Lime, citrus fruit with healthy properties

Lime is a citrus fruit rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Discover all the benefits that this citrus brings us.

What is lime?

The lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is a citrus fruit of the Citrus genus and belongs to the Rutaceae family. In addition, this exotic fruit is very aromatic.

It is the fruit of the fruit tree known as limero (Citrus aurantifolia). The tree is vigorous and variable in size, between 2 and 4 m tall. Its branches are thin and long. It has spines of approximately 1 cm in length.

The fruit is small, about 5 cm long and oval in shape. However, depending on the variety, its appearance can change. It has a thin greenish-yellow outer part. In addition, it contains abundant juice with a flavor that varies slightly according to the variety.

Depending on the variety, its flavor can also change, which is always acidic, but varying its sweetness. It is very refreshing  because of its flavor and the amount of water it contains. Likewise, it is very common to use these fruits in drinks for the summer.

Origin of the lime

Limes (Citrus Aurantifolia) are native to regions of Southeast Asia, Iran, and Malaysia.

In the Middle Ages, the cultivation of these citrus fruits traveled from the Middle East to parts of Spain and North Africa.

The name of this citrus fruit comes from the Persian voice of the Arabic term to designate the lemon (limun), since both species used to be confused.

Lime cultivation

Currently it is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the entire planet.

The main producers of this citrus are Mexico, India, China, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Turkey, Spain, Iran and Italy.

Lime season

Thanks to its different varieties, we can have seasonal limes throughout the year.

You can check the calendar of the  fruit season  to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with  more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

Lime varieties

It is difficult to identify the varieties of limes. The genus Citrus has resulted in a diversity of types of limes (Citrus aurantifolia) and other citrus fruits. At present, we also have to add the presence of hybrids from mandarin and grapefruit.

Among its varieties, we can highlight the following:

Five Infidels

Green in color and with a rough textured outer part. Also, they are very acidic.

Acid or Galician lime

It is a variety with a very widespread cultivation and of commercial interest. It is more rounded in appearance, green in color and has an acid taste. It is also known by the name of subtle lemon, Ceuti lemon, Peruvian lemon, Mexican lemon, Creole lemon or Pica lemon.

The Galician lime is native to Southeast Asia and not from Galicia. Furthermore, it was not known in Europe until before the Crusades.

Likewise, it is believed that the Arabs took it to North Africa and the Middle East, to later be brought by the crusaders from Palestine to Mediterranean Europe. In the middle of the 13th century, it was cultivated and well known in Italy and probably in France.

Possibly, the Spanish were the ones who introduced it to the American continent through the Caribbean and Mexico.

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The cultivation of the Galician lime is widely cultivated in regions of Central America thanks to the use of its juice in many preparations. There are regional food factories that produce beverages and other preparations that are exported all over the world.

Persian or Tahiti lime

Along with the Galician, it is one of the most cultivated. The color is green, although yellow tones appear when ripe.

This variety is very similar to the Galician variety but not so acidic. These fruits are also widely used in the food industry for making beverages.

It is also known by the name of Persian lemon, Creole lemon, Messina lemon or seedless lemon.

Sweet lime, chichona or bergamot

Yellow in color and with a thicker outer part. Likewise, it bears a lot of resemblance to lemon. It is also known by the name of sweet lemon, lemon or Rome lemon.

Indian or Palestinian sweet lime

With a very low acid taste. Also, it is yellow in color and has no seeds. In fact, it is also known by the name of sweet lemon or Persian lemon.

Canton lime or rangpur lime

With an aspect very similar to mandarin oranges due to its round shape. It has a thin and green outer part. Also, its flavor is acidic and refreshing. It is also known by the name of cravo lemon, rough lemon or mandarin lemon.

Long file

This variety is very special. It only grows in the tropical forests of Australia. Its color ranges from yellow to very dark green, almost black. It has a lot of essential oil.

How to buy limes?

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) are available in greengrocers and markets. What’s more, these fruits are usually found together with lemons and other citrus fruits. Choose citrus fruits that are heavy for their size. In addition, that they have an external part of bright color and without spots.

How do you take the lime?

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) stand out for their aromatic capacity. For this reason, its peel is widely used in confectionery, among other preparations.

On the other hand, the juice or juice is acidic and with fresh tones that makes it ideal for making different combinations of refreshing drinks. In addition, it is also used in the preparation of cocktails.

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) are acidic, but they are more aromatic and more interesting in flavor than lemons. Its juice is an ideal complement to accompany fruits and desserts. Likewise, it is also an ideal ingredient for recipes with fish and meat.

They are also used to make syrup, sauces, cakes, puddings, jams, etc. Its juice is ideal for marinating raw fish along with spices.

The leaves can be chopped before being used to make different preparations or recipes for oriental dishes.

Lime properties

Lime juice is rich in vitamin C. The approximate amount is 40 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of pulp, which is a high amount. Its consumption provides us with more than 20% of our daily needs.

Like most acidic fruits, it is rich in water. Also of other nutrients with beneficial properties for our health.

In addition, it provides us with minerals such as potassium. The skin has 7% essential oil. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is a good source of limonene, a substance with anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties.

They also contain small amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of lime

Energy35 kcal
Carbohydrates1 g
Protein0,6 g
Fiber2,8 g
Fats0,2 g
Sodium3 mg
Football24 mg
Match22 mg
Potassium144 mg
White. B10,03 mg
White. B20,02 mg
Vit. B30,2 mg
Lives. VS42 mg

Lime benefits

Eating this fruit or drinking its juice brings us different benefits to our health. Likewise, thanks to their nutritional properties, these fruits are ideal to be introduced into our diet and are essential foods in our kitchen.

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Among its benefits for our health we can highlight the following:

1. Source of antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that help prevent or delay some types of damage to cells. One of the damage that can occur to cells is caused by so-called free radicals. Likewise, they are molecules that achieve their stability by modifying the neighboring molecules. Consequently, it causes a chain reaction that ends up damaging many cells.

In addition, this cell damage is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, and other types of diseases. [1]

Antioxidants are responsible for stabilizing free radicals and inhibiting their oxidation to protect organs and systems that may be affected.

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) are rich in active compounds that function as antioxidants. Among them we can highlight the flavonoids, limonoids, quercetin and ascorbic acid. [2]

2. Helps strengthen our natural defenses

Thanks to the contribution of vitamin C, these citrus fruits help us to strengthen our immune system.

There are several studies that indicate that this vitamin helps make white blood cells, which help protect us against infections and diseases. [3]

Likewise, it acts as a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. Therefore, it actively supports our immune system.

Other studies show that the consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps against colds, both in duration and intensity. [4]

3. For healthy and radiant skin

Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) have very favorable nutritional properties to maintain healthy skin.

Thanks to the vitamin C content that is favorable to produce collagen, which is a protein that keeps the skin firm and strong.

According to the following study of 4,025 women between the ages of 40 and 74, those who consumed the most vitamin C were less likely to have wrinkles. In addition, they kept the epidermis more hydrated. [5]

4. Favorable for reducing the risk of heart disease

It is true that heart disease is the leading cause of death on the entire planet.

In addition, the nutrients provided by the lime (Citrus aurantifolia) help us reduce the possibility of suffering from this type of disease.

First of all, vitamin C helps reduce high blood pressure that can be a cause of heart disease. [6]

5. It favors the absorption of iron

As with other citrus fruits rich in vitamin C such as orange , grapefruit or kumquat , the lime favors the absorption of iron in our body.

Iron is a mineral necessary for the growth and development of the body. In addition, it helps to make red blood cells and to oxygenate the body.

Low levels of this mineral in our body can cause iron deficiency anemia. Signs of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath during exercise, pale skin, and dry skin and hair. [7]

Therefore, foods high in vitamin C can help prevent iron deficiency anemia.

Conclusions

To conclude, stress that the lime (Citrus aurantifolia) is a food rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that offer us different benefits for our health. Therefore, incorporating this fruit in our preparations or recipes helps us to have a balanced and healthy diet.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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