Limes are a citrus fruit. While the sour lime is the most common in the United States, there are also varieties of sweet limes. Lime juice is used in all types of food preparation (our favorite is in guacamole!) as well as in cocktails, skin creams, disinfectants, candies, oils, toothpastes and more. Limes were essential to maintaining the health of the British navy during the 19th century because their vitamin C content prevented scurvy. This is why British sailors are called Limeys. Here are 9 health benefits of limes:
Limes contain limonoid, a compound believed to have anti-carcinogen effects. These compounds are thought to help prevent skin, mouth, stomach, breast, lung and other types of cancer. An article published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” noted that limonin has been proven to induce cancer cell death. Limes are also a potent source of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer by preventing free radical damage to the cells and DNA. Limes may have anti-inflammatory properties that can slow the risk of chronic inflammation, another high risk factor for developing cancer.
High In Antioxidants
Limes are a great source of vitamin C and other phytonutrients and flavonoids with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are key in neutralizing free radical activity that damages the cells and DNA and can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and premature aging.
High In Vitamin C
Just a quarter cup of lime juice contains over 46% the DV of vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins and antioxidants in human health. It helps boost the immune system, supports heart health, wards off sickness and disease and protects the eyes from conditions like cataracts.
One of the flavonoid compounds found in limes are believed to have powerful antibiotic properties. Studies in west Africa found that the daily addition of limes into the diet of villagers helped reduce the occurrence of cholera.
The vitamin C in limes helps to boost immunity and offer long term support for the immune system. It may help to prevent the flu and the common cold as well as reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
Vitamin C and many of the other phytonutrient compounds in limes have anti-inflammatory effects. Limes may be useful in lowering the risk of conditions related to chronic inflammation like arthritis, asthma, and heart disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention
A study of more than 20,000 people published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that subjects who consumed more vitamin C rich foods like limes were far less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and related arthritic conditions. Subjects who ate the least amount of foods with vitamin C were three times more likely to develop arthritis.
Antioxidants like vitamin C are often associated with a reduced risk of heart attack and heart disease. Foods that have potent anti-inflammatory properties are also believed to help support the cardiovascular system.
Vitamin C is essential to the proper function of the eyes. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to cataracts and other eye conditions. Maintaining good vitamin C levels by eating citrus like limes and lime juice is a good way to maintain proper eye health.