Properties and Benefits of Lime: It is said that 19th century Royal Navy British sailors relied immensely on limes to prevent possibly the most dreaded disease that could befall a seaman: vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, trial and error made it possible for sailors of that time to enjoy one of the many health benefits of lime, stemming from the excellent vitamin C content of the fruit: scurvy prevention. They were such avid consumers of the fruit that the world came to know them as ‘lymeys’. Modern medicine not only supports lime and citrus consumption in general, but also encourages us to include citrus fruit such as lime in our regular diet.
What does lime look and taste like? Lime is a beautiful, bumpy green citrus fruit, somewhat round and smaller than a lemon. Taste and rind thickness may differ slightly depending on the variety. While some fruit have a thin rind, others boast a lemon-thick skin. Limes are famous for their acidic taste, comparable to that of lemons, yet not as strong. Visibly sweeter limes are usually crossed with other citrus fruit.
Popular lime varieties include:
1) Persian lime (Citrus latifolia), the most common variety, larger in size, seedless and somewhat less bitter, less acidic than the others.
2) Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia).
3) Makrut lime (Citrus hystrix).
Limes, lemons, and citrus fruits in general are healthy. We all know it well and struggle to include them in our regular diet. But what makes them so healthy? What are limes good for? Let’s find out. Here is a list of the top 8 nutrition facts and health benefits of lime:
1) Important role in cancer prevention. Limes contain limonoids, compounds said to help in the prevention of skin, mouth, stomach, breast and lung cancer. According to an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, limonin, a limonoid present in lime and other citrus fruit such as oranges, has exhibited rather impressive antitumor activity, inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
Moreover, lime is a great source of vitamin C, only 100 g of fruit supplying around 33% of the RDA of this essential nutrient. Vitamin C reduces cancer risks by protecting cells from free radical damage and by significantly reducing chronic inflammation, a factor known to play a pivotal role in cancer development.
However, remember that bad dietary and lifestyle choices matter just as much as good ones, so make sure you enjoy an overall good diet, rich in nutrients and full of variety, as well as good lifestyle habits (more sleep, less stress, sufficient exercise).
2) High antioxidant content. Lime is a valuable source of antioxidants, vitamins included. Potent phytochemicals and flavonoids scavenge for and destroy reactive molecules called free radicals, preventing their harmful action on healthy cells and DNA. Why is this important? First of all, healthy cells don’t go rogue and start multiplicating like crazy (cancer cells), but live out their set lifespan working to keep us healthy.
Secondly, antioxidants contribute to healthy, fat-free artery walls and heart disease prevention and even influence the rate at which we age, slowing down certain cellular processes and delaying aging signs such as premature wrinkles, gray hair, iris discoloration or vision loss.
3) Valuable source of vitamin C. 100 of lime pulp supplies us with about 33% of the RDA of vitamin C, wheareas lime juice provides slightly more (46%). A good dietary intake of vitamin C helps prevent scurvy, boosts immunity, promotes artery and heart health, reduces the frequency and severity of viral infections as well inflammation levels and increases collagen production, resulting in beautiful, youthful, wrinkle-free skin.
4) Antibiotic agent. Several studies conducted in West Africa showed that introducing limes in villagers’ diets significantly reduced cholera infection.
5) Strengthens the immune system. Regular consumption of lime is said to greatly increase our immune system’s response when dealing with the common cold and flue viruses. This is mostly a result of the fruit’s generous vitamin C content which increases white cell aggressiveness, better equipping the body to fight off infections.
6) Anti-inflammatory activity. It has been suggested that lime and lime juice, which boasts a higher concentration of nutrients, have significant anti-inflammatory effects, reducing chronic inflammation, arthritis, heart disease and asthma risks.
A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, conducted on 20, 000 subjects, revealed that subjects who ate generous amounts of vitamin C-rich foods had 3x less risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis than the subjects who had a poor vitamin C intake.
7) Pro heart health. Both an anti-inflammatory and a great source of vitamin C, lime is said to be one of those foods which contribute immensely to cardiovascular health. More exactly, regular consumption is said to benefits the entire cardiovascular system, heart and blood vessels, maintaining blood vessel integrity and cardiac muscle health and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
8) Great for eye health. Thanks to its generous amounts of vitamin C, lime contributes to the prevention of cataract and other debilitating eye problems.