Benefits of lime fruits | Health Benefits of Lemons and Limes | Health Benefits of Lime Juice | Benefits of Drinking Lime Juice | Lemons and Limes
The lime is the smallest and probably most widely used fruit amongst the family of citrus. Lime comes from Southeast Asia. The name is of Arabic origin and it is believed that the Arabs most likely introduced it into India and Persia from where it was taken to Europe. Today it is cultivated in many tropical countries such as Florida, Brazil, Mexico and Egypt.
The lime is a small citrus fruit, like a small orange, with skin and flesh that are green in color. The pulp of the lime taste sour, and the fruit contains twice the amount of juice as the yellow, larger lemon. The juice, as a drink, makes one of the best thirst-quenchers. The acid content of lime is known to slow down the oxidation of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, thus preventing discoloration and acting as a preservative.
The lemon is a small evergreen tree (Citrus limon) originally native to Asia, and is also the name of the tree’s oval yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and nonculinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, mainly in cooking and baking. Lemon juice is about 5% (approximately 0.3 mole per liter) citric acid, which gives lemons a tart taste, and a pH of 2 to 3. This makes lemon juice an inexpensive, readily available acid for use in educational science experiments. Because of the tart flavor, many lemon-flavored drinks and candies are available, including lemonade.
Sweet Lemon (C. limetta Risso) A general name for certain non-acid lemons or limettas, favored in the Mediterranean region. In India, they are grown in the Nilgiris, Malabar and other areas. The fruits are usually insipid, occasionally subacid or acid. The seeds are white within and the tree is large, resembling that of the orange. One cultivar, called ‘Dorshapo’ after the plant explorers, Dorsett, Shamel and Popenoe, who introduced it from Brazil in 1914, resembles the ‘Eureka’ in most respects except for the lack of acidity. Another, called ‘Millsweet’, apparently was introduced into California from Mexico and planted in a mission garden. It was reproduced at the old University of California Experiment Station at Pomona. Neither is of any commercial value.
Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Nutritional benefits of limes do not differ very much from those of lemons. They are both excellent sources of vitamin C, B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and the outstanding phytochemical, limonene.
Limonene have anti-cancer effects and help increase the level of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.
Limes and other citrus fruit have also been associated with reducing cholesterol. In lab tests, it has been found that human liver cells produced less apo B, a compound associated with higher cholesterol levels, when exposed to limonin.
Laboratory tests of both animal and human cells have shown that citrus limonoids (found in lime and other citrus fruits) can help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon. Limonen works on the body to increase the levels of liver enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogens.
New research at the Agricultural Research Service in northern California, has shown that humans can easily use the limonoid called limonin, and therefore enjoy all its health benefits, simply by biting into citrus fruit. One of its main features is that it can stay in the body for up to 24 hours after consumption, making it an effective way to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Studies have shown that the high acid levels in limejuice are very effective in both inhibiting the growth of and killing cholera in food.
In a cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa in October 1994, lime-rich meals acted as a preventative for patients who consumed them.
In a laboratory controlled preparation of ceviche, large masses of cholera in contaminated fish were eliminated after immersion in limejuice. After 5 minutes of immersion there was a 99% reduction of the initial bacterial mass and after 2 hours no cholera was detected. Thus limes and limejuice are greatly recommended to add to food and sauces in areas where the possibility of cholera is high, like rural and slum populations in the tropics and subtropics.
Benefits of Lemons of Limes:
Lemons and limes are both a good source of vitamin C (lemons have 4mg and limes have 19mg).
Besides preventing scurvy, vitamin C is needed to produce and maintain collagen (a protein that forms all connective tissue, including skin, bones, teeth, and tendons), protect against infections, and promote the absorption of iron. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects water-soluble substances from oxidation by being oxidized itself instead.
Lemons and limes contain other antioxidant substances and are a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.
Asthma: Take a tablespoon of lemon juice at least one hour before each meal to relieve asthma.
Urinary disorders: Lime has a high concentration of potassium detoxifies the kidneys, bladder and can cure infections in the urinary bladder.
Weight loss: You can drink a glass of warm water with lime juice and a spoonful of honey first thing in the morning for reducing your weight.
Burning soles and feet: Rub a sliced lemon over the burning sole and foot and heel to relieve from pain and for toxin elimination through the pores of the feet.
Cholera: The potent anti-viral properties in lime/lemon can kill cholera bacilli within a very short period of time. Drink one part juice and one part water regularly, especially during an epidemic.
Cold: The anti-viral properties in lime and lemon fight infections and halt the progress of a cold. Take the juice of two lemons in half a liter of hot water and add honey to taste. Sip it slowly before bedtime.
Constipation: Drink a glass of warm water every morning with some lime/lemon juice with honey. Stir in a pinch of cinnamon powder. This will help your body to detoxify and relieve constipation.
Digestion: Lime and lemon juice have amazing digestive qualities that are very similar to our digestive enzymes. Thus it is effectively helps with digestion and relieve bloating and belching.
Feet : After a long day on your feet, soak your feet in very warm water containing lime and lemon juice to enjoy the cooling, astringent feeling. This will also help promote deep sleep due to the relaxing action on the foot nerves.
Gums and swollen: Drink a glass of diluted fresh lime juice with a pinch of sea salt to relieve the pain of swollen gums. Use the rind from the squeezed lime and rub on the gums.
Heartburn: Add two teaspoon of concentrated lime/lemon juice into a glass of warm water and drink to relieve heartburn.
Inflammatory disorders: Even though lime and lemon juice are sour and taste acidic, it is actually very alkalinizing in the body and is highly effective in the treatment of inflammatory disorders like rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, etc. It also prevents the deposit of uric acid in the tissues, thus reducing the risks of gout.
Skin and dry Skin : Rub the peel of a lemon on dry or scaly skin to restore softness and add moisture to the skin.
Sore throat: Mix one part lemon juice with one part water. Gargle frequently and feel its soothing effect on the throat. You may also add in a pinch of sea salt for added effect.
The volatile oil components extracted from Kaffir lime contains five sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and two sesquiterpene alcohols. Translated into English, lime extract has been shown to be effective as a mosquito repellent for up to three hours.
Buying and Storing Tip:
* Limes and lemons can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. Although they can actually keep longer, it will soon lose its flavor after too long.
* When buying lemons, look at the stem end of the lemon. There should be about four or five little lines radiating out of the stem. The greater the number of these lines, the higher the mineral content of the lemon.
Precaution: Excessive sucking of fresh lime is also bad for teeth as the acid damages the delicate enamel of the teeth and makes them sensitive. Its excessive use weakens digestion.
Slices of lemon are served as a garnish on fish or meat or with iced or hot tea, to be squeezed for the flavorful juice. In Colombia, lemon soup is made by adding slices of lemon to dry bread roll that has been sautéed in shortening until soft and then sieved. Sugar and a cup of wine are added and the mixture brought to a boil, and then served.
Lemon juice, fresh, canned, concentrated and frozen, or dehydrated and powdered, is primarily used for lemonade, in carbonated beverages, or other drinks. It is also used for making pies and tarts, as a flavoring for cakes, cookies, cake icings, puddings, sherbet, confectionery, preserves and pharmaceutical products. A few drops of lemon juice, added to cream before whipping, gives stability to the whipped cream.
Lemon peel can be candied at home and is preserved in brine and supplied to manufacturers of confectionery and baked goods. It is the source of lemon oil, pectin and citric acid. Lemon oil, often with terpenes and sesquiterpenes removed, is added to frozen or otherwise processed lemon juice to enrich the flavor. It is much employed as a flavoring for hard candies.
Other Uses for Lemon
Lemon juice is valued in the home as a stain remover, and a slice of lemon dipped in salt can be used to clean copper-bottomed cooking pots. Lemon juice has been used for bleaching freckles and is incorporated into some facial cleansing creams.
Lemon peel oil is much used in furniture polishes, detergents, soaps and shampoos. It is important in perfume blending and especially in colognes.
Petitgrain oil (up to 50% citral), is distilled from the leaves, twigs and immature fruits of the lemon tree in West Africa, North Africa and Italy. With terpenes removed, it is greatly prized in colognes and floral perfumes.
Lemon peel, dehydrated, is marketed as cattlefeed.
Lemonade, when applied to potted plants, has been found to keep their flowers fresh longer than normal. But it cannot be used on chrysanthemums without turning their leaves brown.
Wood: The wood is fine-grained, compact, and easy to work. In Mexico, it is carved into chessmen, toys, small spoons, and other articles.
Medicinal Uses For Lemon : Lemon juice is widely known as a diuretic, antiscorbutic, astringent, and febrifuge. In Italy, the sweetened juice is given to relieve gingivitis, stomatitis, and inflammation of the tongue. Lemon juice in hot water has been widely advocated as a daily laxative and preventive of the common cold, but daily doses have been found to erode the enamel of the teeth. Prolonged use will reduce the teeth to the level of the gums. Lemon juice and honey, or lemon juice with salt or ginger, is taken when needed as a cold remedy. It was the juice of the Mediterranean sweet lemon, not the lime, that was carried aboard British sailing ships of the 18th Century to prevent scurvy, though the sailors became known as “limeys”.
Oil expressed from lemon seeds is employed medicinally. The root decoction is taken as a treatment for fever in Cuba; for gonorrhea in West Africa. An infusion of the bark or of the peel of the fruit is given to relieve colic.
Nutrient Values of Limes per 100g
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)