Lime is most commonly known for its uses in cuisines, both savory and sweet. Limes are thought to have originated from Asia and later spread to the Mediterranean region. They remain a significant part of cooking in these regions today.
Limes offer many health benefits that can improve your well-being. Fresh lime juice contains abundant nutrients such as vitamin C and bioflavonoids that contribute to health improvements throughout your body, supplementing a healthy diet with more nutrition. Using fresh limes in recipes not only enhances the flavor of foods but also provides you with healthier dishes while taking advantage of their nutritional value.
Including fresh lime juice in your daily diet improves overall health by providing more nutrients in an easy-to-use form. Many people drink warm water and lemon juice in the morning, which can be very beneficial. However, lime juice can also be very beneficial. Here are several benefits of lime juice:
1) Lime is beneficial for skin
Lime juice is rich in vitamin C, which is needed for collagen synthesis and maintaining the structural integrity of the skin. Collagen gives your skin its strength and resilience, providing protection from environmental stressors that may cause damage to the skin. Vitamin C also helps repair damaged or worn-out tissue by increasing carbohydrate metabolism, which provides energy for tissue building and repair.
2) The citric acid in lime juice helps break down fat cells
The citric acid found in limes has been shown to speed up the metabolism of fat cells. In an animal study, those given limes had higher metabolism rates which led to a reduction in total body weight and body fat compared to those that were not receiving lime juice as part of their diet. This effect on metabolism has yet to be studied in humans but the results from this study suggest that increased intake of citric acid through foods such as limes may aid weight loss.
3) Lime juice can help lower blood sugar levels
The vitamin C content in fresh lime juice provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, protecting your cells and reducing damage by free radicals and inflammatory molecules. Citrus fruits like limes also reduce glycemic response after meals, lowering the spike in blood sugar levels after a meal. This property of limes may help diabetics monitor blood sugar and maintain glucose homeostasis.
4) The anti-inflammatory properties in lime juice reduce joint pain
Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in the development of arthritis through inflammatory molecules that damage the joints. Antioxidants from fresh lime juice serve as an indirect inhibitor of inflammatory enzymes, reducing joint destruction caused by free radicals that have been shown to exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In particular, vitamin C found in limes has a positive effect on connective tissues such as collagen and elastin, supporting your joints and muscles while strengthening your bones and teeth.
5) Lime juice helps prevent kidney stones
High urinary oxalate levels lead to calcium-oxalate stone formation such as those found in the kidneys and bladder. Oxalates are naturally occurring molecules found in many foods, including limes. Citrus fruits like limes can help prevent calcium-oxalate stone formation by increasing urinary citrate excretion, inhibiting crystallization of reactive phosphates and carbonates that cause these stones. This is why diets rich in citrus may be effective for preventing this type of renal stone formation.
6) Lime juice is a natural diuretic
Vitamin C acts as a vasodilator increasing blood flow throughout the body, which stimulates urination through effects on water balance in the kidney. The citric acid found in limes acts as a natural diuretic by increasing urine output and promoting water loss through the urine, which helps to eliminate toxins from your body.
7) Lime juice is beneficial for digestion
Citrus fruits like limes contain a compound called limonin that gives them their characteristic sour taste. Studies have shown that consuming foods rich in limonin may help you avoid pancreatitis or reduce symptoms if you already have it. Additionally, lime can help in pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer can be a very difficult type of cancer to treat. Induced cell death was observed in pancreatic cancer cells by using lime juice in one study(Jaiprakash R Patil, K N Chidambara Murthy, G K Jayaprakasha, Mahadev B Chetti, Bhimanagouda S Patil. Bioactive compounds from Mexican lime ( Citrus aurantifolia ) juice induce apoptosis in human pancreatic cells. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Feb 15;21(4):435-44.PMID: 19919125) Limonin can also improve digestive health by stimulating the secretion of bile from the gallbladder, supporting healthy digestion even further because bile breaks down fat molecules into smaller compounds that your body uses more easily.
8) Lime juice can help prevent cancer
Citrus fruits like limes contain several compounds that may inhibit the development of cancerous cells through actions on enzymes involved in carcinogenesis. Limonin, found in limes, has been shown to reduce inflammation along with the risk of developing leukemia and lymphomas while naringenin, also present in limes, reduces inflammation associated with colon cancer. These compounds are thought to act as anti-carcinogens because they protect your genetic material from damage by free radicals which can lead to mutations.
9) Fresh lime juice helps treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
The citric acid content in lime juice acts as an antibacterial agent helping rid your body of harmful bacteria. The antibacterial properties found in limes also help prevent bacterial infections from developing. In addition, vitamin C improves your immune function by increasing the activity of white blood cells that fight infection and prevents urinary tract infections from occurring as frequently as they usually do.
10) Lime juice helps restore pH balance in the body
Temperature regulation is controlled by how much water your body uses to cool itself down or warm itself up based on environmental temperatures. A change in pH levels can affect this process causing you to become too hot or too cold for a prolonged period of time, which can be dangerous if not corrected quickly. Vitamin C contained in fresh lime juice acts as a vasodilator, expanding blood vessels which increases circulation and speeds up the movement of fluids throughout your body. This results in more efficient temperature regulation because changes to your environment can be quickly addressed by increasing or decreasing fluid loss through sweat.
For example, if you’re feeling cold or experiencing chills you can increase vitamin C intake and improve water balance by drinking fresh lime juice mixed with pure water instead of coffee or tea. If you’re feeling hot and starting to sweat excessively, consuming fresh lime juice will reduce the concentration of fluids at the surface of your skin allowing it to cool down as those fluids are re-absorbed into the body.
Indeed limes fit the bill of allowing medicine to be our food, and our food to be our medicine.