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Lime Juice Benefits

Updated on March 16, 2016
nifwlseirff profile image

Kymberly loves to cook, bake and preserve. She'd love more time to experiment in the kitchen and come up with delicious (healthy) recipes!

Limes are packed with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a natural antioxidant, important for boosting the immune system, protecting against colds and many bacterial illnesses.

Nutrition in 1 lime (44g)

 
 
Calories
11
Fat
0g
Cholesterol
0mg
Sodium
1mg
Carbohydrates
4g

Nutrition

Consisting of 90% water, limes are fat-free, have no cholesterol, and when the pulp is left in the juice, it is high in fiber.

As with all citrus fruits, they do contain a moderate amount of sugar, so should not be eaten in great quantities.

Minerals include small amounts of:

calcium - bone and teeth health.

magnesium - muscle health and preventing cramps by stabilising the nerves.

phosphorus - for cell wall, bone and teeth health - it combines with many other minerals in the body.

potassium - brain function, cell and muscle health and preventing cramps.

zinc - immune function, eye, nail and hair health, but also other organs. Zinc combines with many other vitamins and minerals in the body.

Vitamin E (skin, nails, hair, and cell health) and vitamin K (blood and bone health), plus niacin (blood and heart health) and folate (cell and DNA health) are found in small amounts, in addition to a large dose of vitamin C (immune functions).

Eight ways lime juice fights against illnesses

It can play an important role in fighting several common and some much more severe illnesses.

Cut limes, ready to be squeezed.
Cut limes, ready to be squeezed. | Source

1. Treat and prevent common colds

Vitamin C has been shown in many studies to be important in preventing and recovering from colds and flu1.

Add the juice to glasses of water to increase vitamin C intake throughout the day, especially in winter during the cold and flu season.

A hot lime, honey and ginger drink can be used to calm a sore throat and boost your immune system at the same time.

2. Aid digestion

Citrus juices have been found to remove harmful bacteria and reduce gastric inflammation, again because of their high vitamin C content.2

Add the juice to your meals to improve your digestion and protect against gastric illnesses.

Limes go extremely well in Mexican and Thai dishes, highlighting flavor with a fresh, acidic taste, and can be used to tenderize meat.

3. Super-charge your immune system

Lime juice in particular has been shown to have other positive effects on immune systems.

One study found it even stopped the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as Golden Staph, from multiplying.3

4. Improve malaria treatments

In conjunction with malaria medication, lime juice significantly improved both the speed and success of treatment. Plus it is negative side-effect free!4

Fresh lemons and limes.
Fresh lemons and limes. | Source

5. Protect your eye health

Vitamin C was found to protect the cornea in eyes against ultraviolet B radiation, produced by the sun.5

6. Reduce inflammation naturally

Vitamin C has been shown in many studies to have good anti-inflammatory effects.6

If you suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatic nerve pain, gout or other inflammatory conditions, consider using citrus juices more regularly!

7. Manage diabetes

Used in conjunction with metaformin, vitamin C supplements help diabetes sufferers manage their blood sugar levels.7

The best way to increase vitamin C is to have a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits with high levels of this vitamin.

8. Prevent bacteria in cooked foods

Because of a lime's high acidity, it can neutralize some dangerous bacteria, found in foods which have been stored incorrectly.

One study showed that the juice added to foods strongly protects against cholera, especially when the dishes were stored without a refrigerator.8

Add the juice to meals that sit outside a fridge for long time to protect against bacteria, such as at barbecues and potluck dinners.

It is highly unlikely you'll be fighting golden staph, malaria and cholera in your own home. However, these studies clearly show that lime juice has a powerful and healthy effect on our immune systems and to kill bacteria.

Preserved lime juice - used often in meals.
Preserved lime juice - used often in meals. | Source

Lime juice in history

References to 'lime juice' being prescribed to sailors, dating back to the 1700s, are found in the journals of ships' doctors treating scurvy.

Fresh citrus fruits and juices were found to be the most successful at treating this disease.

The earlier references to 'lime juice', however often meant a juice or cordial made from lemons.9

A patented cordial?

A concentrated cordial, made without alcohol from West Indian limes, Rose's Lime Juice was patented by Lauchlan Rose in 1867 in Britain. This was immediately prescribed to sailors to prevent scurvy by the 1867 Merchant Shipping Act.9

Because of its success and enforced use in the navy, British sailors were often called 'limey'. The term since evolved into a derogatory nickname for a British person.

You can still buy this brand today in many parts of the world.

How to use lime juice

  • Squeeze some juice into a glass of water, or add sliced limes to a jug of iced water.
  • Use as a mixer for home-made cocktails and mocktails, such as mojitos and dacquiris.
  • Make sweetened cordial or limeade - perfect for summer!
  • Make fresh lime curd or marmalade.
  • Make some desserts - jelly, key lime pie, or sorbet.
  • Make a birthday cake.
  • Add to Mexican or Thai dishes when cooking for a fresh finish.
  • Marinate meat, pour over grilled chicken breasts or fish to make them tender and juicy.
  • Make a tangy salad dressing with various herbs, sesame seeds and olive oil.

Lime juice can improve your skin

Dandruff: wet scalp with the juice, and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing with water to reduce or eliminate dandruff.

Skin mask for oily skin: combine 1 teaspoon of the juice with 1 teaspoon of rosewater and 1 tablespoon of pureed cucumber. Apply to skin, leave for 10 minutes, then rinse. Do not use this if you have sensitive skin.

Scrub for oily skin: combine 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of ground oats and 1 tablespoon of ground almonds to make a rough paste. Scrub face and rinse. Do not use this if you have sensitive skin.

Home cleaning tips

Odor control: Boil cut limes and juice to freshen up a musty smelling home.

Rust: Sprinkle salt on the rust and squeeze some juice on the salt until it is soaked. Leave for a few hours, then scrub the rust away.

Storage

Freshly squeezed lime juice keeps in the fridge for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.

You can store the juice longer by freezing it in ice-block containers. When completely frozen, store the cubes in a strongly sealed freezer bag.

Alternatively, processed juice is readily available, and will keep in the fridge for a month. It is also typically higher in vitamin C.

Citrus winners

Which citrus fruit is your favorite?

See results

References

  1. Complementary and alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of the common cold, R. Nahas and A. Balla, Canadian Family Physician, January 2011, 57(1):31-6
  2. Effects of Alpha Tocopherol and Ascorbic Acid on Helicobacter pylori Colonization and the Severity of Gastric Inflammation, M. Sezikli, Z.A. Cetinkaya, et al. Helicobacter, April 2012, 17(2):127-132
  3. Immunomodulatory effect of concentrated lime juice extract on activated human mononuclear cells, M. Gharagozloo and A. Ghaderi, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, September 2001, 77(1):85-90
  4. Effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance, S.A. Adegoke, O.A. Oyelami, et al. Phytotherapy Research, October 2011, 25(10):1547-50
  5. Protective effect of ascorbic Acid against corneal damage by ultraviolet B irradiation: a pilot study, M.H. Suh, J.W. Kwon, et al. Cornea, September 2008, 27(8):916-22
  6. Associations of vitamin C status, fruit and vegetable intakes, and markers of inflammation and hemostasis, S.G. Wannamethee, G.D. Lowe, et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2006, 83(3):567-74
  7. Supplementation of vitamin C reduces blood glucose and improves glycosylated hemoglobin in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind study, G.N. Dakhale, H.V. Chaudhari, et al. Advances in Pharmacological Science, 2011:195271
  8. Protection from cholera by adding lime juice to food - results from community and laboratory studies in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, A. Rodrigues, A. Sandström, et al. Tropical Medicine and International Health, June 2000, 5(6):418-22
  9. Medical aspects of polar exploration: sixtieth anniversary of Scott's last expedition. State of knowledge about scurvy in 1911, H.E. Lewis, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, January 1972, 65:39-42
  10. Dr Pepper Snapple Group - Rose's, accessed March 2012

Comments

What are you favorite ways to use limes?

Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

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    • londonaccountants profile image

      Goringe Accountants 3 years ago from London, UK

      Give me a lime over a lemon any day! :)

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

      Thanks for the info on limes.

      I love them and always using them in baking, drinks ect.

      Key limes are a favorite, smaller but they can pack a punch, and great to know there are so many benefits from using them.

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 3 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      I've been on a bit of a health kick these four past years Kymberly and am recently looking into other uses for Limes, which is how I found your hub. I've been squeezing one lime into 1.5 litres of water each day and drinking it as part of my daily water consumption. Now, it might just be coincidence, but I've not had a single cold, sore throat, or runny nose since that day. Before I started on the lime I got at least a couple of coughs, colds, and sniffles each year, just like every other Joe average.

      And just today, I read about how lime can act as a good deodorant. I cut one in half this morning and rubbed the juice under my armpits, and I've been as fresh as a daisy (I mean lime!) all day long. I've actually saved that lime in a sealed container and will use it again tomorrow. I'm not a cheapskate, but I am seriously wondering whether I should buy another deodorant again or not, especially seeing as I live in a tropical climate where the sweet smell of commercial deodorant is quickly gone anyway.

      Nice article, glad I found it ;)

      Andy Aitch

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

      Great hub! I love lime and always prefer that to lemon, but I didn't know that lime has many great benefits.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi what a great article! Love using limes and you have packs of reasons to benefits us with this magical fruit! Will link this to my body scrub recipe hub invigorating ginger and lime body scrub if okay!

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      I use lime juice in a lot of recipe of mine. And after reading your hub I came to know that it has so many benefits. Thank you nifwlseirff for sharing the useful and informative hub. Voted up and useful.

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Thanks Thelma! Lime juice certainly makes meat tender and tasty!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Very informative hub! I like limes to marinate a meat before frying and I love drinking them too with hot water and a bit of sugar. Thanks for sharing.

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Vespa - Thank you! Your Peruvian limeade is delicious!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love lime juice and use it frequently. I knew how beneficial it was, but I didn't know all these facts and figures. Fascinating! I'm going to link my limeade hub to it. Thanks so much!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Doonwriters - thank you! Lime juice is a very fresh and bright tasting addition to any fruit/vegetable mix, and so healthy too!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      MickiS - Thanks! Your limeade recipe sounds delicious, and perfect for summer.

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      missolive - Thank you! I prefer lemons in cakes, and limes in savoury foods, not sure why. The pico de gallo relish sounds scrumptious!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      GmaGoldie - Thanks! Sanitizing the fruit's skin is definitely important if you are going to use the rind in cooking.

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub! I'm a big lime fan too and often use them in recipes that otherwise call for lemon. Last month I published a Hub with recipe for Limeade that uses the whole lime--peel and all. And, of course, who can no to ceviche! I even posted a hub on tofu ceviche for vegetarians....that one really showcases the flavor of limes.

      Regarding your lime juice in history section, it was why the sailors in the British navy were known as "limeys" the world over. They were among the first to serve lime juice to the sailors for scurvy.

      Anyway, great hub! I really enjoyed it.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      great hub! I prefer limes over lemons. I live in south Texas and we grow lots of citrus down here. Limes are easy to find in our markets. Limes are definitely a staple and great addition in Mexican dishes. I like lots of lime in my pico de gallo. It is kind of a relish of tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro - add lots of lime. YUM! Plus, we can't forget the margarita! :)

      Excellent information - thank you for sharing.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I just found out how to use tables. Your table is excellent. Wonderful hub!

      I prefer to sanitize my limes and lemons with filtered ozonated water - just in case there is some bacteria left on the skin.

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Sunita - citrus water is a great cleanser, and delicious - it helps me to remember to drink more throughout the day! Thanks!

      CleverCat - Thank you! I knew limes were healthy, but I was also surprised to find out just how strong a lime's disease fighting power is!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Simone - I love the fragrance of limes (more than lemons), especially in cosmetics or as an essential oil. Enjoy your mask!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      chspublish - I tend to use lime juice in many of my meals, it adds a fresh taste and tenderizes meat so well! Thank you!

      Angie - lime marmalade is delicious! And I tend to use less of it than normal berry jams, so it's a tad healthier. Thanks!

    • nifwlseirff profile image
      Author

      Kymberly Fergusson 5 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      RTalloni - it is indeed a crime to not use limes! If I'm successful with my current lemon tree, I will be purchasing a lime tree. Inside, due to snowy/cold winters, citrus trees are touchy to care for.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love limes, even just in seltzer or to marinate chicken. But finding out all these health benefits is terrific!

    • Sunita-Sharma profile image

      Sunita-Sharma 5 years ago from Los Angeles,California,US

      Very informative hub.Drinking lemon/lime water is actually very cleansing for your system. It's good for your liver, kidneys, and stomach also.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Goodness gracious, limes rock! I've never bought one before... I just haven't used a recipe that requires them. But now I really want to find some excuses for incorporating limes into my life. Perhaps it's face mask time!

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      I love lime marmalade ... but I don't suppose that is a particularly healthy use for limes.

      Good hub, I especially like your list of technical references. Most impressive.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

      Have to confess I would just use some lime juice in a fairly boring sort of way on a salad or something. You have highlighted some really, really useful and interesting attributes of the lime. It encourages me to follow some of the ideas. Good stuff.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Besides all this, their flavor can't be beat! Thanks for teaching me more about this delightful fruit.

      Believe it or not, we have one lime tree here in the Carolinas that we winter in the garage. It provides us with about 25 big limes in a good year and we love them.

      Lovely limes, they are sublime, to do without them is a crime! Um, that just popped out here at the end of my comment. 8-)