Key lime pie and margaritas! If that’s all lime was used for it would still be invaluable. But this zesty tropical fruit is consumed throughout the world in the form of beverages, refreshing cocktails, pickles, jams, snacks, and in cooking.
The oil extracted from its peel is used in soft drink concentrates, body oils, cosmetic products, beauty soaps, disinfectants, mouth washes, deodorants and innumerable other products. Lime has also made its presence felt in many a home remedy as it is naturally rich in antioxidants, flavonol glycosides, kaempferol, and vitamin C. But the problem is the fruit is sour and highly unpalatable for some.
The best way to get the varied health benefits of lime is to mix the extracted juice with water to make lime juice. As there is no cooking involved in the making of simple lime juice, all the healthy nutrients remain intact. Drinking warm lime water with a little honey will start your morning right!
Every time you drink a glass of lime juice, you not only quench your thirst, you also give your body a lot of health benefits. In spite of the wealth of information about the health benefits of lime, I’m still faced with questions like, “Is lime juice good for you?” Well, take a look at just some of its many benefits and the answer will be clear:
Skin care: Lime juice and its natural oils are beneficial for skin when consumed orally or applied externally. Drinking warm lime water helps to hydrate the skin. The vitamin C and flavonoids in lime juice help rejuvenate the skin, keep it shining. And its antibiotic and disinfectant properties protect it from infections and reduce body odor.
When applied externally on skin, its acids scrub out the dead cells, cure dandruff, rashes, and bruises. You can also mix lime juice or oil into your bathing water to create a refreshing bathing experience and leave you with a glow on your face. No wonder many cosmetic ads rave about the benefits of lime juice on the face.
Digestive aid: The moment you smell lime, your mouth waters because its irresistible smell triggers a response and saliva floods your mouth even before you taste it. And as you know, saliva is an important aid in digestion. But that’s not all. The natural acidity in lime helps in the breakdown of the macro molecules of the food.
The flavonoids help as well. These compounds found in the fragrant lime oils stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids. This flood of flavonoids also stimulate the muscles that help the food go down the intestine. In fact, lime is such an important digestive aid that most restaurants in India have lime pickle as a standard feature on the table along with salt and pepper.
Constipation: The benefits of lime juice with honey are plenty but it is most used in helping relieve constipation. The acids present in lime help clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning off the tracts, in the same way as some acids are used to clean floors and toilets.
While the roughage in lime is helpful in the bowel movement, the most beneficial element is the high acidity. Large quantities of lime juice along with salt can also be used as a safe purgative, thereby providing relief from constipation.
Blood sugar control: Limes and other citrus fruits are considered a diabetes superfood for a number of reasons. This fact is even endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. The high levels of soluble fiber found in limes helps it regulate the body’s absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps reduce the occurrence of blood sugar spikes which are a serious risk to people with unhealthy blood sugar levels. In addition to the benefits of soluble fiber’s effect, limes and other citrus fruits also have a low glycemic index, which again helps in controlling blood sugar spikes.
Heart disease: That same soluble fiber which can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels can also lower blood pressure and eliminate the presence of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). Furthermore, soluble fiber can cut down on inflammation of the blood vessels, which is now considered the main culprit in cardiovascular problems.
Respiratory disorders: The flavonoid-rich oil that is extracted from limes is extensively used in anti-congestive medicines such as balms, vaporizers and inhalers due to the presence of kaempferol. In fact, just scratching the peel of a lime and inhaling it gives immediate relief for congestion and nausea.
Joint care: One of the many causes of joint discomfort is an excess of uric acid that builds up in the body. Uric acid is one of the waste products that normal urination will clear out of the body, but unfortunately, when too much builds up, it can settle in and around joints and cause pain and inflammation.
The citric acid found in citrus fruits like limes can help dissolve the uric acid deposits which are then eliminated in the urine. No wonder many doctors recommend lime juice to people with symptoms of gout. In addition to uric acid disposal, limes also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve a number of inflammation issues.
Scurvy: In the past, soldiers and sailors were given lime to keep them safe from scurvy, the potentially fatal disease which is caused from a deficiency of vitamin C. People with scurvy suffer from repeated infections and the most common symptoms are cracked lips and lip corners, ulcers in the oral cavity (tongue and mouth) and normal cold symptoms.
Scurvy is also characterized by spongy, swollen and bleeding gums. Since its cause is a deficiency of vitamin C, the best way to treat it is by supplementing your diet with vitamin C. Lime juice is a great remedy for scurvy as lime is loaded with this essential vitamin.
Fever: Vitamin C, found in high concentrations in citrus fruits like lime, naturally lowers body temperature. If you are suffering from a fever, limes and lime juice can be of great importance. In fact, if the fever is very high, it might be a good idea to restrict your diet to lime juice and water. However, if the fever is mild to moderate, other fruit juices, in addition to lime juice, can be administered in order to bring the fever back a manageable level.
Weight loss: A glass of warm water with a full lime’s worth of juice in it is an excellent weight reducer as well as a brilliant refresher and antioxidant drink. The citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner. You can consume two glasses a day and see legitimate and remarkable results within a week. Some people have also got long-lasting weight-loss benefits by just sucking on a wedge of lime half an hour before a meal.
The best part of lime juice it is that it has no negative side effects. So the next time life throws a lemon (lime) at you, make yourself a glass of lime juice.