Limes are small bright green exotic fruits that deserve to be in the spotlight. Many believe that the use of these fruits is limited only to the preparation of cocktails or marinades for fish. In fact, if more people knew about the beneficial properties of these citrus fruits, they would definitely include limes in their daily diet. Why? The answer to this question is below.

General characteristics

Lime - It is a hybrid citrus tree native to tropical and subtropical regions. An adult plant rarely exceeds 5 meters. The branches are covered with small leaves and sharp thorns. This plant somewhat resembles the lemon tree, but with larger, darker leaves. After pollination, edible fruits, 3-5 cm in diameter, appear in place of small white flowers. A mature fruit is recognized by its yellowish-green thin zest. But even in ripe limes, the juicy and tender flesh remains sour with a tart aftertaste.

Researchers suggest that the first limes appeared in the Indonesian archipelago or on the nearby mainland of Asia. The culture came to the Mediterranean countries presumably thanks to Arab merchants. To the Western Hemisphere - not without the help of Columbus. Today, India, Mexico, Brazil, and China are considered to be one of the world's leading suppliers of these citrus fruits.

Nutritional characteristics

Fresh limes are almost 88% water. Almost 10% of their composition is carbohydrates, and the content of proteins and fats does not exceed 1 percent.

But the main component for which limes are especially valued is vitamin C. 100 g of fruit contains almost 35% of the daily requirement of ascorbic acid. However, the chemical composition of limes is not very different from the vitamin-mineral composition of lemons. Both citrus fruits, in addition to vitamin C, contain many other beneficial substances, including flavonoids. One of the most powerful is limonene, a component of lemons and most citrus fruits, which has anti-cancer and fat-burning properties. In limes, the highest limonene content is found in their white interior.

Nutritional value per 100 g
Calories ) 30 kcal
Carbohydrates 10.5 g
Fat 0.2 g
Proteins 0.7 g
Vitamin B1 0.03 mg
Vitamin B2 0.02 mg
Vitamin B3 0, 2 mg
Vitamin B5 0.217 mg
Vitamin B6 0.046 mg
Vitamin B9 8 mcg
Vitamin C 29.1 mg
Calcium 33 mg
Iron 0.6 mg
Magnesium 6 mg
Phosphorus 18 mg
Potassium 102 mg
Sodium 2 mg

Body Benefits

Fruits and vegetables have long been associated with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Many studies have shown that citrus fruits reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart problems, improve the condition of the skin, hair, have a beneficial effect on overall well-being and give energy. But besides this, limes also have their own unique abilities.

A good source of vitamin C

A glass of freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 fruits) contains more than 70 mg of vitamin C. This substance is necessary for a person for proper growth, tissue repair, maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Therefore, lime is the best fruit for the prevention of scurvy and colds. In addition, a glass of sour juice (even in combination with other components) will provide the body with ascorbic acid in the amount necessary to produce collagen, a protein substance responsible for the strength of blood vessels, skin, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

Natural antibiotic

Lime juice is a powerful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.

It can quickly destroy the cholera virus. And in hospitals in Nigeria, this product is a proven remedy for many parasites and an effective cure for malaria.

Antioxidant fruit

In limes, scientists have found many substances - antioxidants. Laboratory studies have proven that many of them stop the division of cancer cells. This means that under the influence of limes, the progression of certain cancers slows down. Limonene, found in citrus fruits, helps fight lung, stomach, colon, mouth, skin, and breast cancers.

Fighting free radicals, antioxidants protect blood vessels, joints, almost all organs, and also increase the body's ability to resist viruses.

Researchers have long been saying that substances with antioxidant properties (antioxidants) can prevent diseases such as diabetes, obesity, stroke and others.

Limes contain 8 different chemicals that, by acting on the liver, activate the production of a special enzyme. It neutralizes most of the carcinogenic compounds in the body, turning them into substances harmless to humans, which are then excreted from the body along with urine.

A product that improves digestion

Citrus pulp has amazing properties. Once in the human body, lime behaves like a digestive enzyme. This means that with indigestion, belching, bloating, it would be nice to remember sour green citrus fruits. A few slices of fruit or a little juice will help restore the functioning of the digestive organs. And a glass of warm water with a little lime juice, honey and cinnamon, drunk on an empty stomach, will get rid of toxins and improve bowel function.

Increases iron absorption.

Iron deficiency causes anemia. This fact is known to many. But few people know that thanks to limes, this disease can be avoided. Acidic tropical fruits are extremely rich in vitamin C, which enhances the body's ability to absorb iron. For this reason, spinach with a little lime juice is a very useful food against anemia.

What diseases lime is useful for

In addition to the benefits already mentioned, this sour green citrus is useful for many serious diseases. This was mentioned in the ancient treatises of India and China. Lime has a beneficial effect on the body of diabetic patients, since it prevents an increase of sugar in the blood. For patients of cardiology departments, it is important as a product that reduces bad cholesterol and strengthens blood vessels. Many doctors advise using limes for the prevention of heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, coronary disease.

Many mistakenly believe that lime, being an acidic fruit, is contraindicated for people with gastritis. In fact, it belongs to the fruits with a rich content of alkali, which means that when it enters the body, on the contrary, it reduces acidity. In addition, this fruit is rich in flavonoids, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal properties, which promotes the healing of ulcers and other lesions on the mucous membranes.

Citrus fruits are indispensable for people with respiratory and viral diseases.

In addition to warming drinks with lime, which effectively reduce body temperature, inhalations, balms and tinctures based on the essential oil of this citrus are suitable for treatment.

Arthritis and gout are also on the list of diseases that can be overcome with the help of limes. One of the causes of arthritis is an excess of uric acid in the body. Citrus juice, which also has anti-inflammatory properties, will help get rid of the unwanted substance. And thanks to the ability to remove toxins from the body and fight free radicals, lime reduces the manifestation of gout.

Do not neglect this fruit for people prone to chronic urinary disorders. The high concentration of potassium in limes makes them effective in removing toxic substances that accumulate in the kidneys and bladder. The disinfectant properties of the fruit help in the treatment of urinary tract infections, including cystitis.

Lime for beauty

Today was a hard day, and your legs are buzzing with pain? Limes will help you feel better. A foot bath of hot water and citrus juice will relieve pain, fatigue and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. And thanks to the effect on the nerve endings in the feet, relaxation and preparation for a restful healthy sleep are guaranteed.

Skin care

Lime juice and its natural oils are very beneficial for the skin. It does not really matter how they are used - externally or internally. Citrus juice rejuvenates the skin, maintains its healthy color, and protects against infections. With bactericidal and disinfectant properties, when applied externally, lime products prevent the unpleasant odor of sweat. Oils derived from the fruit are helpful in treating dandruff, rashes, irritations, and bruises.

A mask of lime juice and oatmeal will refresh your face and smooth out fine lines. The juice of this exotic fruit will help whiten dark areas of the skin, make scars or acne less noticeable, tighten pores, and get rid of blackheads. Suitable for home peeling.

Benefits for hair

Lime juice masks will make hair silky and smooth. Citrus juice masks combined with olive, coconut or almond oil are considered the most useful for curls. Lime juice, which must be rubbed into the scalp, will also help get rid of dandruff. The functions of a natural conditioner are perfectly performed by water acidified with citrus juice. This tool will make hair shiny, activates their growth, and light curls will lighten another tone or two (with regular use).

How to select and store fruit properly

A properly selected lime is a hard fruit, with a dense rind (no damage, signs of mold or rot) and is heavier as for your size.

The skin should be dark green and glossy. At room temperature, they will stay fresh for up to a week. But it is still important to protect the fruits from direct exposure to the sun. The optimal storage period in the refrigerator is 10-14 days (in order to prevent the fruits from drying out, it is advisable to wrap them in cling film). Some people claim that limes stay fresh for weeks in the refrigerator. But even if by this time the fruits look satisfactory, this does not mean that long-term storage has not affected their taste and vitamin composition. For longer storage, a freezer is suitable - you can freeze freshly squeezed citrus juice. Another alternative storage method is to dry lime zest.

Limes for weight loss: myths and truth

No fat-burning product can completely get rid of excess weight without additional efforts in the form of sports activities and dieting.

But water with lime juice can provide some benefits. This citrus is able to speed up the metabolism, which in turn will help to lose weight. In addition, do not forget about the extremely rich reserves of vitamin C, which, against the background of physical activity, accelerates the breakdown of fats.

Lime water is a good choice to quench your thirst. Such a drink contains a lot of nutrients with a minimum number of calories (about 11 kcal per glass of drink). By the way, nutritionists constantly repeat: for effective weight loss, it is important to drink plenty of water (at least 2 liters per day). And lime water is much better than just water.

Possible Side Effects

The first thing to remember is that all foods are good if consumed in moderation. Limes, like many other citrus fruits, can cause allergies. The second danger is the softening of tooth enamel and caries. Acidic foods, including citrus juice, are not the best for teeth. After eating fruits or acidic juices, it is advisable to rinse the mouth with clean water.

How to use

Most often, lime juice is used in recipes, which is easy to obtain at home. But there is a little secret. In order for the fruit to give more liquid, it must first be heated to room temperature (you can lower it for a few minutes in a bowl of warm water) and only then squeeze the juice out of it, which is then used to make many drinks. In particular, freshly squeezed juice is a key ingredient in the drink known as the Margarita.

It is quite unusual to use this fruit in India. There it is customary to salt it and marinate it. But lime peel is an indispensable ingredient in traditional Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Dried fruits are typical of Persian and Iraqi cuisine. Americans love lime pies, and in Australia, citrus is used to make marmalade.

Indian Rice

This dish is traditional in Indian cuisine. Rice prepared in this way is tasty, healthy and suitable as a fragrant side dish for meat or fish.

Pour a glass of white rice with 2 glasses of water, add 1 tbsp. l. vegetable oil and some salt. Cook covered over medium heat until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, add chopped fresh cilantro (about half a glass), 2 tbsp. l. freshly squeezed lime juice and some zest. Cover with a lid, wrap with a warm towel, let the dish brew. Serve hot.

Chicken Stewed with Lime

Roast chicken for about 20 minutes until crispy. Add wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, black pepper, scallions, garlic and oregano to taste. Simmer for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot with fresh vegetables and garnish.

Key lime pie

Crush the shortbread into fine crumbs and mix with melted butter (should be a smooth, sticky, thick mass). Spread the mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime, beat 3 egg yolks, add a jar of condensed milk, zest and juice from 4 limes, beat again. Pour the mixture over the chilled pie base. Send to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cool (at least 3 hours), remove from mold. Garnish with whipped cream, powdered sugar and lime slices.

A lime pie or a Margarita cocktail are already important arguments for many people why limes are worth it. But there are many other, much more important benefits in these tropical fruits. The rich chemical composition makes them useful for the prevention and treatment of many diseases, including malignant tumors. With each successive study, scientists are finding more and more evidence that this little sour citrus has amazing benefits for human health.