Lime: Properties and Benefits
Lime is a surprising citrus rich in vitamin C and with various therapeutic properties supported by scientific studies. Here are its health benefits
The lime is a citrus fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family, its scientific name is Citrus aurantifolia. The fruit, when ripe, has a slightly oval shape with a yellowish green color. Its pulp, which does not contain seeds, has a fairly acidic taste while its peel is thin and rich in essential oils.
The lime plant can reach a height of 5 meters, has oval leaves pointed at one end and rounded at the base. Its flowers are white in color.
There are still conflicting opinions about its origin but the most common hypothesis is that which believes that this fruit is a hybrid resulting from the cross between lemon and cedar.
- Chemical Composition
- Heart Health
- Weight Loss
- Immune System
- Kidney Stones
- Skin health
- Skin Health
In warm regions around the world such as India, Mexico and Egypt, limes are grown all year round. In Thai and Mexican cuisine they are a basic ingredient and are used to add flavor to food and drinks.
The lime is rich in vitamin C, a compound antioxidant that among the various properties also boasts to increase iron absorption. This feature is useful for the prevention of anemia. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition informs us that consuming 100 mg of vitamin C during a meal increases iron absorption by 67%. (1)
Just think that lime also has antibacterial properties. The researchers found that this fruit is capable of killing the bacteria that cause cholera. In fact, in Africa, where cholera outbreaks have recently occurred, a study has found that people who ate lime and rice juice eliminated dangerous bacteria from their bodies. (2)
|Chemical composition for 100 gr of lime|
|Vitamin A, RAE||mcg||2|
Amino acids: lysine, methionine and tryptophan
100 grams of fresh lime pulp provides 30 kcal.
Lime: Properties and Benefits
Heart disease is a serious disease and the leading cause of death worldwide. Scientific research suggests that eating fruits like lime can reduce risk factors for heart disease.
A study on rabbits fed with lime juice and peel has shown that this fruit is able to slow the progression of arteriosclerosis. ( 3 )
A study that analyzed the diets of 126,000 people over a 14-year period made an interesting blanket. Each portion of fruit and vegetables was associated with a 4% reduced risk of coronary heart disease The researchers found that vitamin C-rich foods like lime had a greater health impact. ( 4 )
The abundance of antioxidants gives this citrus anti-tumor properties. In fact, antioxidants have the ability to counteract the activity of free radicals which are known to be the cause of serious chronic diseases.
The files are a good source of compounds beneficial to health such as flavonoids, limonoids, triterpenoids and flavones. These compounds, according to studies, are capable of wiping out cancer cells. ( 5 )
An American study found that lime extract can block 67% colon cancer cell growth in just 72 hours. ( 6 ) Other studies have shown the effectiveness of this citrus fruit against other types of cancer such as breast and pancreas cancer. ( 7, 8 )
Some studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry report the beneficial effects that limonin would have on some types of cancer, causing cells to die.
Citric acid has the dual ability to aid digestion and help the body to melt fat. For this reason lime is an excellent ally in slimming treatments.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties, the intake of the juice brings benefits in case of asthma attacks, arthritis and sore throat. For sore throats in particular , gargle with its juice made 2 times a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, are very effective.
Some studies have shown that the properties of this fruit may prove useful for weight loss. One of these, conducted in Iran on animals, found that its essential oil reduces weight and food intake in mice. ( 9 )
If you regularly drink sweet drinks like Coca Cola or sweetened juices, you can try to lose weight simply by replacing them with water and lime. For example, a can of coca cola contains 136 kcal and 33 grams of sugar. A glass of water and lime has an almost zero content of calories and sugars. With this replacement it is estimated that up to 12 kg could be lost in a year.
Being rich in vitamin C, it has antioxidant properties and its intake contributes to strengthening the immune system. A Swiss study found that a proper intake of vitamin C can help reduce the duration and severity of respiratory tract infections. ( 10 )
The antioxidants of the files also fighting free radicals, protect the immune cells, help prevent infections. ( 11 )
Contains more citric acid than orange and grapefruit. Citric acid is a natural inhibitor of kidney stones. To get the maximum benefits from this point of view you need to drink freshly squeezed lime juice. ( 12 )
There are several studies that suggest that increasing your citric acid intake could help prevent kidney stones. ( 13 )
It Protects the Skin
The substances contained in the fruit have the property of keeping the skin fresh and healthy by protecting it from infections. The peels, on the other hand, can protect the skin from aging.
Over the years melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, can accumulate and give rise to spots on the skin. To solve the problem you can prepare a beauty mask using its peel.
An Indian study found that the essential oil of lime can block the bacteria that cause acne. The oil also has beneficial effects on acne scars and has a smoothing effect on the skin. It is therefore a natural remedy that is worth trying for the care of your skin. ( 14 )
This property is due to a flavonoid known as hesperidin, this substance seems to be able to lower cholesterol and also triglycerides.
It is well known not only for its properties but as it is an ingredient in many alcoholic cocktails such as Margarita, Caipirinha, Cuba libre, Black Widow, Mojito, Caribbean Cocktail, Capiroska, Cosmopolitan, the Blu Margarita, the Tequila Cocktail and many others.
In past centuries, thanks to its content of vitamin C, it was the only remedy against scurvy for sailors who had to face long periods at sea.
In favorable conditions the plant bears fruit all year round.
A slice of this citrus fruit inserted into the neck of a beer bottle keeps it fresh and thirst-quenching.
From the peel an essential oil with highly appreciated aromatic properties is obtained, for this reason its essential oil is used in the cosmetic industry for the preparation of soaps, perfumes and creams for skin care. For these reasons the citrus fruit is mainly cultivated for the extraction of the essential oil from its peel.
Thanks to its acid taste it can be used in the kitchen as a substitute for lemon. In oriental cuisine it is often used together with curry.
It is also widely used in the confectionery industry as a flavoring for candies and chewing gum.
Lime: Properties and Benefits
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