Properties and Benefits of Lime

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: scurvy. Despite the lack of scientific evidence at the time, trial and error made it possible for sailors of that era to enjoy one of the many health benefits of lime: its excellent vitamin C content. They were such avid consumers of the fruit that the world came to know them as ‘lymeys’.

Research has given us evidence of the benefits of citrus fruit consumption, lime included. The fruit boasts a generous nutritional profile, with good amounts of vitamin C and B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Limes are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action, as well as immune-boosting and anticancer properties. And unless we have gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux, gastritis or heartburn, they are quite wonderful options.

Lime benefits

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.

Lime

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 oxygen molecules called free radicals, preventing their harmful action on healthy cells and DNA. Why is this important? Because antioxidants prevent damage that can cause healthy cells to go rogue and start multiplicating like crazy becoming cancer cells, instead allowing them to live out their set lifespan working to keep us healthy.

Secondly, antioxidants help keep artery walls healthy, fat-free and prevent heart disease, even influencing 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.

Nutritional Facts Lime

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. This is theorized to be a result of the nutrient’s antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.

5) Strengthens the immune system. Regular consumption of lime is said to greatly increase our immune system’s response to the common cold and flu 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 infection.

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 benefit the entire cardiovascular system, maintaining blood vessel integrity and cardiac muscle health, reducing blood cholesterol levels and preventing lipid peroxidation.

8) Great for eye health. Thanks to its generous content of vitamin C, lime is said to contribute to the prevention of cataract and other degenerative eye conditions. This is because of the antioxidant properties of the citrus fruit, which prevent free radical damage at the level of the retina.




3 thoughts on “Properties and Benefits of Lime

  1. Lime contains limonoid. Limonoids have to reduce the risk of following cancers: Oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, lung, colon and rectum. Lime rich in vitamin C offer another important yet lesser-known nutritional bonus.

  2. I’ve read that sugar competes and takes precedence with Vitamin C for cell entry; a low sugar fruit like lime or lemon may be a better option for those wishing to correct issues than a high sugar fruit like orange.

    • Hello, Mr. Ed. There is research that says that sugar really does compete with vitamin C. It has to do with the fact that both vitamin C and a form of sugar called glucose have a very similar structure and when sugar intakes are high, cells would be more likely to absorb sugar rather than vitamin C. This is also one of the reasons why experts recommend restricting our sugar intake. Too much sugar means we absorb less vitamin C, which we need especially for good immunity (our immune cells are quite hungry for vitamin C). As for the best sources of vitamin C, you can go for limes or lemons, which generally have a lower sugar content (about 5 g less). Bell peppers, strawberries and kiwifruit are also good sources of the vitamin, but, according to more recent research, we would need at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily for visible health benefits. And considering the amounts of the nutrient found even in the best sources of the vitamin, we might not always meet our individual nutritional requirements from diet alone. Fortunately, there is always the option of supplementing with vitamin C and natural, unsweetened vitamin C supplements exist for anyone looking to meet their vitamin C demands and reduce their sugar intake at the same time. Here is some data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the vitamin C content of several food sources of the nutrient to help give you more insight on the matter:

      29 mg ascorbic acid/100 g raw lime
      53 mg of ascorbic acid/100 g of raw lemon
      71 mg of ascorbic acid/100 g of raw orange
      58.8 mg of ascorbic acid/100 g of raw strawberries
      92.7 mg of ascorbic acid/100 g of raw green kiwifruit
      80.4 mg of ascorbic acid/100 g of raw, sweet green peppers
      127.7 mg for 100 g of raw, sweet red peppers
      183.5 mg for 100 g raw, sweet yellow peppers

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