, reduce risk factors for heart disease, prevent kidney stones, help iron absorption and improve skin health.
Eliminate lime from your diet if you are allergic to citrus fruits. However, for most people, these fruits are a useful and versatile supplement to a balanced diet – so try incorporating limes in your proper nutrition recipes.