Lime is healthy fruit that is overlooked but provides an abundance of health benefits that just might encourage you to include it in your diet more often.  It adorns drinks and is added to recipes for flavor but most don’t realize its benefits.  Let’s take a look.

It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents by boosting our immune systems.  Vitamin C also helps detoxify our bodies, promotes healing of all of our cells, and allows us to better deal with stress. It supports the good bacteria in our gut, destroys detrimental bacteria and viruses, removes heavy metals and protects us from pollution.

The limonoid compounds in limes have been shown to prevent cancers of the colon, stomach and blood. Though the exact mechanism is unknown, scientists have observed that antioxidant limonoids also cause cancer cell death. Lime limonoids also stay active longer in your bloodstream, mopping more free radicals than green tea or dark chocolate.

Fresh or from concentrate, lime juice contains more citric acid than orange or grapefruit juice. Citric acid is a natural inhibitor of kidney stones made of crystallized calcium. Citric acid also plays a key role in the tricarboxylic acid cycle.  This is part of a metabolic pathway that your body undergoes to convert carbohydrates, proteins and fats into carbon dioxide and water, which generates energy in your body.

The primary flavonoid found in the limes, known as hesperidin, has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  It also prevents osteoporosis, keeps eyes and skin healthy, has anti-cancer benefits, improves blood flow and improves the integrity of blood vessels.

These citrus gems contain calcium and folate, two nutrients that are important for post-menopausal women and women of child-bearing age. One fresh lime contains 22 milligrams of calcium and over five micrograms of folate.  Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth-preventing osteoporosis.  It promotes more fat to be burned and less fat to be stored-helping in weight management as well.  Research suggests that adequate calcium intake may also ward off colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. 

Folate or folic acid, commonly known as vitamin B-12, plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including cell repair and maintenance, DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and the formation of leukocytes and erythrocytes. It prevents obesity and various cancers, including colon cancer, as well as preventing heart disease.  It promotes healthy fetal development, helps in proper brain function and reduces depression.

Now you have an abundance of reasons to make lime a regular in your healthy diet!