The Many Benefits of Limes and Lime Juice

While you may think of limes as a great flavoring for your fajita or a garnish for your mojito, there is a lot more to limes than meets the eye. Limes have a long and robust history, originating in Southeast and South Asia. The use of limes spread quickly, and Polynesia was next to use limes around 3000-1500 BCE. Soon after, limes would spread around the world. In the 19th century, limes as well as other citrus fruits like lemon were used to protect the immune system and prevent scurvy, a serious medical condition. Read on to learn more about limes, the health benefits of limes, how to use them, and more.

Lime Nutritional Facts

Believe it or not, limes are packed with nutrients and can be a health powerhouse if used correctly. Limes have a high abundance of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients. In one medium lime, you’ll find:

  • thiamin
  • vitamin B6
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • vitamin D
  • iron
  • vitamin C
  • dietary fiber
  • vitamin A
  • protein
  • carbohydrates (carbs)

Limes also contain trace amounts of other nutrients, such as riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, niacin, and magnesium.

Limes themselves are highest in vitamin C and contain 32 percent of your daily value. If you consume a serving of lime juice (or lime juice concentrate), you still get an incredible boost of vitamin C, as it gives you 22 percent of your daily allowance. A medium-sized lime contains only 11 calories and 3.7 g of carbohydrates, so limes are also easy on someone following nearly any diet. One lime a day is certainly good for you—the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day while adding lime (or lemon) to each glass of water. Lemons are also a viable choice for consumption and actually contain more vitamin C than limes do, so you can switch between the two for variety.

Health Benefits of Limes

Overall, regular consumption of all different types of fruits and vegetables is good for your health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent obesity and can also help prevent other types of diseases. Studies have suggested that a diet high in plant foods can help prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The antioxidant effects of vitamin C can eradicate disease-causing free radical cells, which overall has been known to increase all-cause mortality in patients. Limes are easy to slip into a drink or food, boosting your daily vitamin C allowance.

While the health benefits of limes are many, it’s important to remember this comes with leading an overall healthy lifestyle, and limes and lime juice fit comfortably into any type of diet.

There are different types of limes harvested in different climates, but the health benefits are the same across the board. However, you may enjoy a different type of lime over another one. The most common type of lime in the United States is the Persian lime, but key limes are also widely used in the U.S. Other types of limes include the desert lime and the makrut lime. Each species of lime has a slightly different flavor. For example, key limes are more aromatic and acidic, making them a terrific choice for key lime pie.

Drinking lime juice or eating the fruit itself comes with a number of health benefits, including the fact that limes:

  • Are packed with antioxidants. As mentioned before, limes are full of antioxidants. But, what does this exactly mean? Consuming antioxidants can help defend your cells from free radical attacks. Free radicals can lead to the development of certain types of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Contain antimicrobial properties. In a day and age where we’re terribly worried about passing germs, limes have both antimicrobial and antifungal properties, according to a recent study.
  • Serve as an immunity booster. Because of the high levels of concentrated vitamin C in limes, consuming them may help boost your immune system. Several studies have linked vitamin C consumption with increasing production of white blood cells (WBCs), which can help with heart health; shorten how long the common cold lasts; reduce inflammation; and stimulate collagen production, which helps wounds heal faster.
  • May prevent asthma. Studies have shown that those who develop asthma typically have low levels of vitamin C in their bodies. Consuming foods high in vitamin C, such as lime juice or limes, may help in the prevention of asthma development.
  • Promote healthy skin. Limes or lime juice may also help with the promotion of healthier skin, mainly because of their vitamin C content, but there are other reasons. Vitamin C is associated with the stimulation of collagen production, which helps keep skin strong and firm. The antioxidants in limes may also help with age-related skin problems, such as wrinkles. Lastly, limes can help prevent oxidative stress, which can lead to premature aging and wrinkles.
  • Increase the absorption of iron. If you pair foods rich in vitamin C (such as lime juice) along with foods high in iron, your body will maximize iron absorption. The most common nutrient deficiency in the world is iron, and many people could use more of it.
  • Can promote heart health and protect against heart disease. The leading cause of death worldwide is heart disease, and research has shown lime consumption can help reduce certain heart disease risk factors. Foods rich in vitamin C have been linked to the prevention of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both markers for heart disease. In addition, a study using rabbits found that lime peels and lime juice both helped slow atherosclerosis (plaque and fat on the arterial walls) progression. Vitamin C and lime consumption may also prevent the development of atherosclerosis altogether.
  • Lower risk of stroke (particularly in women). The American Heart Association advises that eating citrus fruits, such as lemon and lime, may lower stroke risk, especially in women. One study found that citrus fruits reduced stroke risk by 19 percent.
  • Could prevent kidney stones. Sometimes, crystallized stones form in the kidneys, which are painful and difficult to pass. The citric acid in limes may aid in the prevention of kidney stones by binding stone-forming minerals in urine and raising levels of citrate in the body. Several studies have shown those who regularly consume citrus had a much lower risk of developing kidney stones.
  • May lower cancer risk. All cancers are characterized by abnormal cells that grow and can spread to other areas of the body. Certain compounds within citrus fruits are linked to a lower risk of developing certain cancers, such as throat, colon, lymphomas, breast, bone marrow, and pancreas. The flavonoids within lime juice, limes, and other citrus fruits act as antioxidants and may also help slow the progression of certain cancers and abnormal cell growth.

The health benefits of limes are many, but you may be wondering how to fit them into your diet.

How to Use Limes

Limes are considered a superfood and are certainly a staple in Mexican, Thai, and Tahitian cuisines, but you may be wondering how to use limes at home to reap the health benefits. There are many ways you can use limes at home—for instance, you can easily squeeze lime juice into water or tea for a refreshing beverage. Lime juice is also a flavor boost in marinades, and you can use the lime zest as well in marinades or in food itself, such as rice. Lime juice also pairs perfectly with whitefish, and you can combine lime juice with oil for a quick and easy salad dressing that’s not loaded with saturated fat.

Lime can also be used in desserts, such as key lime pie and cookies. Lime juice is also the perfect choice for many types of entrees, such as tacos or Thai fried rice. If you’re worried about buying Limea bottle of lime juice and having it spoil, lime juice concentrate is a perfect choice.

The Bottom Line with Limes

Unless you’re allergic to citrus fruits, limes are a perfect addition to any healthy and balanced diet. The high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants in limes have many benefits, such as heart health, helping with weight loss, and promoting healthy skin and better iron absorption. Try to add lime juice to your daily water intake throughout the day to get your daily value.

At FruitSmart, we understand how important health is to consumers, so we offer clean and nutritious lime juice concentrate, which can be easily added to foods or beverages. You’ll never find additives, supplements, artificial colors, or sugars in our products—only natural ingredients. Adding an everyday serving of lime has myriad health benefits, so we’ve provided the highest quality products for our customers, including our lime juice concentrate. If you are interested in learning more about what partnering with FruitSmart can do for your brand, contact us today.

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