Most of us hear lime and think Corona or ceviche. Surprisingly, this little bright green fruit has many excellent benefits for your health and wellness. The juice from two limes offers up 50 percent of your daily value (DV) for vitamin C and will also boost your folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and fiber levels as well. Limes are often overlooked when it comes to a healthy snack or meal, but they really should be considered as a powerful addition to your daily diet.
Limes are natural healers in many ways. Besides being rich in vitamin C, limes also have free radical fighting antioxidants to assist you in staying healthier. Adding a little lime to your food or water may assist you in fighting life-threatening illnesses. Let’s take a closer look at the lime. This little citrus fruit is more than just a green garnish for food and beverages.
Limes aid digestion.
Limes have an uncanny ability to increase saliva production. The acidity of sour fruit causes the mouth to pucker and triggers an increase in saliva production. Once consumed, the flavonoids in lime increase digestive fluids like acid and bile.
A study published in the International Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine (2013) discusses the many wonderful health attributes that the lime possesses. The study states, “Lime has an irresistible scent which waters the mouth and thus aids primary digestion … the compounds found in the fragrant oils extracted from lime, stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices”. The digestive aspects of lime are incorporated in the diets of many cultures around the world.
Protect your eyes with lime.
Limes contain high levels of vitamin C, and this powerful antioxidant can help to protect the eyes from infections and macular degeneration. Including limes in your diet can keep your eyes healthy and safe, well into your golden years.
Limes contain vital antioxidant and antibiotic phytonutrients.
The flavonoids in limes, called flavonol glycosides, have been noted for their ability to stop cell division in several types of cancer. They have also been researched for their antibiotic properties. A study conducted at the Sección de Infección-Nutrición, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, discusses the antibiotic power limes possess in fighting cholera.
The study, published in Revista de Biologia Tropical (1994) concluded, “The addition of lime juice to non-acidic foods, beverages and water, is strongly recommended to prevent infection with cholera vibrios and other acid-sensitive microorganisms.” In many West African villages lime juice is included as part of a meal, and this practice has been found to help protect against cholera.
Limes promote healthier skin.
That’s right, this tart little fruit will make your skin look healthier. Including limes in your diet can reduce blemishes, fight off infections and give your skin a fresh glow. Lime juice can even be used as an exfoliator to slough away dead skin cells. Studies have also shown that lime juice added to a warm bath is great for getting rid of dandruff, rashes and bruises.
Limes are an excellent natural way to ease bowel movements. Research has shown that the high acidity of lime juice, especially if mixed with salt, will help relieve uncomfortable constipation and ease bowel movements.
Limes will decrease your risk of diabetes.
Limes are on the American Diabetes Association’s top-ten list of “Diabetes Superfoods.” Other citrus fruits that can help prevent diabetes are grapefruits, oranges, and lemons due to their soluble fiber and high vitamin C content.
Live a life free from heart disease.
Heart disease is the number-one killer in the United States. Heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the numbers appear to be rising due to unhealthy lifestyle and poor nutrition choices. Limes can assist you in your fight against heart disease by giving you the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need to stay heart healthy.
A study published in Circulation (1996) found that dietary fiber is one contributing factor to a healthier cardiovascular system. The study states, “Independent of other risk factors, greater intake of foods rich in fiber can substantially reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, and particularly coronary death.” Combining limes with other heart healthy fruits and vegetables will increase your ability to curb heart disease as well. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2001), conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, discusses the importance of an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables to decrease coronary heart disease.
Limes are an all-natural weight management choice.
Obesity is on the rise in America and there are plenty of quick-fix diet and exercise programs to choose from. But why not take a healthy approach to weight management or reduction by implementing natural foods, like limes, instead of pills and other “weight loss” supplements. Studies have shown that by drinking a warm glass of water with fresh lime juice will assist you in reducing your weight. The drink is also an amazing antioxidant boost, giving you energy and focus throughout your long workday. Take this one for a week long test drive and see if you feel any improvements, because you may be surprised.
Limes offer an alternative form of arthritis relief.
These green bundles of citric power have exceptional anti-inflammatory properties and provide flavonoids, soluble vitamins and other phytonutrient properties that may ease your arthritis.
A study conducted by the Department of Chemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Nigeria, discusses the amazing healing power citrus fruits. The study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine and Advance Sciences (2006), found, “These phytonutrients and vitamins may be responsible for the antioxidants, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of the citrus species.”
An alternative remedy for fever.
Limes seem to offer a lot of long-term health and wellness benefits, but what about the here-and-now remedies you may need in a pinch?
With cold and flu season around the corner, it is an excellent idea to have a few natural health and wellness tricks up your sleeve. Limes are a great alternative for fighting fever. Studies have shown that vitamin C rich citrus juices, especially lime, will naturally lower body temperature. Drinking warm water with lime juice is a great way to manage or break a fever when you are feeling under the weather.
Prevent cancer with lime!
Research into citrus fruits has uncovered the cancer fighting benefits they provide. Limes are no exception, since they are loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients your body needs. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, listed citrus flavanones as beneficial for cancer prevention and other overall health benefits. The specific flavanone compounds for citrus fruits (grapefruits, lemons and limes) are hesperetin, naringenin and eriodictyol. Antioxidant-rich limes are essential cancer fighters as noted in the study. Putting a daily lime into your eating habits may be the extra free radical fighting power you need to stay healthy, happy and cancer free.
Limes are no longer clever little Corona caps or small sliced additions to your tacos. They should be a part of your daily diet to increase your health and wellness. You can eat a lime a day to keep the doctor at bay! One fan favorite is a cold, delicious carafe of lemonade (substitute limes or use a mixture of lemon and lime), sugar free of course. A refreshing glass of lime water is an excellent way to start your day!
— Stephen Seifert
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flare for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.