Lime is a citrus fruit that looks like a small orange but in a green colored skin. It is consumed all across the world in various forms such as beverages, snacks, and jams. The oil, juice, and peel of this fruit are used in making many medicines and cosmetic products. Lime oil is extracted from crushed lime fruit also known as distilled lime oil.
Limes fruit is used to accent flavors in foods and is a common ingredient in Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. They are grown year-round in tropical climates and are usually smaller and less sour than lemons.
Key limes are primarily grown in subtropical regions and climates such as Mexico, India, and Egypt.
Lime provides many health benefits. Lime was originally grown in India with its popularity growth towards various regions and comes from the lemon family. During the 1800s limes became a requirement on British naval vessels because of their ample health benefits.
The oil extracted from crushed lime fruit has a lot of uses in soft drink concentrates, hair oils, toothpaste, and cosmetic products. Lime fruits are commonly grown in the tropical areas and the Mediterranean area.
Nutritional value of limes
According to the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database,
“The juice of one lime (approximately 44 grams) contains 11 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrate (including 1 gram of sugar and 0 grams of fiber) and 0 grams of protein as well as 22% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. One teaspoon of lime zest (approximately 1 gram) contains 1 calorie and 4% of recommended vitamin C.”
The Health Benefits of Consuming Lime
Fruits and vegetables consumption have long been linked with the reduction lot of health risk conditions in our day to day lifestyles. Lime juice possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Many pieces of research and studies have proved and suggest us that increasing consumption of plant-based food items like limes decrease the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart health and the over mortality rate of a person. Limes promote good health with a brighter complexion, hair, increased energy levels and weight loss.
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant and limes are a great and concentrated source of vitamin C.
Cardiovascular diseases mostly occur by the buildup of plaque and fatty streaks found in the coronary arteries. Lime’s juice and peel have shown to reduce these causes resulting in a healthy heart. Low levels of vitamin C are also associated with the risk of strokes.
Prevention from Asthma
People who consume larger amounts of some healthy nutrients like Vitamin C develop lower risks of Asthma. Vitamin C is majorly found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, clementine, limes and grapefruits.
Increased iron absorption
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in women of today and a leading cause of anemia in children and adults. If you will pair iron-rich foods with vitamin-C rich foods, then the body’s ability to absorb iron will increase. For instance, squeeze a fresh lime onto a salad as a dressing and pair it with chickpeas and spinach which are both a very good source of iron.
Boosted immune system
Foods with higher antioxidants and vitamin C levels aid the immune system to combat against germs causing colds and flu. So a well-maintained diet that has a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is essential especially in winters due to reduced physical activity leading to dropped iron levels.
Vitamin C. when consumed from the fresh produce and in the natural form unlike supplements, can help battle skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and enhance your overall skin texture. Adequate intake of vitamin C i.e, the juice of one lime can provide up to 22% of your daily needs. It is also required for the construction and maintenance of collagen that builds skin and hair structure.
Lime juice and oil are greatly beneficial for skin when applied topically aids in numerous dermatological disorders. Drink lime juice to attain smooth and moisturized skin. The flavonoids in it help rejuvenate skin.
The antibiotic and disinfectant properties help protect skin against infections, reduce bad body odor. Apply lime oil on the skin to remove dead skin cells, rashes and cure dandruff. Add lime juice to your bathing water for refreshed bath.
Aids in Digestion
The enticing lime fragrance inside the mouth prompts the production of saliva. This increased amount of saliva in the mouth then helps the enzymatic breakdown of food in the mouth before it reaches the stomach.
The acidic nature of lime juice also aids in the process of digestion. The flavonoids found in lime oil stimulate digestive juices by releasing in the stomach. The flavonoids also boost the production of bile and acids.
Lime is considered a superfood for diabetes due to high fiber content in it. This high concentration of soluble fiber regulates the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. It lowers spiked blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
How to incorporate more limes into your diet
- Add chopped limes to a glass/jug/container of water and make a refreshing drink.
- Drizzle lime juice on fish.
- Prepare a salad dressing by combining lime juice with lime oil.
- Squeeze a lime into tea.
- Use lime in all marinades as a quick citrus rub.
Side Effects of Lime
According to WebMD,
- Lime juice is safe when combined with other foods.
- Lime peel can only be consumed orally for medicinal purposes.
- Applying lime or lime oil directly on the skin is unsafe. Topical application of lime or lime oil onto the skin may cause irritation, itching, redness, rashes etc. In this way, your skin’s sensitivity will also be increased especially in sunlight.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume limes to avoid adverse effects on the body as well as on baby.
Evidently, like everything else, if consumed in excess will have adverse effects and consequences. Limes as well, if consumed in moderation will not be harmful. As seen above lime has a bundle of health benefits, but to eradicate its side effects like allergic reactions on the skin such as rash and itch consume it modestly. There have not been any elaborate or proven researches found about its side effects in pregnant women but keeping in view its acidic and concentrated nature the adversity can be aggravated with limes in pregnancy.