Limes are one of the smaller fruits of the citrus family. The lime is one of the most widely used citrus fruits for culinary purposes. It is often used to enhance the flavor of other foods. The fruit has an oval or round shape and yellow outer peel. The inner portion is segmented into about 10 parts. It is a good source of phytonutrients, vitamin C, iron, calcium and other trace minerals. It also contains dietary fiber. The fruit has various health benefits.
Limes are rich in flavonoids. These compounds have powerful antioxidant and antibiotic effects. They have proved to be very effective in the treatment of cancer. Flavonoids have been shown to inhibit cell division. They are also an excellent aid for digestion. They assist in the breakdown of food molecules and stimulate secretion of digestive juices. Flavonoids also help to cleanse the digestive tract. Limes also contain limonoids that support optimal health. These compounds have been established as helpful anti-carcinogens. They can help fight stomach, colon, mouth, lung, skin and breast cancers.
One lime provides about 30 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. It is one of the most potent antioxidants nature has provided. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. Foods that are rich in vitamin C protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. This helps to lower the risk of cancer. Vitamin C facilitates iron absorption in the body. This improves blood circulation and boosts cardiovascular health. Vitamin C also boosts the body’s immunity. It enables wounds to heal faster. Ascorbic acid helps to repair damaged cell membranes and prevents inflammation. It also helps to prevent the recurrence of colds, the flu and ear infections. Lime juice is very beneficial for skin health as well. This is because of the high content of vitamin C and flavonoids. It protects the skin, helps to repair damaged skin and also rejuvenates skin.
One medium-sized lime contains about 22 mg of calcium. It plays a vital role in the good health of teeth and bones. High calcium intakes contribute to strong teeth and bones. Calcium helps to prevent blood clots, stabilizes heart rhythm and improves cardiovascular health. It also sustains muscular functions and supports nerve transmissions.
Selection and Storage of Limes
The fruit with a light green skin tends to be juicier. Avoid those with brown discoloration. It may indicate the presence of scald which gives an unpleasant, moldy taste. The heavier the fruit, the juicier it is. Those with shiny skin promise to be fresher. Limes can stay fresh for up to 1 week when stored at room temperature. However, you must keep them away from sunlight otherwise they’ll turn yellow. The flavor will also change. When stored in the refrigerator, they can keep fresh for up to 14 days. Wrap in a sealed plastic bag and place in the refrigerator crisper. It is best to keep them at room temperature before use. The fruit will yield more juice.