Lime: Health Benefits and Side Effects

side effects lime

What is Lime?

Lime is a small, round, and green color hybrid fruit that tastes sour and has a unique aroma. It is used widely to accent flavor and is a common ingredient in Mexican, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.

Lime has been known for its medicinal properties for ages. Its essential oil, extracted from its peel and skin is used in making perfumes and for aromatherapy. Limes are loaded with nutrients and benefit health by boosting immunity, reducing heart disease and risk factors, preventing kidney stones, aiding iron absorption, and promoting skin health.

One medium lime provides 20 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of proteins, 1.9 grams of fiber, 22% of the daily value of Vitamin C, 2% of the daily value of iron, 2% of the daily value of calcium, 2% of the daily value of Vitamin B6, 2% of the daily value of thiamine and 1% of the required daily intake of potassium.

Health Benefits of Limes

Limes can be consumed either in the form of juice or can be eaten as a whole. The health benefits of lime  are as follows:

  1. Good Antioxidant Source

    Antioxidants defend the cells against free radicals that can damage them and are linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and types of cancer. The active compounds present in lime that play the role of antioxidants are flavonoids, limonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, and ascorbic acid.
  2. Boosts Immunity
    Limes are rich in vitamin C, which plays a role in boosting immunity. A study showed that vitamin C increased the production the white blood cells and protect the body against infections and disease. It also shortens the duration and severity of cold. Vitamin C helps in reducing inflammation and hastens wound healing. It promotes collagen production, a protein that is essential for wound healing.
  1. Keeps Skin Healthy

    As vitamin C promotes collagen production, it helps in keeping skin firm and strong. A study done on 4000 women found, those who ate more vitamin C had a lower risk of wrinkles and dry skin as they aged.

    Lime being rich in antioxidants help in combating age-related skin changes. A mouse study found, drinking citrus drinks positively affected signs of aging by reducing wrinkles and increasing collagen production.
  2. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

    Lime reduces the risk of several heart diseases. They are rich in vitamin C that may play a role in lowering high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart diseases. Vitamin C may protect against atherosclerosis, a disease resulting from narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build-up. In an animal study, rabbits were fed with lime peels and juice and it was observed that the progression of atherosclerosis was slowed down.
  3. Prevents Kidney Stones

    Kidney stones occur as the urine gets concentrated with stone-forming minerals such as calcium. Lime reduces the risk of kidney stones by raising the level of citrate and binding the stone-forming minerals present in urine. A study found people who consumed more fruits had a lower risk of kidney disease.
  1. Increases Absorption of Iron

    Iron is an essential nutrient that is needed to make red blood cells and transport oxygen all through the body. Low iron levels lead to iron deficiency anemia. This leads to fatigue, paleness, trouble breathing, and dry skin. People who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet are at a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia. This is because plants contain that form of iron that is not well absorbed as the iron present in animal products. A study found drinking lime juice with a plant-based meal increased iron absorption.
  2. Lowers Risk of Cancer

    Cancer is characterized by abnormal cell growth and citrus fruits are linked with lowering the risk of certain cancers. Test tube studies indicate that citrus fruits can suppress the growth and spread of colon, pancreas, throat, bone marrow, lymphoma, and other types of cancers

Side Effects of Lime

Lime does not have any side effects. However, excess intake can lead to the following effects:

  • Cause skin allergy and lead to itching, redness, and swelling.
  • Erode the enamel and increase the tooth sensitivity due to the high amount of citric acid.
  • Applying citric acid to the skin may increase skin sensitivity to UV rays, resulting in phytophotodermatitis.

Limes are rich in antioxidants and vitamin c, which is why they are known for the numerous health benefits. Consuming it can improve immunity and prevent the risk of various diseases.

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