What is the difference between lime and lemon

What is the difference between lime and lemon

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Lemons and limes are some of the most popular citrus fruits in the world. Although they have a lot in common, they are completely different.

This article discusses the main similarities and differences, how lime differs from lemon – so you know exactly what to do when one of them gives you life.


What are lemons and limes

Lemons and limes are two types of fruits that, although genetically distinct, are closely related.

Some experts believe that lemons were created as a hybrid of lime and citron – a large citrus fruit with a thick skin. However, this is only one of many theories of origin ( 1 ).

Lemons and limes, as well as oranges, tangerines, citron and grapefruit belong to a wider category of citrus fruits.

Lemons and limes are now grown all over the world. However, lemons formally known as  Citrus Limon are usually grown in temperate climates, while limes or  Citrus aurantifolia  grow better in tropical and subtropical regions ( 1 ).

Both fresh and processed forms of lemons and limes are used in a number of different industries.

These two fruits are well known for their sour taste and are used in various culinary dishes around the world. They can be used in cooking, canning products or just to add flavor.

Lemon and lime essential oils are often used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. They are also included in many household cleaners, due to their aroma and antibacterial properties.

Lemons and limes are two types of citrus fruits that are used for various culinary, medicinal and domestic purposes.

There are many things in common

Although lemons and limes are completely different fruits, they have many of the same characteristics, especially when it comes to their nutritional value and potential health benefits.


The nutrients of lime and lemon are similar.

100 gr. any fruit provides the following nutrients ( 2 ):

Carbohydrates9 grams11 grams
Fiber3 grams3 grams
Fat0 gram0 gram
Protein1 gram1 gram
Vitamin C88%48%
Vitamin B64%2%
Vitamin B9 (folate)3%2%

By the content of macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats – lemons and limes are almost identical.

Lemons contain more vitamin C than limes, but both of these fruits make a significant dietary contribution to this vitamin.

In general, lemons contain a slightly higher amount of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate and vitamin B6.

Lemon slices

Health Benefits of Lemons and Limes

Traditional methods of herbal medicine are known to use citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, for their therapeutic effect ( 3 ).

Vitamin C, one of the main nutrients contained in these citrus fruits, is well known for its antioxidant properties and plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system ( 4 ).

Citrus fruits also contain many other plant compounds with known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties ( 3 ).

Numerous studies show that these compounds can play a role in the prevention of heart disease and certain cancers, including breast and colon cancer ( 5 , 6 ,  7 ).

One study in mice showed that citric acid, a specific compound found in citrus fruits, has a protective effect against inflammation in the brain and liver ( 8 ).

However, studies of the potential medicinal and pharmacological benefits of lemons and limes are currently limited to animal and in vitro studies.

Ultimately, more research is needed to determine if these fruits can effectively cure diseases in humans.

Lemons and limes are similar in nutritional composition. They also contain many of the same plant compounds that can play a role in reducing inflammation and preventing certain diseases.

Different taste and appearance

Although lemons and limes have a lot in common, they also have some differences.

Physical differences

Perhaps one of the most obvious differences between lemons and limes is their appearance.

Lemons are usually bright yellow, and limes are usually bright green. However, some types of limes turn yellow as they mature, which makes the distinction a little more difficult.

Limes are also smaller and rounder than lemons. They may vary in size, but usually 3–6 centimeters in diameter.

For comparison, lemons have a diameter of 7-12 cm and have a more oval or oblong shape.

Taste differences

In terms of taste, these two citrus fruits are similar. They are both tart, and eating any fruit in itself is likely to result in the same wrinkled facial expression.

However, lemons tend to be sweeter, while limes are usually more bitter.

Lime is sometimes described as more acidic than lemon, but this may be due to its bitterness. This perception also varies depending on your individual taste.

Lemons are generally sweeter and larger than lime, while limes are small and slightly bitter.

Lime antioxidants



Culinary differences

When it comes to cooking, both citrus fruits are used equally.

Both are a great addition to salad dressings, sauces, marinades, drinks and cocktails. Which one you choose will most likely depend on the profile of the taste of the dish.

Since limes are more bitter, they are often intended for savory dishes, while the sweetness of lemon is suitable for wider use in both savory and sweet dishes.

Keep in mind that this is not a strict rule – there are always exceptions. For example, lime is the main ingredient in some sugary drinks, such as margarita or lemonade. It also makes desserts.

However, in general, you will likely find lemons in sweet dishes, rather than limes.

These two types of citrus fruits can be safely used interchangeably in different culinary scenarios without destroying the dish, but it is important to remember the balance of the bittersweet taste.

Although none of the options is wrong, one of them may be better than the other, depending on your particular dish.

In the kitchen, lemons and limes are often used equally. However, limes are not so commonly used in sweet dishes because of their bitterness.

Final thoughts

Lemons and limes are two popular citrus fruits that are offered for various culinary, medicinal and practical purposes.

What is the difference between lime and lemon? Limes are small, round and green, and lemons are usually larger, oval and bright yellow.

In nutritional terms, they are almost identical and have many of the same potential health benefits.

Both fruits are sour and sour, but lemons are generally sweeter, and limes have a more bitter taste. These taste differences usually lead to their various culinary uses.

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